Mac's Musings

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Learning new things


I’ve been dabbling in SQL lately, learning it for a job interview that will be coming up shortly.

Each quest further into SQL has  had challenges attached with it, first from my husband and second from the man who will be my main boss.  They’re both trying to help me prepare so I can blow everyone away at the job interview.

I kept on marveling to my husband how I had learned all the SQL I’d used in only a weekend.  Hubby told me that it’s mainly understanding the syntax and the concept, which I do agree with.  SQL isn’t hard, not in my opinion at least.

I was even given a challenge to do a pivot.  I had no clue what a pivot was in regards to SQL, so off I went to the internet to try and figure out the what and how of a pivot.

Through a little dumb luck and a lot of trial and error and going back and forth from the example to my code, I able to get the pivot to work and produce the answer my soon-to-be-boss wanted.

I know that much of this may not mean anything to anyone, but you must understand me before understanding the utter elation I felt at getting this right with minimal help.

Hubby did help point out that the top select statement needed to reflect what would be in the pivot table. 

Growing up and going to school, I was always the nerd and geek.  The teachers’ pet and the smart kid that no one really liked because they made good grades.   I was mercilessly picked on at an early age, but until I turned 12 I was able to brush it off.

I had some life changing events take place around my Easter break of my 12th birthday.  We ended up moving to SC, where I went to a private school.  Utter hell by the way…

I hadn’t originally been from the town so the cliques didn’t take to me.  Add on me trying to do what my mother wanted and my late father, being a quiet and well behaved smart kid, and my classmates liked me even less.

I was able to escape the cruelty of my classmates and their malicious teasing by reading books and writing my own fictional stories.  I enjoyed escaping into worlds created by myself or other authors, and that’s where I learned I had a passion and a gift for fictional fantasy writing.  It seemed that whoever read my stories were also pulled into the world I had created.

I continued on this way up to college.  My first year of college had been spent in a semi-hellish place…  So many things wrong with that college, but I won’t go into that or tell the name.  Keeping the names of the guilty anonymous.  See? Smart.

During this whole time anyone I met commented on my intelligence, and it was nice to hear compliments.  I rarely was ever complimented on my appearance, so I readily took the other compliments.

My mother and my aunt would often say that they knew 3 of the most brilliant people, my dad, my father (no, not the same person), and myself.  It felt good, and I did have pride as always being the smart one.  I couldn’t get by in the world with my looks, which had been proven to me time and again in high school and in college.  So it seemed to me that all I had was my brain, which was fine with me.  It hurt that no really found my looks appealing but I masked it with diving into my studies to keep the only good thing I had going.

That’s when it happened.  I started my second year of college and had my heart stopped in my chest by the most gorgeous man I had ever laid eyes on.   I immediately knew that I would NEVER have a chance with him.  He was intelligent, gorgeous, and witty.  He was also a smart ass… But hey, all people have their faults and most of my friends were already smart-asses.

I made friends with a girl who was the cool and awesome person I wanted to be, she was also very beautiful.  I loved her like a sister and we would hang out when we could, which with our clashing schedules wasn’t very often.

Having met that gorgeous man and finding out how intelligent he was, I was no longer the smartest person in the room.  And with him around it felt like I wasn’t even a distant second to his intelligence.  Yeah, there were things that he didn’t know that I did but they were meaningless drivel that had no place in conversation with him.  And anything I DID know, he knew even more of.

It was a struggle.  It felt like the very thing I had guarded and nurtured so carefully had died in his brilliant presence… I think he short circuited my brain.  I never could seem to keep up.

Now… Fast forward 7 years.  That brilliant man… Well somehow I lucked out (still haven’t figured out how) and he and I have been married for 5 years, 6 in August.  My friend helped us hook up and we dated for 2 years before he popped the question.

No kids yet, but that’s because my jobs haven’t been stable.  I’m only 27 and have had 8 friggin years of retail…  I’m a great people person, when I have to be.  But God save me, there are some many belligerent and stupid customers out there…  I would be lying if I said I hadn’t wished I could throttle people…

None of my jobs required much brain matter and everyday with my hubby just had me feeling like I had just gotten stuck in quicksand… Very slow quicksand.  Each job was a dead in and turned into job hell.

Needless to say, I didn’t feel as confident and smart as I did when I was 17.  For a decade I’ve felt like an utter idiot who shouldn’t be breathing, much less breeding.  For someone who never really had much going for them but their intelligence, that is detrimental.

Confidence of my intelligence has been a feeling I haven’t actually had in the presence of my husband ever, until now.

Learning SQL, has actually boosted my confidence in myself so much.  It’s something that not a lot of people do and it is a type of programming.  A seemingly minimal programming, but you still have syntax and you have to type the correct phrase to get what you want.  You control the information flow.

And being able to learn all the syntax I have and putting it to use, it brings me back to actually knowing that I haven’t lost my brain matter.  It hasn’t died.  I could cry because I’m so happy to be able do something that will have me continuing to challenge myself and learn more.  Exercising my mind so I can do more.

Again, I’m certain no one will really care about this.

But if you want some advice, take it from someone who has been battling depression since she was 12.  Learn something new.  It might give you that boost you’ve been needing.  It will show you that yes you can do something.  And that in itself is amazing.

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This entry was posted on February 1, 2014 by in Life.

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