Why am I here?
I am not going to lie about it: I have been in a somewhere-between-quarter-and-mid-life crisis. I’m in my early 30s and I feel like I haven’t accomplished much in my life, or that I should be so much further along in my career, making more money, having more power, etc. To make matters worse, for the past few years, my outlook on on life had become nothing short of dismal, as I have been working for a company (and my respective management) that I feel doesn’t utilize a majority of my best skills. I have spent the last few years complaining about my situation (mainly because my numerous attempts at making change have met extreme resistance) and letting the resulting hit to my self-esteem be an excuse to stall going after my dreams. The last few months have been especially hard, and I am grateful to have family and friends that listened to long rants and never left me to suffer through this alone. After much soul-searching and brutally honest conversations with myself, I am now ready to tilt the scales and do something about my situation. Enter Tee and Applets.
Tee and Applets is a place where I can collect and share my thoughts and progress in the two areas that I have become very passionate about: golf and writing code. I have a personal goal to better my golf game while preparing to launch my own ladies’ golf clothing and lifestyle line within the next 3 years and writing code has provided an outlet for my creativity that I also plan to use to generate funding for my launch. I know that short of code golf, there doesn’t appear to be any real link between golf and writing code, but for me, this unlikely union has motivated me to stop procrastinating and make things happen.
So why golf fashion?
I’m not the likely candidate to pick up golf later in life (late 20s, African-American woman from a major city), as my exposure to the sport up until a 2010 was limited to whatever event was playing on major network television. I was fortunate to be introduced to golf in a way that was fun and not intimidating (I thought it required a fancy country club membership). At the first opportunity I had, I started to take professional lessons. I continue to watch my game gradually improve in the nearly 2 years since I took my first real practice swing, and I have come to love the sport, envisioning myself playing for many decades to come.
The one area of golf (if you consider this an area of golf) that I never card for was the limited clothing options for women golfers. I found most of the selection of ladies’ golf apparel to consist of items with unflattering cuts and visually offensive colors, nothing like the array of appealing mens’ options. My enjoyment of the game was greater than the clothing, so I would purchase items that fit into the dress code, but would not be caught wearing anywhere off the premises. I wanted clothing that was appropriate and stylish on and off the course. Was that too much to ask?
I took to the internet to find smaller niche companies that might cater to my needs, but found nothing that appealed to me (or my price point!). It was then that I got the idea to start a golf clothing and lifestyle line for women. I want to make clothing that is functional and comfortable, but fashionable enough that women would want to wear it off the course. I want the clothing in colors and cuts that could blend into women’s every day wardrobe (bye bye florescent pink sleeveless polo!). In addition to clothing and accessories, I want to run an active website/blog centering on lifestyle of the modern woman golfer, from helping her take strokes off her score to using the lessons learned on the course to help tackle complicated issues at work. I am working to learn the necessary information and make the right connections to get my line started within the next 3 years.
So how does programming fit in?
I started learning to write code as a way to create additional income on the side. My work had become very routine and I was starting to worry that I was going to lose brain cells, but I was also limited in the funds it might cost to be trained in something new. I took to the internet to research marketable skills that were in high demand and that I could learn without much financial investment and without having to go back to school. Programming was something that I had experience with in the past, but never gave any significant attention to. When I learned of the abundance of languages and frameworks currently in use, and the huge need for people with those skillsets, I dug in further to see if this was something that I was interested in and that I could reasonably make monty doing. After learning that many people had learned to code and were making a living since teaching themselves, I decided to that writing code would be my side gig.
My continued research lead me to decide focus on learning Ruby on Rails first (while sharpening my HTML and CSS skills as applicable, and I was even fortunate enough to sign up for a free membership to an online coding website, which has been a great resource for understanding new concepts. The focus I started to put on learning to code resuscitated my spirit, as coding provided the outlet for creativity and learning that my present career zapped out of me. I know that this road to becoming a skilled web developer is not an easy or quick one, but one I am in for the long haul. I am genuinely interested in programming and what I can create with code, and I am hoping to start regularly taking freelance projects and build my client base within the next year. As I begin to focus more on my clothing line launch, I am hoping that freelance web development work will help pay the bills as I grow that business.
I hope that my evolving story is educating, entertaining, and encouraging to everyone who visits the site. I welcome questions and suggestions always.