Teaching myself computer programming in three days was probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my entire life. But it was time.
When I turned 18 years old, I figured out what I wanted to do in my life. And I feel so lucky to understand that then because so many of my friends have no idea. I'm 19 now, and I may not have all the answers to life, but I've certainly understood this notion that it's always best to find out who you want to be rather than what you want to be. I think so many people I know get lost in the unpaid internships that they lose sight of their dreams. I never wanted to.
You see, I figured out that what I wanted to do was inspire people and, this past summer, I did just that. After over 100 college professors and computer programmers from around the world told me that I was "too young" and "too removed from reality" to teach myself computer programming in under a year, I just decided to do it on my own. So, I bogged down and taught myself how to code. And after three days later, I created an app.
So, what happened next seemed like that of a miracle; my app was downloaded in over 40 countries in its first week and within a month, it was being represented in over 1000 cities around the world. Who knew that so many people wanted to know what to wear according to the weather? I didn't. It just seemed like a stupid idea that thought of in my dorm room. I never knew that other people would like it.
For a while now, I've been wanting to write articles that have a bit more of conversationalist tone. I'm not much of a blogger, but I think that it's important. I just think in the past we've met tech entrepreneurs, but it wasn't until after that we learned of their stories. Although I may never be of the likes of my tech heroes -- Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates -- I want people to see my growth as a person and my past. This is a journey that I want to take people on.
So far, it's been great -- but particularly the letters. I've received so many of them from you all around the world. Your stories of triumph and bravery and fighting against the body politic just inspires me more and more every day. I must admit that when I initially received the invitation from Arianna Huffington to be a guest blogger for The Huffington Post, I was really afraid of what people would think of me. My dream has always been to tell my own stories of bullying and inspire people and make them feel better. But now that I was being given this international opportunity to tell them through the Mecca of blogging. I was really scared at first.
But what I've learned is that you really just have to be yourself. I think that's the secret to defeating any fear you have. I live in the belief that we were all put on this planet for a reason. And there is always going to be a time when you're afraid to do something because of the mean things that people are going to say. But it's because you're special. Everyone that I've met who's achieved their own dreams were outcasts at one point in their life because everyone around them was just doing the normal thing. But trust me, i's really a wonderful thing that you'll look back on and laugh about after you do achieve your dreams.
So, this is the beginning of something very new for me as I try to write as often as I can. Truthfully, I love writing. Even when I'm coding or hanging with my friends, I get so many ideas for stories that I want to tell you all and it's really cool. So here's to blogging and the wonderfully unexpected occurrences of life.
Tywan Wade is a sophomore at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Read more about him in "Impossible Dreams: The Story of Discovering My Superpowers."