The emotional challenges of learning to code

This wasn’t what I was prepared for.

The feelings of “oh crap I used to remember this now I have no idea” or “I just can’t learn anything right now, I’ll never get it.”

It pops up again and again and everytime it feels as though I’m in stuck molasses trying to put one foot forward without falling down.

But if I know it’s coming, I can plan for it, I can adapt.

I can accept my ignorance, welcome it, and know this is a part of the process.

It’s not because “i’m too old to learn” or that “my brain has been permanently damaged by covid” or that “because it’s not easy I shouldn’t do it.”

There’s no deeper meaning behind this, other than “learning new things is hard, and always has been.”

There won’t always be excitement at the newness of it, especially if it isn’t a newness, but a “breaking rust off” of old neuropathways.

I need to acknowledge the grief of knowledge lost, and accept the challenge of relearning it. It won’t be as hard as learning it the first time, but it will be more emotionally taxing. And that’s an aspect of coding I hadn’t forseen.

An acceptance of “how did I do that again? let’s find out.”

Ignorance met with curiosity.

I love this attitude, even if I don’t often meet it. It’s so accepting of my humanity, my fluidity, and my imperfectness. It’s not like riding a bike. It’s like looking for that thing I haven’t used in so long I can’t remember when I last used it.

So I’ll try to accept my humanity, embrace it even. I’ll learn that I’ll be forever learning. I’ll not see my brain as some precious icon of my worth, but as a squishy moldable thing that’s sometimes a pain, but ultimately rewarding.

My brain needs love too.