If you believe it, you will become it

I recently received a tweet asking me for advice; 

@On2Mars_Kayla any advice for someone looking into Astrophysics but doesn't know if they can hack it?

As soon as I saw this question I knew I needed to respond properly and that it would take more than 140 characters. So here we are. 

First question I would have for this young someone is this. Why do you want to go into astrophysics? Is it something that you think would be cool? Or do you have a burning passion and desire to learn all about the night sky?

If you think it might be a fun job and do not have a lot of passion, astrophysics will be hard to break into and to create a successful career. The subject matter is tough, the class load at college will be tough, and it might not be best if you are not devoted to it. 

However; if you want it. If this is your dream and your passion, then you will be amazing! Will it be easy? Absolutely not. Will you fail a class or a test at some point? I would count on it. But so what? All you have to do is try again and again until you make it. 

No matter what subject it is or job that you want. If you have the passion for it and are willing to fight for it and work for it. YOU WILL MAKE IT. No one can tell you that you can't do it. The only person in the world that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is yourself, 

So if you want to go into astrophysics, then by all means, go for it! Go for it with determination, passion, and hard work and you will THRIVE.

I failed classes. I failed tests. Sometimes I felt like I had to spend 10 more hours on classwork than my classmates did. I paid for a lot of tutors and went to a lot of open office hours to get extra help from my professors. I never stopped. I never gave up. And I never stopped believing in my dreams and in my heart. Many times I could have and many times I had "professionals" or professors tell me I should consider other job opportunities. I was told I would never hack it by many people over the years. I chose not to listen to them. I had a dream and I wanted it more than anything else. I kept trying and working hard. Now look at that, I made it. I am working the dream job I set out to work MANY years ago.

Yes it is true that many people I work with got in a lot faster than I did. So what? Now that we are at the same spot, we are on the same playing field.

 No matter what you want to be, you can be it, if you believe in yourself from the start and if you never give up on yourself. Achieving your dreams is an amazing feeling that I want everyone to experience. Find what makes your heart beat. Find your passion and fight for it no matter what gets thrown in your way.   It starts and stops within you. Only you can decide what your heart wants and if you are willing to fight for it. 

Follow your dreams, nerds. <3



I met my Hero!

I met my hero recently.  It was the most amazing thing. Sure I have met Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway) on several occasions, but this goes above and beyond an actor and their fictional character. This goes into history. 

For years I have read every book I could find on the early days of Mission Control. I have studied the days where every day was a new feat and every mission was a first time. I have grown to idolize the men in the first Mission Control rooms, the men that set man on the moon for the first that, that brought back Apollo 13, and faced the burden of loss with Apollo 1. These men have become names of heroes and legends to me as I grew up wanting to do what they did. men like Chris Kraft who envisioned the idea, John Aaron who single handedly saved Apollo 12 with one command - "Set SCE to AUX" and to Gene Kranz, the vest wearing white flight that set Apollo 11 on the moon and brought Apollo 13 home. I work and walk in their footsteps every day at work and that thrills me. I am even more thrilled that now I have the chance to meet some of these living legends, a few still work here, such as Herb Baker a man famous for his involvement with the early days of the shuttle. 

I have dreamed of meeting Gene Kranz for a very long time. I have stated many times that part of my goal is that I want to be to the Mars program what Gene Kranz was to Apollo. So when I suddenly had an opportunity to spend some time with Flight Director Kranz, I was beyond the moon's orbit. I only spent 20 mins with him. But in that time he regaled me with stories, showed me some amazing space memorabilia, and spoke nothing but encouragement and inspiration to me. It was a truly magical moment in life. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to meet my #1 mission control Idol. Mr. Gene Kranz. 

I am now in debt to the friend and mentor here in Houston that was able to make this moment happen. Thank you Jeff.