Twenty Eighteen Part 2: Relationships

I kicked off 2018 in Asheville with my current partner who I’ve been lucky enough to somehow keep around for nearly a second full year. On January 1, we were about a month returned from our first international trip together, and we were already planning the next adventure six months out. We bicker and pick at each other constantly, but we rarely truly fight. She is my polar opposite in so many ways, but we compliment one another well and she certainly makes me a better person. Hands down, having her in my life was the best opportunity I’ve had all year, and living with her has been my best decision.

Romantic relationships aside, I also started to prioritize my friendships more in 2018. I’ve lived in Tennessee for nearly five years, and I have real close friends here now. Last year I had the opportunity to travel with a few and deeply connect with a few in ways that I hadn’t previously. I also said no a lot more and spent a lot less time with other folks who I didn’t connect with in the same way. I worried a lot less about missing out, and I enjoyed my days more as a result.

Twenty Eighteen Part 1: A Preface

As is true for many of us, a new year is a great time for me to reflect and consider the events that unfolded in proximity to my life and the decisions I made in response to them. Framing my reflection in this manner is useful as well; after all, many of the things we encounter daily are things over which we have no control. I think it’s important to remember that as we evaluate what has passed and what we hope to build on in the year ahead. Thus begins a series of posts where I do that for myself.

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Feedback and Support

I had the opportunity to receive feedback from one of my team leads yesterday. It was insightful and helpful as it usually is when I get good, thoughtful feedback (something that is rarely offered unless explicitly requested, it seems). During this discussion he and I discussed my status as a contractor and some hypothetical scenarios under which I might consider full-time employment with the company. I won’t divulge details of the conversation, but it was a good question that made me think about what it would take to draw me back into a 9-5 role.

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Consider the rest

One must never forget when misfortunes come that it is quite possible they are saving one from something much worse; or that when you make some great mistake, it may very easily serve you better than the best-advised decision. Life is a whole, and luck is a whole, and no part of them can be separated from the rest.

Winston Churchill

Life is not binary. It’s best to remember this when things don’t go as we would have hoped. There are far more than two possible outcomes to any given situation, not simple a good outcome and a bad outcome. So while in our minds it may feel like we are experiencing a bad outcome, consider some of the far worse outcomes that didn’t happen and then count your blessings. This is even more important for those of us with considerable privilege in this life, and it can help us build empathy with others.

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Speaking publicly

As I start to dip my toes into the water of public speaking, I can’t help but smile when I consider my experience thus far. It’s something I haven’t done much of in years, but once upon a time I thought I was actually pretty good at it.

The year was 2001. I was 15-years-old and had recently been elected as Senior Patrol Leader of my Boy Scout troop.

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What is it that motivates a person to get up day in and day out, to put in the time and energy it takes to create a life worth living? All of us are unique in many ways. Some would answer the question by pointing to their family. Others might wake up in the morning motivated by a sense of civic duty. Many of us think of this question through the lens of our careers. Yet what all of these distinctions have in common, if we are to succeed in our journeys, is a vision.

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A love letter to WordPress

I make no bones about the fact that I develop websites in WordPress, and I do so with no shame. Even typing that seems silly, but as I start following other developers more and more online it’s becoming very apparent that there is an elitist stigma around the platform.

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