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Letters to the Future - Letters from the Past

06 Mar 2013

What would you want to say to yourself?

Quite some time ago Dayton Nolan told me about a site where you could write letters to yourself and send them into the future to be delivered on a date of your choice. That site is called Future Me and I LOVE it. Yesterday I received a letter from 11mo and 27days ago. I had no idea it was coming and it was a wonderful gift. 11mo and 27days ago I was writing Tic-Tac-Toe for my apprenticeship application at 8th Light while styling hair full time. I remember receiving the request to write the unbeatable Tic-Tac-Toe program. Previously I had done some HTML, CSS, a little PHP, a little MYSQL, and a little ruby and rails, but nothing like that. That was a monumental task for me. I remember feeling totally unsure of the task but also remember leaning into the fear and dedicating myself to figuring it out. I not only wanted my Tic-Tac-Toe to be unbeatable, I wanted to prove to myself that my will could be. Here is part of that letter from myself to myself

The following is an e-mail from the past, composed 11 months and 27 days ago, on March 06, 2012. It is being delivered from the past through FutureMe.org Dear FutureMe, Today you had a monumental moment. It was one of those super small things that only you can appreciate. You realized that you can code. You can figure it out. You can be tenacious. Iterating is part of it. Stack traces are clues. Code is never perfect and that is part of the fun of solving it. It is a challenge that you want to keep meeting. It is something that you committed to and something that now drives you. You have changed. Be proud of yourself. You decided to not give up. You have been writing tic-tac-toe(for the first time). The stretch and struggle has been great. Highs and lows but you keep going and you are figuring it out. ...

This is not the first letter from the past I received and certainly will not be the last. As I come close to my 1 year anniversary to total dedication to learning this craft, it is a reminder of how far I have come. As I read this letter and remember that stretch and struggle, I also look back at my blog posts and know that each one of those was born out of another stretch and struggle and that this is learning. So many times it can be easy to see where I am not but this letter and reflection allow me to see where I was and how far I have come. I feel proud of myself.

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