The Hard Way

What every girl dreams about

Laying in bed the other night I thought wistfully to myself…”self, if I could know ONE THING on this earth it would be Ruby.” I took a second. “Really self? Ruby?” “Pretty sure”, returned self.

The next morning appsumo sent out a “learn Ruby for $74 dollars in ten easy steps” special. Obviously the “ten easy steps” was marketing crap. But the $74 seemed like something I could stomach.  I never really thought I would learn the language and program things, but even if I just became fluent enough to read code I would be much much better off than I am today. So I downloaded the course.

After 3 hours I could make the computer say “woof”, calculate tax rates and a few other things. But I hit chapter 2 and pretty much 9/10 words in the explanation were technical terms that I did not yet know the definition of.

So I called my programmer (because we all have those on speed dial) and he sent me to About three paragraphs into (free book) I read this:

As you study this book, and continue with programming, remember that anything worth doing is difficult at first. Maybe you are the kind of person who is afraid of failure so you give up at the first sign of difficulty. Maybe you never learned self-discipline so you can’t do anything that’s “boring”. Maybe you were told that you are “gifted” so you never attempt anything that might make you seem stupid or not a prodigy. Maybe you are competitive and unfairly compare yourself to someone like me who’s been programming for 20+ years.

I thought you might want to read that. It guarantees at least a week of effort from me. Which is probably 7x the average effort I might give if something was difficult. I, of course, am too gifted to try.

Headed back to the hard way now.

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Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble,, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at

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