Having a couple weeks off the road has helped me regain some perspective and while I have a moment or two, I thought I would post this for you. Not for future me, my normal audience, but for you, the current you who is my friend and who is reading this now.
Thank you for letting me come into your life and be part of your story, no matter how we know each other and are connected. This has been a crazy year of travel and meeting hundreds, maybe thousands of people. Each and every one is special and unique and has taught me something. From old friends like Jacob who always have a good story to share and a kind word to say to newer friends like Bridget who keep me excited about the possibility of reinventing myself. From Jenny who lives the truth daily of the solid action plan to Brad who’s enthusiasm for the party reinvigorates mine. From my oldest friend in SF, the lovely Eileen who taught me to be fierce and fearless with a mic in front of a crowd of strangers, to the insane chaos magic of Matt who inspires me beyond any words I can formulate. To the hundreds of others that I am not listing, but could write books about, like Drew and our favorite old man bar in the city or late, late night making decisions about jumping fences with Doug.
Thank you to all the cities that have temporarily given me a home while I miss my beloved San Francisco. From the amazing times in Baltimore, where I was startled by how much I liked it, to Orlando which even though I complain about and dump on does at least have Tako Cheena going for it. Every city I have stepped foot in has shown me her best side and her not so lovely side, late at night, when I go where eagles dare and see ‘where the bad girls at’ when I see her hidden face that the tv shows and media do not drag into the light. And every second has been amazing. When people ask if it gets old or boring or exhausting, well the answer is probably yes. Everything has a limit. At least I imagine it does. I am not anywhere close to that point yet. I can’t honestly imagine not being able to do this. Can’t imagine not seeing all the places I have been. I am so looking forward to the next parts of my life where I get to return and see more of these never-finished-being-built towns and roads and hotels and bars and America and the world.
Thank you to every one of you that sang with me, or where there when I sang, or who sang while I was there. And a huge thank you to those that sang in the name of WordCamp Karaoke all over the world. There is nothing else like that feeling of the world melting away and joining together for a few fleeting moments in one place in one voice and just being. I have chased dragons and neon butterflies and seen the ruin it brings and I feel so amazingly lucky that the thing I got the most addicted to was getting people to sign up to sign a song they love. I am not sure I would be here today and I know I would not be nearly as healthy or alive without you all singing together.
Thank you to my employer, Pantheon, whom I seldom mention by name here. It is not because I am ungrateful at all, quite the opposite. I have never ever had a job that transcended ‘a job’ before. Not even anything quite as close. I don’t talk about it because it is obvious and because they have given me the freedom to define my own voice, which I have done in the many posts on my site. I never want to have any dumb thing I randomly type to ever reflect in any but the best way on them. But I have never been more grateful for what I have, ever in my life and owe so much thanks ot them. The days when I am listening to our amazing vinyl collection, of which a good chunk are my personal discs and running between meetings where I get to spread the knowledge and excitement for this rather technical but elegant set of solutions that super geniuses bundled into a platform is unlike anything I can honestly relate here with words. From Johnny Cash to Frank Zappa and from The Magnetic Fields to Chopin and certainly from the Chinese lounge music I can’t read any of the words on the cover all the way to Cock Sparrer’s ‘Shock Troops’, getting to share my love of music has made a very good job an indescribable, does-not-even-feel-real, experience. The days I am here are always tremendous. And the days I travel all the heck over to represent it in person to the community makes me feel as if I am anointed by the temple high priests directly. Blessed does not even begin to cover it.
Thank you to the WordPress community. Without you and democratizing publishing on the web I am not sure where we I would be in relation to you. And specifically the Marketing channel. You gave me a place to focus my passion and enthusiasm. Watching you morph and change over the last year and getting to be there for the rebirth and refocus that we walked away from WCUS with is quite honestly the thing I selfishly hold in my heart as the greatest thing I have been a part of yet. The future is so bright that I don’t know what to even do with that info and am going to be taking a few days off from even contemplating it so I too can refocus and come back ready to contribute even more.
To the road dogs who I get to see and hug so often, I say my deepest thanks. If it were not for you, the loneliness of the road would have swallowed me whole ages ago. Thank you Mike and Devin and Mike and Adam and Josh and Christie and Zac and Matt and Rachel and Nathan and Chris and Andrew and everyone else who knows who they are. I would list you all here, but wow, too many memories to try to condense into one post without just making a laundry list of names.
And specifically thank you to the organizers, volunteers, speakers, sponsors and everyone involved in any way with:
DrupalCamp Northern Lights
Stanford Drupal Camp
WordCamp San Diego
WordCamp For Publishers
WordCamp Los Angeles
Merge Conf (CMSSummit)
This year was amazing. Every little bit of it. From the snowstorms of Iceland to the blazing sun in Phoenix. Every little bit was magic.
I love you all and could not do this alone.
You have made me possible.
Can’t wait until 2018 to see what adventures it brings.