It’s been a long time and I have missed you…
I hope life has been treating you well.
I know we are halfway through 2023 and this is only my second article. I have tried writing more than once but I did not like the outcome and I haven’t been feeling very inspired lately.
I will try to tell you a little bit about the reasons I have been away and silent for so long.
Bear in mind, this article is a mixture of things.
The beginning of this year has been a bit rough in several ways.
While I do not want to go into more details, I can mention that my health has been getting worse which I am sure it’s not surprising to anybody because surely it is not surprising to me.
I guess right now I feel fine, I've reached that point where nothing surprises me anymore.
The truth is that there are many days when I can barely walk ten minutes without a lot of pain but I still try my best to make sure this does not stop me.
Sometimes I feel like I am a spectator watching my health fading away every single day and I don’t know what to do. I can’t describe the amount of frustration and anger I feel, I have been in pain with my knees since I was seven, and even now I am still waiting for a diagnosis. Worst of all is that it feels impossible to see a doctor in the U.K., oh the joy of paying for medical healthcare and getting nothing.
Honestly, it kind of scares me that I have to start again with a new hospital, new doctors, just looking for an answer which I might not get. One thing that I have noticed here is that your pain is not a priority. Doctors would rather make excuses to not investigate further and simply dismiss you with no help than to actually do their job. It's like they could not give a f*ck about how difficult it is to live with chronic pain while you keep getting worse.
So much has been taken away from me because of this condition, and I will never be able to get my youth back.
I genuinely do not want more doctors to waste my time, I am getting older, my mobility is even more restricted than before and my pain is sometimes unbearable.
I guess I need to change my attitude as well. I am always miss "too nice and sweet", when in fact I want to be miss "take no bs and stop wasting my damn time".
I need to advocate and stand up for myself more because nobody else will do it for me!
This is not free healthcare, I pay every month, therefore I deserve to get the treatment that I so desperately need!
If you feel like I am being too harsh, then please put yourself in my shoes.
Of course there are other things that have been happening, however, I do not want to talk about them, and I am feeling much better now.
I have also been really busy with work and studying every day, including weekends, and I rarely take breaks and my brain is tired.
I definitely need a long break because sometimes I feel like my creativity is ghosting me.
Despite everything, I have been working out a little bit at least two times a week (most of the time), normally just a gentle workout as that’s what I can do without pain and making sure I am stretching my body and just building my strength back even a little bit.
I know it’s nothing compared to what I used to do, from martial arts and more, to struggling to straighten my legs most of the time without pain but gotta keep going.
I fight the urge of seeing this as a downgrade (which of course does not always work) and I try to remind myself that I have a lot to be thankful for. Being able to move my body through daily chronic pain is still a huge achievement as my body does so much for me.
I guess most of the time I tend to be on autopilot, I focus so much on work and studying that I forget to slow down and be more present.
There is so much to be grateful for, my life has changed completely in less than a year.
A year ago today I wasn’t a software engineer, I was not even working, just having constant meltdowns wondering if I have what it takes to break into this field.
Only starting to actually learn programming at the beginning of 2022 and then trying to be consistent every single day while seeing companies having so many requirements knowledge and experience wise was so stressful, and in a way a little bit unrealistic on my side to think that I could achieve it in a few months or a year, and somehow I did it in less than a year.
Truthfully, I took a gamble and it paid off but I was so close to giving up…
I thought I’d need more time because I constantly felt like I know nothing and there is so much to learn before I even feel slightly prepared, although I was studying from morning until night, every single day.
I remember my 23rd birthday, I tried hard to celebrate and feel happy but I still cried my eyes out before and after because I felt like I achieved nothing and I’m not sure what I’m doing with my life and if I’m making the right choices.
I remember being worried about money, and I kept wondering for how long I’ll be able to stay in this country like this or if I should get any other job in the meantime or even return to aviation to use my previous work experience.
Believe it or not, I even considered returning to my home country to just stay there until I get better. However, I knew that if that happened my chances of returning to the U.K. would have been slim because I’d have ended up losing my pre-settled status and who knows if I had made it in tech considering that even my family and relatives were making fun of me and my aspirations in the previous months, and kind of tried to keep me back home so I wouldn't return.
I don't know why certain people feel the need to interfere in your life so much when they clearly don't pay your bills or put food on your table. I am talking more about relatives and acquaintances right now, and not close family and the few people I consider my friends, but still, I am an adult and I have been independent while also providing for my family for years now, so joke's on them!
