Open up your window just in case

For the first time in seven months, I’m actually home for two months straight.

A lot of things changed this year, so I have been both occupied and absent, and that includes making zero updates about stuff. Not all, but a huge part of the changes have been work-related.

I switched to a full-time job. After four years of contract work on some excellent and diverse digital projects, I joined Automattic, makers of WordPress.com, the Jetpack plugin, the Akismet spam filtering plugin, and many other things. I wondered if this would be too weird a shift for me from client, creative, and building work so I gave it a long look and some extensive thinking, which in the end only made me more excited to apply.

Now that I’ve joined, it’s bigger, more challenging and excellent even than it seemed. I get to work when and where I want, but still have all-day constant contact with my (supportive, entertaining) brilliant coworkers. I get to work on projects and make contributions that affect tens of millions of internet users. I get to solve puzzles, and the puzzles always change. I also get to help individual people one-on-one, which is immensely satisfying because you feel like they walk away with more confidence in their own publishing skills, and that is a good thing for the world.

It has been sort of all-consuming. The interview and trial process was long (10 weeks) and intense. Switching to full-time has involved the searching, sorting, and mentally cataloguing of huge, ever-changing, and sometimes fragmented volumes of information while you do your daily work. That is the opposite of a complaint. I love it. And like everyone else here, I was handed the reins to my own training and growth. I love that too.

And I’ve been actually physically away. The company is distributed, so employees work from wherever they want. We meet up throughout the year to work a week at a time face-to-face on projects and get to know each other in person. It is in actual for-real-life fact part of my job to go sightseeing in amazing places with my (brilliant, entertaining) coworkers. Since March alone, I’ve been to Charleston, Cardiff, and Glasgow. And when I wanted to live most of June in New Orleans again this year, I just packed my laptop. I’ve got two more extenda-trips planned for the fall.

My cats might just assassinate me next time I return but the options this presents for designing your own life is amazing.

So it’s been big, these changes (among others), but I’m starting to settle into new habits, new routines. I’m still here, I swear! And I’m poking my head back into regular life bit by bit so hopefully I will see you sooner or more often rather than later.

(Caerphilly castle photo thanks go to the excellent Jen Hooks)

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