(Let me begin by saying I just discovered the last two weeks of blog posts about Project 1up, storytelling, and other excitement have potentially disappeared. I'm working on recovering them and re-posting, so check back soon for a slew of new information!) There comes a point when we reach the end of knowing what we know and knowing what we don't know. It's not an easy place. It can often feel stagnant (and very well may be so) and immobilizing. My friend Sas talks recently about the difference between unconscious incompetence and conscious incompetence and how it's possible that, when we realize exactly just how much we don't know, we can become radically discouraged and just give up.
Her newsletter came at just the right moment for me, as I've been dealing with entering conscious incompetence myself this past week. It's easy to be optimistic about all the things I want to learn and do and be over the course of six months or a year. But when it comes to the nuts and bolts of it all, the tools and resources and teaching and learning, I get overwhelmed. Overwhelmed and feeling (to be completely honest) stupid. Downright unteachable. An imposter (and hoo-boy do I know that imposter syndrome feeling far too well).
Deciding to change careers/trajectories/life isn't easy. And when you don't have the means to take academic or professional courses (too expensive), don't have the means to buy a ton of instructional and educational books (the library is my very best friend), it can be incredibly discouraging to reach the point of conscious incompetence and also know how limited the experiences and opportunities immediately in front are for your own learning. This is where I have spent the last week: feeling the overwhelm, the need to climb to the next level, and feeling completely incapable of reaching the tools, knowledge, and resources to make that climb.
So I'm reaching out.
I've already talked about what kinds of things I want to learn over this year as part of my Project 1up adventure. This list is evolving as I learn and experience more, and I'm grateful for the evolution. But with the evolution comes a need for more resources, more tools for learning, more teachers. This is what I am seeking.
I am a true beginner.
I am seeking a mentor or mentors in this journey. I'm looking for folks who are skilled in their fields, who have shown a commitment to the communities they are involved with, and who are interested in bringing more people into those communities. I'm only willing to work with people who are committed to a safe and diverse learning and teaching environment. And I am so eager to work together and also share the knowledge and skills I bring to a mentor/mentee relationship.
Maybe you're writing a book about HTML and CSS for beginners, and need a test subject to make sure the information is understood by beginners. Or perhaps you have a background in accessibility or user experience design and want to share that with others, bringing tech to a greater group of people. You could be a programmer (who is also a woman) who can share your knowledge and experience with someone very new to the industry from a personal perspective.
I'm especially interested in finding mentors with experience in Open Source contributions, as well as front-end and user experience development.
If you've got knowledge and experience and are interested in sharing it, please contact me. I'd love to arrange a time to talk about how we might best collaborate and continue the growth of the tech community through mentorship.