Off the Top of the Mind
Fact: there are 250,000 friends of Laphroaig, which is my favorite scotch (and pronounced "la-frayg"). That's a good benchmark for building a list, eh?
I'm thinkin' more and more about the kind of life I want to build. It's clear that I have marketable skills, but how best to configure them? How best to allocate my energy? I have the enormous privilege at this point not to worry particularly about I will survive, the luxury of first-world problems. I also have a pretty good social network for professional/career purposes. People tend to like me (because, hey, I'm likable), and I have enough of a sense for folks that I think I do a good job of hanging on to the good connections. I'm also enencumbered by any serious legal, financial, or personal constraints. I could literally go anywhere to do anything, as long as I really thought it was worth it.
I'm blessed in many ways, yes, we all know. But what's the boy making of the whole thing? What's he got going?
Well, that's a bit more unclear. I'm involved in the Drupal snowball, which is growing pretty rapidly and career-wise seems to be a good place to be for the forseeable future. It's in a good position to get more popular and even more in demand as the number of people online continues to grow, so long-run that's cool.
However, my position there is ticklish. I've yet to attempt my own initiative, and this begs the question.
It occurs to me that this Drupal Camp thing might be an interesting evolution of what I've been doing. I certainly enjoyed the camp in SF. I think Jeff (who points us to google earth for mac) did a fantastic job running the show there, and I'm excited to collaborate with Aaron and try our own version come May. It makes me wonder if I couldn't parlay the whole training bit into the baseline for a new kind of life/work configuration.
I spend a good portion of my energy now working with people in various capacities which could be construed as "training." With Trellon, I work with the other developers as well as clients in a number of ways that span direct training/education to collaborative investigation/prolem-solving. This is the part of the job I enjoy the most.
I also to do a fair amount of management, sales-support, client-relations and interpersonal maneuvering. This is work I'm somewhat less enthused about pursuing professionally, largely because a lot of it is bullshit.
That's not to say that the art of interpersonal communication isn't an important part of any pursuit (it is), or that all the conference-calls I take part in are pointless (they aren't). Just to say that I feel like in a lot of cases it could be better, and specifically some of the time I feel that I could do better, and that I don't want to professionally specialize in this kind of thing, in being good in a meeting. I think the important stuff happens outside of meetings.
Indeed, I'm enthusiastic about the business end of things. I think making the market work for you is fucking important, and a worthy pursuit. That side plays in as well as my techical skills and desires when thinking about how I want to handle the qustion of work.
Finally, I have my creative nature to satisfy. If I'm passionate about a project this can really kick in and get going, but that kind of connection tends to happen less often when projects are encountered via a full-time-job. And when one has a full-time-job, it's difficult to reserve significant extracarricular energies to take on meaningful (e.g. passion-worthy) projects. It isn't exactly an original complaint, but it's true.
On the creative side, there are prospects for another serious run at a writing project, maybe starting this summer. At the very least, there's the self-imposed goal of new web-publishing and media experiments, part of the notion of a reconfigured daily schedule for the season. These are things I look forward to, things I intend to honor.
I also look forward to scrambling my social life a little bit. While I have no real complaints here, I do feel a little stagnant. It's my own damn fault, but I've become a little bit of a homebody since returning to Brooklyn. Partly this was by design, but partly it's my own lack of initiative and drive. I don't really expect this Summer to be a social rollercoaster (I'll be living out in the hills for pete's sake), but I am welcoming the shakeup in routines and in immediate company.
One of the big unanswered questions for me when contemplating life/career/etc is that of community. One of the things that's become clear to me is that I thive within and long for a strong community. I like living with my social network. I like feeling connected.
This is one of the reasons I default to New York as a home. My social network is still stronger here than anywhere else, but even beyond that there's the sense of connection here. It's not as strong as it used to be, but there's still that general urban sense of shared humanity. There's also a vibe to a lot of this city, and to a lot of the people who migrate here (it's a country within a country, you know), that I dig.
Hell, New York City is the only place where I seem to understand women. That's got to count for something. But still, I'm thinking more and more about alternatives.
We all know I'm not going to be a rambler forever. Figuring out where and how I want to settle down is a natural thing to do. It seems to me that trying to guide the crazy metior that is my life isn't all that bad a thing to think about. It's important (at least to me) to be conscious on this level.