Immediately after, I successfully secured my first freelance web developer gig.
I only used some basic front-end development knowledge while the rest was mostly Wordpress, which back then it was my first time ever using it and it was incredibly annoying, while I was also completing the sponsored full-stack CFGdegree with daily classes, homework, projects and even ‘exams’ which were basically something that expected me to have computer science knowledge without being taught that, so I was just stressed working against several deadlines, basically teaching myself everything.
I was so close to giving up and then I found Multiverse and the process was so quick even if I genuinely had some doubts at first, and didn’t complete my profile fast, but after I did and I applied to some companies, several of them were ready to interview me and I am talking about good and decent companies.
Remember last year when I wrote about my parents inviting me to their holiday to Bulgaria and I said no? While they were driving there I was on a 5-hour train trip going to my interview in London, and that exact choice I made despite everything changed my life and brought me this incredible opportunity.
Almost a year ago I was offered this job!
It took me months to even understand that it’s actually happening and I’m not dreaming, and sometimes I still can’t believe it!
Right after signing the contract, I was also accepted into that Artificial intelligence bootcamp, which was something I really wanted. Again, I took a big risk and responsibility as I ended up completing two full-time bootcamps at the same time! My work one was very intense and demanding and it was from 9am to 5pm for three months, and the other one was four months but I’ve started it three weeks before my work one and initially I attended all the live classes daily, but after, I was attending live classes during my lunch break sometimes, and mostly watching the recorded lessons after work and catching up on everything during the weekend as it was more lenient. I have no idea how I did it and still finished both of them, passed my work one with 98% while the other one only had pass or fail, and of course I passed.
I have now been with my team for almost seven months, I’ve been learning so much (mostly on my own), but I am feeling more confident in my skills! I’m done with two of my Multiverse modules and I am about to start the third one in July. Time is literally flying!!!
I’ll be done with my apprenticeship in May next year…
Remember when I said I’ll have to keep switching teams? Yeah, no need for that as my team is doing full-stack now and changing projects every few months. It’s certainly great for exposure to different technologies but still so challenging for someone just starting out who has to also study with another company and also create a technical portfolio documenting pretty much everything I do. I have great feedback and I hope to be able to contribute even more as this new quarter just started (I guess I’ll need to explain this eventually when I write an article just about tech). As the junior position is not guaranteed at the end of the apprenticeship, I’m doing my best to go the extra mile and do more than what is expected of me.
How am I doing that exactly? For example there were some optional AWS training sessions in the office and remote with limited spaces, and I talked to my manager about attending as well. There will also be something else in the office next month and my team asked me if I’d be interested to join as well, and I said yes as it will be a good learning opportunity to use Machine learning with AWS. Another thing is that months ago I signed up to volunteer for the internal tech summit that’s also happening in July. Just help organise it in the office for one day, hopefully I can still do this but looking at my work calendar, it's hard to tell right now as I am swamped with meetings and events, and starting my third Multiverse module as well.
I get tired just thinking about this... They were also looking for new volunteers for the fire warden and first aid trainings.
As I’ve done these trainings several times in aviation and I enjoyed them, I figured they would be great as a refresher so I’ll be having one of them in a month, and I’ll see when the other one will happen. Once again, I ask for my manager’s opinion before doing something, mostly to keep him in the loop, and I say it’s for career progression which it’s true.
In autumn I might volunteer to become a buddy for one of the new apprentices. Everything that I do has a purpose and that is making sure I become one of the company’s best choices after the apprenticeship ends not only with all my feedback, final grade, and all the work I've been doing, but also by making a business impact, as my coach wants me to call it. I could easily just not be bothered to do more, especially outside of my responsibilities and just hope for the best, however, I like improving myself and gaining new skills and they will serve me well in the long run.
I also have some other good news.
Last year I was thinking of becoming a Code first girls instructor for one of their short courses but I kept putting it off due to lack of time and just having to focus on work, however, I said to myself that around my birthday I’ll apply so I did. I was invited to do a tech assessment and a video interview, and I thought I’d not get in, but I did! They created a new instructor academy which is eight weeks and then if you successfully graduate it, you will progress into a trainee instructor afterwards. The great part about this is that I am already shadowing a lead instructor in one of the courses I chose, in this case web development, making sure I help with any queries and keep track of attendance, and slowly I’ll have to also teach for a little bit in order to finish the academy while I also complete all the academy weekly materials, quizzes, classes and so on. At first I thought this would be unpaid, but to my surprise it ended up being a paid opportunity. It's not much but it's also not much work that I have to do weekly so it's alright, plus it will help me become more confident teaching and believe it or not, it will massively help when I have to finish this apprenticeship. Yes, I am overworking myself sometimes and yes, I really need a holiday but it’s all good, it's just a really busy summer and then I hope I can slow down with all the constant studying and extra work very soon.
