2014 was in many ways one of my more turbulent years. Between losing a job I loved, daring to open myself to love again and being absolutely fucking toasted to well … just about every fucking thing 204 threw my way, well, I’d be lying if I said I thought it was good.
2014 was the year where barricades I had built around myself were torn down. I dared to let others in on a scale that I haven’t done in years. And I was rewarded for it. I’ve been pushed, challenged, cajoled and even bullied into growing. I was forced to take a pretty hard look at who I thought myself to be, and found things were not as good as I thought. And so I grew. I even learned to love myself, not for who I wanted to be, but who I actually am … because that person is pretty goddamn great. The renovation is not done, but I’ve come along way.
The thing about taking chances is that more often than not, it pays off. Greatly. New friendships were forged, new possibilities have presented themselves and the world is truly out there just waiting for us to go do our thing.
And it’s been pretty amazing to see how people around me have had near similar experiences. 2014 just threw so much shit at us. But every single one of us are holding on to dear life, and coming out so much better and stronger for it. How awesome is that?
Here’s to 2015. It’s gonna be a grand adventure. Why don’t you join me?
It’s getting dark and cold now. The wind is biting my cheeks and knuckles, and it digs deep into my core. Winter has always been particularly brutal. I don’t do well with the short dark days and the cold. It feeds every negative emotion that I have, and multiplies them. I’m not sure it’s healthy, but then again … what is?
The dark and cold came suddenly this year, but I believe I think that every year. Suddenly the darkness wraps itself around us and we huddle inside our coats and scarves. Collars are pulled up. Every single person an island that tries to shield itself from the cold.
The christmas lights are coming up, and there’s music in the streets. I don’t listen to it. I shut myself in with the help of Spotify. I put on my armor … an angry look on my face, a cap on my head and the hood pulled up. It carves a path for me through the crowds. No one wants to get on the wrong side of the malignant asshole walking down the street. It’s one benefit of my size and look, I suppose.
This armor has served me well for years. It shuts everything out, and allows me to be alone in a sea of people. I used to think that I didn’t like to be this way, but it’s grown on me. It’s grown into me. It’s become a part of who I am, even as I’ve worked hard to put alot of my past behind me. Some things endure, I guess. It’s all a matter of self-preservation, I think. Some scars run deep, and especially this time of year pokes and pulls at the old wounds.
I’m not entirely sure when it became like this, but one thing is certain. The armor is not ready to be retired. I need it still, and I fear I will for many years to come.
The acceleration pushes me down into the seat and the pressure makes me ear goes pop. The Offspring’s “You’re Gonna Go Along Way, Kid” lead-in reaches it’s crescendo just as the wheels lift off from the ground. My stomach churns a little. This is my fourth flight in 48 hours.
I’m heading home from Sofia as I compose this post. I’ve been to WordCamp Europe, and it’s been a ridiculously awesome experience. The last 36 hours in Sofia have been chock-a-box full of inspiration, learning, laughter and talks from people whose brains are so much larger than mine, it’s almost embarrassing.
I particularly enjoyed both Andrew Nacins talk on “Post-Modern WordPress”, as well as Mark Jaquiths rundown of the next generation hosting stack for WordPress. But talks were as much about inspiration and ideas as they were about technical details, server daemons and code.
Siobhan McKeown probably gave the talk that moved me the most. She dove into philosophies behind the WordPress project, and talked about the thinkers that inspired those ideas. She touched on the pillars of freedom, simplicity and democracy that are the foundation that has made such a difference.
Coming home from spending so much time among ones “own people” and, have no doubt, these were my people. It can be difficult to take it all in. I’m still overwhelmed with the warmth, the openness and the sharing that occurred.
I want more. Now, please.