Hi! I’m Jerome, a programmer, well… almost. I recently decided to quit my job helping start-ups in order to pursue a career as a developer. It’s a long story, but bear with me, this is the only time you’ll here it; the rest of the blog is about what happens next.

Like I said, I’m Jerome. My mom is French and My dad is American; I call him pops. They met and fell in love in New York while pops was a cadet at West Point and mother worked as an au pair for a terrible family. Shortly after I was born my father went to Somalia, where he was the commander at the port of Mogadishu. You know the movie “Black Hawk Down” he was their before that, and after, to clean up. When he came back, PTSD came with him, but he was still a young buck so it didn’t show much then. When my sister was born he resigned from the army and we went to go live in Chicago.

We left Chicago because it was grey, and then after 8 years in the Arizona rays, I came back and stayed. They have now lived in Belgium for about a month, it’s very grey there too though, so I don’t know what they were thinking. I guess when you have a choice to see your husband or father after 6 years of him being abroad, you choose the grey. That’s right, pops went back to the army.

While he was away, I met a girl. She’s from Venezuela and teaches me all about Latin culture. I really dig her and it’s been almost 3 years since we’ve been going steady. She’s been on the East Coast for about a month; left around the same time as my family. Fingers crossed, but so far so good.

That leaves me. Like I said, I work with start-ups. My job is a haven for people that have talent and vague aspirations. Since I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life, it gave me an opportunity to feel like I was doing everything. Entrepreneurship touches healthcare, government, hardware, design, food, music, and architecture as well as anything else that someone can get paid for. I got to meet and build relationships from people in almost every industry and through that gained a high-level view of how most things work in the business world. After failing two of my own, I also got to see the inner-workings of many startups and feel like I was making valuable contributions. For someone without direction it was about the best job I could have asked for, and it could’ve easily stayed that way.

I learned to code from a class I audited 6 months ago. I took the class because I wanted to be able to build things, not because I thought I would like it. To my surprise, coding turns out to be one of the only things I’ve experienced that routinely gets me into a flow state. It’s like 4 or 5 hours pass by in an instant, and the only thing that pulls me away is the rumbling of an abandoned stomach. It was very clear to me that I enjoyed coding and therefore it was probably something I ought to pursue, but despite this, I continued to tell myself that I didn’t know what I wanted to do.

Until very recently, I believed that it was better for me to let life unfold as it may — stay in the present and face what’s in front of me. I thought that setting goals – putting up fantastical projections of the future – could only lead to failure and disappointment. So I didn’t really try. Because with my way, the future seemed limitless and open to whatever fancy I had in the present. Looking back, that attitude was only the fear of failure wrapped up in a seer-sucker and bow-tie. If I never decided a path, I would never fail because I had nothing to benchmark against.I still think facing what in front of you is paramount, and truly one of the key’s to a satisfying life, but I would wrap the Neil Gaiman’s notion of a mountain in there as well. Have something you are striving towards. It may turn out to be wrong, but until it’s proven to be so, work towards it as if it was right.

I have great friends that will randomly text me questions like “Hey Jerome, what are your most audacious goals?” I take them all very seriously. Those questions have stopping power, I mean they get lodged in there deep. They rattle around for days on end and eventually collide with other thought fragments, waiting for the right conversation to make them spontaneously coalesce into decision and conviction.

This summer has been an elongated inflection point. It seems safe to say that things will be different from now on. This blog is about capturing those experiences, my thoughts and what I learn from them.