Unrestricted Creation

My childhood was a symphony of sandboxes - Rollercoaster Tycoon, Lego Mindstorms, Minecraft - each a new instrument that helped me discover my true purpose.

However, It wasn't a particular treasure that I seeked in these sandboxes. Rather, it was the sandbox itself where I found my purpose.

There's just something ridiculously, stupendously, unbelievably satisfying about building in a sandbox environment. In a sandbox, the only limit is your own imagination.

Nobody's telling you what to build, how to build it. It's yours. And the result, as an extension of this, becomes a small replica of yourself.

I lived my childhood in these sandboxes. I grew up with a paintbrush that could create anything. I inhabited these worlds as a King. As an Architect. As a Merchant. I grew up in my world where no idea was impossible.

Then, I grew up for real.

There comes a moment in life when you realize that the real world is not a sandbox. It's a place of constraints, of scarcity, of bureaucracy. And, it's not the world I spent my childhood preparing for.

That was until I discovered programming.

Being able to program is what connects the limitless possibilities of a sandbox into the real world. Software needs no funding, no manufacturing, no green-lights, no teams. It's a true sandbox. And, this realization gave me purpose.

I remember my first coding class in college. I'd leave the lecture hall grinning from ear to ear. My mind racing. Like I'd just a motivational speech. I had a million thoughts. And why, was this?

It was because with each passing lecture I was getting closer to being able to bring my ideas into the real world. It started small. I would learn simple things like if-statements, or for-loops, or object-oriented design. But, with each new tool the possibilities of what I could build grew exponentially.

Fast-forward, I spent the rest of my time in college building everything I could imagine. I built a matrix multiplication program, a Spotify charts app, an unpublished mobile game, an app for cross country skiers.

And it was amazing. I'd truly found my calling.

But, there was a piece missing.

Building things was only half the fun.