Looking back over my life is both exciting and HORRIFYING. Let me explain. I was 18 and graduating LPN school in a little town in Oklahoma. I thought I had life by the horns, let me tell you. I was going to quickly excel and run away in a medical career and never look back. Obviously, you all know me and understand that was not my future at all. However, if you would have told me then my future involved databases, networks, servers, and security, I would have laughed my butt off.
How did I have such a pivotal change at 18 that literally decided the rest of my life? I hated being a nurse in the real world. Other nurses weren’t following proper procedures and regulations. I saw friends get placed in bad situations due to other nurses’ negligence. I developed a keen awareness of these things called germs and how I was literally bringing these newfound friends home every day all day to my family. Long story short, I was in a dilemma about my foreseeable future.
Immediately after a long shift, I enrolled online into my first A+ and CCNA class at vo-tech. The rest is history. But what lesson did I learn and what would I tell myself looking back on the life I literally had planned since I was 10 years old? Relax, because you’re not going to be in the medical field and you’re a natural learner. Hey, life will fall into place. When I made the decision to get into IT, my family was so mad at me and I was sick all the time because I was fighting my way to the top every day.
I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for being the only woman in a room and searching and struggling for these answers and defending every idea. But, strangely, I loved the fight and the way it made me be sharper and study stronger. So, to all my family that were against me walking away from my dream and literally allowing me to buy out Walmart of all Pepto and antacids, thank you. Because you helped me to be the independent, pain-in-the-butt, stickler-for-security woman that I proudly am today.
To myself, well heck, looking back, I loved every trial. Every teary-eyed moment of rejection of ideas and every win that started to outweigh the losses. In the end, I’d just tell me, “Yeah, you’ll never do that medical stuff,” and to follow my heart instead of the dream I thought I once had.