I got an email today about an opportunity to work in Boston in undersea exploration. How rad is that!? I have no background in undersea stuff but I am almost finished with a Computer Science degree and have a very strong love of exploration.
In high school I worked at a life insurance company. Today I am working as a junior developer in the agricultural industry. Tomorrow I could be writing algorithms for undersea exploration. And in 10 years, who knows? I could be spearheading the creation of a completely new industry! Oh the possibilities make me so happy :)
“You’re just really smart” you’d be tempted to say, like I’m some anomaly. My family can quickly debunk that theory. I am very human. What I am is persistent and curious. And a little bit of a control freak. (I like say I’m a recovering control freak but as I am working on trying to control my controlling tendencies, it’s hard to tell if it’s getting better or if getting worse.)
Computer Science was a good choice though.
Even for the girl who still does math on her fingers. The girl who, if it can be broken or forgotten, will break it and forget it. The girl who starts talking to herself if she’s left alone too long alone. The girl who completely fails at video games and sleeps through every sports game. The girl who loves reading history books and still pretends she’s Robin Hood sometimes.
I didn’t fit in. And I still don’t fit in.
It’s been 3 years in the Computer Science program and the guys still look at me like I’m an alien (to be fair, I don’t exactly try to remedy this). But, this doesn’t mean that I don’t belong. It means that the space I can occupy, and will occupy well, hasn’t been discovered or made yet. Who knows, maybe I’ll get to shape it!
As long as I can remember, I’ve been an oddball. The girl who’s way too serious about God. The girl who gets way too excited when she starts talking about the Bible. The girl who thinks too much and asks too many questions. The girl more interested in books than boys. The girl who prefers to own one pair of shoes since it’d be less likely that she’d lose them. And then still loses them anyway.
I haven’t stopped being all these things. But things have changed these past few years.
I have stopped apologizing. For not being a white boy who went to a rich high school and likes to program instead of sleep. For not loving programming more than reading a book or talking to a person. For not quickly grasping the abstracts of mathematics. For not being able to clearly understand my Chinese teacher’s thick accent and for being slightly scared of him. For struggling hard to articulate certain content. For feeling alone amidst of all the testosterone and being really excited to finally have a female teacher.
I’ve stopped making excuses. I’ve stopped telling myself that it’s okay to barely pass because I’m special. That it’s not okay to just ask for an answer instead of struggling through learning how to think. I’ve stopped pitying myself for the long and hard assignments and have stopped daydreaming of the English papers I could be cranking out in my sleep. I’ve recognized my intellectual laziness and propensity to leave things half done. I’ve stopped nurturing my tendency towards mediocrity and irresponsibility.
And oh, things I’ve learned. I’ve become even more incorrigible towards the impossible – I simply have to try to figure it out. I’ve become more trusting and dependent on existing good systems that have proven to be effective. I’ve learned not to hide my weaknesses but to walk in honesty. I’ve learned about the reality of consequences. I’ve learned how to ask for help, how to deal with frustration, and how not to give up. Mostly I’ve learned that I am not as great as I thought I was and that growth begins when rooted in humility and truth.
So who knows where I’ll go or what I’ll do. I’m not really concerned because I know God’s got me. I might stay, I might go. I might live long, I might die early. I might lead, I might follow. I may be alone, I may have companions. Most likely life will be a mix of those – of leading and following, of staying and going, of loneliness and companionship, and of living and dying. And yet – this all too shall pass.
Yet one thing I do know. This life shall soon be past and only what’s done for Christ will last. Wherever I go, whatever I do – may it all be for Christ.