Saturday, June 20, 2009

Full Circle: Reliving the Journey

I started this blog 2 and a half years ago, thinking I hated all things computers. I had just quit my high tech job in Seattle and had no idea where life would take me. Anywhere but high tech.

It was only about 2 months or so until I started doodling architecture design sketches for foodscout.org, which should have been my first clue that my future would be much more software-oriented than I had thought.

Then I moved on to Asheville, got myself the worst-paying software job I've ever had, and tried to make a go of that for about 6 months before dedicating myself full time to building websites for clients and finishing foodscout. That's been a good amount of fun but one thing that taught me is that I hate being poor.

Wow have I had less money than I've ever had in my life. John and I decided last November that it wasn't worth it and we both set out to find all new soul-sucking software jobs again. I interviewed at many places, hated almost all of them, with a couple of exceptions. But nothing worked out.

In April, we all but gave up on the job search entirely and decided to build something. We sat down for a "brainstorming meeting" determined to come up with an idea that might bring in some money. The first thing John suggested was "what about templated, commoditized websites for Republican organizations so that we can sell them kick-ass websites that are really inexpensive?" And, meeting adjourned. I immediately got to work and 2 months later, just a week before I started my new job, we launched GOP Web Connect.

And that brings us to this week, when I started working at the absolute best possible job in all of Asheville. I'm a software developer at the National Climatic Data Center (contractor), a place where everyone runs to the windows when a big storm rolls through town and everyone you meet tells you "This is just a wonderful place to work."

I've spent the last 3 days shopping for all the things I have needed but haven't been able to afford since I moved to Asheville in 2007. Like a ladder to clean out the gutters. And a real living room chair to replace the lawn chair with the Mexican blanket draped over it that's sitting there now.

I'm not complaining though. The last 2 and a half years of total uncertainty have been a blessing. I was forced to learn to adapt and accept not knowing what comes next. Embrace it even. I also learned to enjoy building software for its own sake, not because some corporate hierarchy tells me to. And I had time to focus on the things that really matter - community, friendship, love, health, art.

I still have all those things, all those lessons learned. But now, on top of that, I have lots and lots of money too!!! Well, I'm not rich or anything, but it's all relative. Compared to what I've had, I may as well be a millionaire.

Life is good. I have no complaints whatsoever.

4 comments:

Brandon said...

I've enjoyed following along on the journey, and I hope to hear more.

Raven said...

Yippee! Glad to hear that the job is still good. Money is wonderful fun to have... even in modest amounts... as I recall.

I Love You,
Aunt Kathie

indavao said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
allenEv said...

I stumbled across your blog - the Brazil Nut story snagged my google search - and the tagline of the blog rang a bell. You see, my soul-sucking software job gave me the copper boot in April. After 24 years of service I got 3mos severance and unemployment insurance. Uninspired by the thought of working for someone, I am now trading equities and currencies. I am sorry to hear that you have had to return to the vacuum - hope that is not in my future.