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I was driving to school one day last week when I heard that song – and that line just jumped out at me.

While I am an intensely emotional person, I’m not given to tears.  I think it’s a birth defect. But driving to school so I could practice on the equipment, after passing the exam I was so worried about and hearing that particular line in that particular song almost brought me to tears. At the time, I didn’t really know why.

This was my horoscope today.

Sunday, Jan 10th, 2010 — You may be a walking paradox today because you are so optimistic and pessimistic at the same time. These opposing attitudes should cancel each other out, but you don’t need to lose your overall positive attitude, even if you appear to be much less confident. Ultimately, it’s your serious side that drives your can-do-it bias, for you are willing to put in the hard work necessary to accomplish your goals.

I think horoscopes are fun – and that’s about it. This one? Kind of hit it on the head, though. Ever since I passed the exam, I haven’t known whether to be elated or despondent. For every positive I can come up with (I passed a very tough industry exam), I can think of 14 negatives (I have never had an IT job. I’m older than most candidates looking for an entry level position. If I go for a mid-level position, the lack of experience will be a detriment .. blah blah blah).  Basically, I’m freaking out.

Those are the things I’m focusing on, but what’s really bothering me is the change itself. What if I can’t do it? What if it turns out that I’m just really good at taking tests but I totally suck at thinking on my feet and troubleshooting?

And then I take a deep breath. I think about the things I’ve learned this year – about myself more than about computers. I’ve learned that I haven’t lost my test-taking skills – and that being able to guess the correct answer when I don’t know the answer means that I will be able to do the same on a job (i.e. troubleshooting). I’ve learned that I don’t really hate people – I just hated every job I’ve had in the last 20 years. There is a huge difference. I’ve learned that it’s okay to ask questions. I’ve learned that if I ask the same question a few times, I will eventually understand the answer.

Most importantly, I’ve learned that I will never have all the answers – and that no one else does, either. That’s the reason I started posting the chapters of my book. (Oh, and Chapter 22 is up over here) It isn’t polished – hell, it isn’t really that good. But it’s mine and it matters to me and that is what makes it important.

I’m finished with the computer school. All that’s left is job hunting. The idea of starting over scares the crap out of me. But if I’ve proven anything to myself in the last 11 months, it’s that I can start over. The only person who really has the power to stop me is … me.

A long time ago, someone I admired said to me, “If you ever get your heart and your mind in the same place at the same time – I don’t think I want to be standing next to you.”

Guess what?

Ka-boom!

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