For more than two years I contemplated thoroughly if writing my entire journey along with my real name was a good idea. It wasn’t because I would fail and others might mock me but because putting your life and struggles online on the modern-day internet is usually not a good idea.
I hid this part of my journey for a reason. Because most people have a narrow understanding of the struggles, sacrifices, and what it takes to become a candidate for the ASCAN program. When I started a few years ago, a few people I shared the idea with laughed at me, some mocked me, and even a few of my mentors tried to refrain me from going through with it. “Why? Why go through everything when you have everything perfectly going on?”
Well, it would be a shame if I didn’t try. We’re all sorts of crazy. A crazy is what a crazy does.
I am well aware of my chances of ever wearing the blue uniform. It would be foolish not to know the reality of doing something without reasoning or contemplating the outcome. But, we all dream, some settle but a few crazy & reckless ones keep pushing towards it even if the odds are not in their favor. In every cycle of astronaut candidate selection, around 12,000 – 18,000 people send in applications. Out of that number, only 8 – 12 people are selected. The odds of getting selected are 0.065%. Yes, it is next to impossible, but it’s not impossible. Let that sink in for a minute. If you really do that math, you have more odds of becoming a millionaire than you have of becoming an astronaut.
Astronauts don’t become astronauts for the money. The pay is thin compared to what a standard engineer might earn in their lifetime, but the work you do is more fulfilling than any paycheck or bonus you will ever receive. Many people have a wrong assumption that astronauts make millions of dollars which is far away from the truth. The salary for a starting GS astronaut is around $60,000 per year. If people were in this for the money, they wouldn’t be going berserk over this goal, or neither would I be dedicating my life towards it.
That said, a lot of things have to go right even before I put in my application for candidacy. A lot of things can go wrong during this journey. Health, eyesight, career progression, new restrictions on candidacy, new rules and regulations, life-changing events, etc. But I have to try. If I fail, at least I won’t have a question of “What If?“. Always forward, never back.
If I ever decided to share how I got here, it is a crazy and absurd story. Because I have a hard time believing it myself. Statistically, I shouldn’t even be where I am today. If you look at the odds of something happening that is not in your control, you are basically depending on the mathematical probability of an outcome of something.
That said, this is my short version: I had a knack for computers or systems in general from a very early age. I wrote my first line of code at the age of 9. I built and fixed computers/websites for a living till 15 and went to school soon after. Graduated at 21. I missed 99.99% of the nitty-gritty and most important parts, but I decided to dedicate this website. The ups, downs, projects, life, people, love, passion, and everything that any human goes through in his life.