I feel like this weekend has been an ongoing toast to life - if that doesn’t sound too trite. It started with a solid cup of caffeine (the socially acceptable way to toast life in the waking hours) and continued with an all-day Rails Girls Saturday workshop. It was easily the most enjoyable tech event I’ve participated in thus far - brimming over with joy and positivity - and learning, and building, and encouragement, and optimism! And heart!
In the days and hours leading up to the workshop, I was nervous about the 5-minute talk I was planning to give, along with how well I would connect with my students and the other workshop participants. I love Ruby to death but I was worried that too much time had passed since my life was immersed in Rails. And I’m an ambivert, with most of my childhood and early adulthood having been steeped in shyness. Was I going to be a good coach?
In the end, I found that “Get excited and make things!” really does fit the Rails Girls credo. I often have a hard time heading to an event solo, when the handful of people I may recognize by sight or name is eclipsed by the vast majority of people I don’t know at all. But today’s Rails Girls workshop seemed too significant an event to pass up. Volunteering to give a short [non-technical] talk was a to-the-point way to insert myself into a social context that otherwise might’ve felt intimidating. I struck up or joined so many more conversations than I expected to, several of which I intend to continue.
Ironically, the immediate aftermath of the workshop involved stepping back into the world of awful, awful Hollywood Blvd. At 9:00 on a Saturday morning, Hollywood is serene, quiet, cleanly empty of its usual chaos. Stepping back onto the curb at 6:20 p.m. meant re-entering an insane hall of mirrors. Yes, that’s the curmudgeon in me speaking.
I phoned Justin and found that he was picking up groceries at 3rd and La Brea on his way home from the Westside. The idea of a leisurely walk down Highland to meet him seemed more appealing than the idea of sitting in a dank underground metro station. So I walked 45 minutes southward to 3rd Street to digest all that had happened in one day. An interesting 2.5-mile walk - that began amidst a beehive of tourist activity, that then passed through a somewhat desolate stretch where sidewalk feces is not surprising, then a length of blocks strung with expensive homes, then a Hasidic community.
ANYWAY - this evening I have volunteer duty at another women’s celebration (GDI LA’s 2nd birthday party) - this time on the 37th floor of a massive building in Downtown, a 20-minute walk from home. As a treat to myself, I bought a giant bag of soil to invest in some new plantings this week.
Spring is officially here!