Last month I turned 24, and I think some of you know that normally I don’t like my birthday.
I am sure I mentioned it before. I tend to dread getting closer to my birthday and feel on edge as it makes me question everything that has not gone well in my life, my health, my body… However, this year I just did not mind it. I have been stressing about other things and too busy to anxiously wait for this, and surprisingly I had a lovely day filled with gratitude rather than sadness. I want to take some time to appreciate all the wonderful people that I have in my life!
Earlier this year some circumstances made me feel like I am about to lose the people that I love the most and it made me realise that if that had happened, they probably wouldn’t have known how much they truly mean to me. These lovely people came into my life when I was at my lowest and they showed me how it feels like, for the first time, to feel loved, appreciated, and wanted, both as a girlfriend and as a friend. To me, they are my family now! We’ve been together through good and bad, and I must admit I have had far too many bad moments, and yet, they have never left my side.
Their love is unconditional and nourishing, and they have been playing a significant part in my journey to become the person I am today.
I know they also say that I like to give away credit when it’s not due, but trust me, they certainly deserve all this credit and more. I do owe all of this to my blog which made it possible for me to meet the people who would have such a strong impact on me and change my life in the best way possible. All of you are irreplaceable, and I want you in my life forever. I’m aware that I wasn’t always the best person to be around and I can be quite a headache, better said a migraine sometimes, and I am sorry for all the times I could not show you how important and special you are to me. I am beyond thankful to have you in my life, and you deserve nothing but a life full of happiness, blessings, and abundance. Thank you for believing in me when I couldn’t believe in myself, thank you for all the times you did everything to cheer me up, make me feel better, and help me.
I have three incredible best friends, whom I love dearly, and I am truly grateful to them for everything, and to this blog for making this possible.
I call myself lucky because these are the friendships, as well as the relationship I have longed for my entire life!
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for existing and for choosing to be part of my life!
I want to also write a special message for my boyfriend as his birthday is coming up in a few days. Finding you has been one of the best things that have ever happened to me. You came into my life when I felt hopeless because I hit rock bottom and I thought love was something that was simply not meant for me.
You could have left but you decided to stay, and you have been my rock, my light, my biggest supporter, and even my guardian angel. When we first started dating, I used to feel overwhelmed a lot and cry because I did not know how to react, it was the first time I have ever felt seen for who I really am. I have never needed filters with you or to pretend to be someone else to impress you.
For the first time, I was completely enough by being myself. When I felt like my world and mental health were crumbling, you were there for me and helped me get through everything.
I can truly be myself with you, I can be real and it's liberating! Life hasn’t treated either of us kindly and there are still many challenges, but in a life full of uncertainty, you are my certainty and I will always choose you, all over again.
You showed me that love is not a fairytale, and your unconditional love has helped me heal.
I haven’t always been the best girlfriend, but thank you for seeing good in me despite everything.
We have laughed, cried and grown together.
Honestly, making you laugh until your pretty face is red always makes my day and it's one of my favourite things in the whole world.
I hope that I will always be able to put a smile on your face and remind you of how wonderful and amazing you are! Most poeple don't know the real you and they don't know you like I do, thank you for trusting me.
To my soulmate, ech hunn dech vun Häerze gär.
I know most people don’t realise that the blog is constantly working because of his efforts, but he has been helping me build this amazing community, and for this he deserves recognition and appreciation.
To my beautiful community, 'Lost inside my head' has turned three at the end of April.
I know I did not write a celebration article, however, thank you for everything!
When I started posting, I did not picture it going anywhere. I did not even think that anybody would read, yet here we are today!
Thank you for believing in me, for never judging me and for all your sweet and supportive messages! You made me the writer I am today!
I promise that I will be more mindful and write more often as it's time to bring back the self-care series or even start something fresh.
Remember to be kind, firstly to yourself and then to the world!
No matter what happens, you are not alone, I am always here and I know you are stronger than you think.
Take care and lots of love!
Today's song is a great cover that I personally really like: https://youtu.be/T6zAyhFWI4Q.
A pretty picture from last year when I was living in Sunderland, U.K.