The server this website is hosted has been a labor of love. Think I'm kidding? Read my lips: this server was an absolute pleasure to work on, everything went so smoothly that it could be a case study in "it just works."
OK, that's a complete lie, this server is my constant recurring nightmare, though at the moment I seem to be between dreams. It started with a simple goal: buy some server space and completely manage top-to-bottom the entire thing. I wanted a place to host all my projects, my websites, and a place to experiment with all the things rattling around in my head.
At first, the architect (me) was hardly up to the construction. What is SSH? Do I really need to set up a firewall? (Yes.) For the 30th time, WHERE IS THE /VAR/ FOLDER? No one on my one-person team knew, and finger-pointing for blame was rampant.
Through willingness to blindly flail through countless on-line guides (might I add that the Digital Ocean guides are a life saver), I started to stumble in the right direction. I can still feel the thrill of pressing the enter key on my first SUDO command (Super User Do, for those not familiar), knowing my new Super User best friend would do my bidding no matter what, even if that meant bringing about his own death in an arterial spray of 0's and 1's.
"His hand was forced," the digital detectives would say as they as they picked through the charred wreckage of my server, "he simply had no choice."
Exhilarating, to say the least.
Don't take that as just some pretty prose either, I absolutely did wipe my server multiple times when my hubris caught up to me. Like some newly on-the-job god, quietly sweeping their failed universes under the rug, I ran
delete server multiple times . While I'm still writing The Rise and Fall of Craig's Servers 1-3 (real page-turners by the way), this site and everything else is currently proudly resides on server iteration #4.
In summary, I've had lots of failure, but you know what? That's where the growth comes in. As I continue through all this, two quotes along the same vein keep popping into my mind. The first is from a cartoon in which a characters states "Dude! Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something." The second, said a bit more elegantly, is Ira Glass' "Taste Gap," which says that although you have good taste, although you know what looks good and what looks like crap, your own work for the first few years in ANY creative endeavor will fall short of your expectations. You simply don't have the experience nor the ability to execute at the level you classify as "good."
And that's why it's so important to persist on. Each time you fail you cross off a previously untaken road from your map. The map might end up with hundreds of failed routes, but each failure has the opportunity to teach you something important. Standing on the shoulders of giants is great, but the having the knowledge of how to fall (and learned at a much lower height) can't be discounted.
One day, I promise, you'll be looking down at your metaphorical roadmap - battered and beaten and marked to hell with wrong turns - and you will set out one more time. This time all your lessons learned will guide you right. Old pitfalls will be breazily sidestepped and before you know it you will look up and exclaim "huh, I think I finally made it."