Reclaiming my freedom_

It’s something I have been counscious of for a while now: Me and Full Time Jobs, we are not a good match. I am really just forcing myself through the week, day after day, and compromising both health and precious time. Now that I am for real starting to learn actual web development, I realize that I need a lot of time, time, time. One hour coding per day is great, but it is not enough. I already struggle to keep up with studying on lynda.com, on udemy and freeCodeCamp, but additionally I really want to keep my projects going: My little “Hello World” website bohemiancodes.com, this blog, and my “Iarthar” project about Western Ireland which is still in dev mode and has not been looked at for a while.

But I am not writing here to merely complain. I had an idea. It came to me Thursday morning before work, and caused me to arrive half an hour late.

My wish was (and still is, of course) to have as much time of my days and weeks as possible to study and code, as well as to be in nature – because my time in nature nurtures my sense of freedom and happiness, without which  I could not do anything. I was considering taking a part time job somewhere in Ireland, but there are absolutely no part-time jobs available in the whole country. So I had to throw that idea off.

All I need is a desk, a bed and some food. And then it came to me: Why not go back to volunteering on workaway? Maybe someone could use my freshly learnt development skills and would give me a bed and some food in exchange?

I have a workaway.info profile since years, I think it costs 29€ p.a., but it is well worth it. It works like this: As a volunteer you offer your help for around 20-30 hours a week in exchange for a bed (monstly shared room, sometimes private room) and food, but it all depends on the host, the location, availability and so on. I have worked in Costa Rica and Mexico through workaway, and had great experiences!

Alright, let’s have a look. I hopped on the website, entered some keywords and the first profile that came up I wrote a message to – and got a prompt reply. The host owns a traveling business (international trekking) and lives in North-West Ireland. He’d offer me a bed and food in exchange for updating content and cleaning his wordpress.org traveling business blog.

Since that morning, I can breathe better. I don’t feel like I am suffocating anymore. The host said he is in touch with some other workawayers, but I seem perfect. We seem to have a similar way of life as well. It always is a good sign, when both sides have a good feeling about it immediately. It felt like I did not have to make a decision. It seems like the decision had already been taken. My part was just to accept.

It may seem crazy to some people. But life isn’t about security, or smart moves, or even having good plans. It is about being open to the infinity of possibilities, and just about having trust in life. I realized that I had lost some of my trust in life lately, and that is when you start worrying and making yourself miserable. Time to let go of that.

Now, it seems like a leap into the unknown cold waters of the wild is going to be happening in my life (not for the first time). I will give up my apparent security and steady (more or less) income, but will reclaim my freedom, and drive out into the north to study and code, code, code…. and I absolutely love Donegal.

That’s what I am changing my career for in the first place, anyway. That’s what this life is all about: freedom!

Eliane ♥

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Udemy’s Complete Web Developer Course 2.0

Coming home today from my full time call center job, (and after a shocking look at my bank account, jeez, when am I actually going to have any of the money I earn?) I took a couple of hours for my studies.

Quick conclusion of the day: Now that I am quite comfortable with HTML & CSS, and I want to move on, things get very complex.

I am currently enrolled in a number of courses at the same time, and the possibilities to learn just from these tutorials are truly immense – but it can be quite overwhelming. I feel I am starting to lose track. I thought I’d first get started with Responsive Design, which basically means to begin to use and understand Bootstrap. Bootstrap however entails certain knowledge of JavaScript. JavaScript entails jQuery and all these other tech terms I am still very much unfamiliar with. Everything seems to explode into this huge cloud of information.

I realize I need some real structure. Rather than jumping from one course to another, I want to follow one hands-on course that helps me to become familiar with the most important languages and concepts. So I started to google again to look up some of the best (& affordable) web development courses available online – and I found Udemy’s “The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0” by Rob Percival. It even includes one year of unlimited webhosting on ecowebhosting.co.uk (which means I will be able to upload my own wordpress site soon – this one is already bugging me) – both for just 10€! Now I don’t know how these things are even possible – but I won’t complain. And, after all the American teachers, I am happy to listen to some British accent for a change 😉

Recap: I need to give my path substance, and structure. How about this little to-do-list:

  1. Complete freeCodeCamp‘s Front-End Developer Coding Challenge
  2. Complete the “Web Developer Course 2.0” on Udemy.com
    (those two alone should keep me busy for several months)
  3. Begin building my Portfolio

I have to keep this plan open and flexible, though. I may feel the need for more direct mentoring and personal guidance one day, so I might want to go for a course like Skillcrush.com later on, but for the moment my bank account does not allow any of this luxury.

By the way, my general goal is simple: to become a freelancer!

Wish me luck!