Couple of days ago I was sitting in front of my laptop and bitching about another obstacle I encountered while coding. I had been warned not to get too stressed incase I’d get ill again. This time I need to really hear it as it actually happened few weeks before where I almost passed out at work during standup. A week after this incident I got hideous migraine that ruined very nice Sunday afternoon. So now I know – I’m exhausted and cannot push myself too hard. To be fair – events I’m describing were real wakeup calls. I’ve just realized how tough this year was for me.
When I was talking about that to one of my friends, he surprised me with the question, if me being tired was even justified. “Have you done anything except moving to London?” he asked. “Hell yeah” was my response, I have a whole list. The end of year is a nice summary point before the beginning of the next year begins – time for promises. So let’s go with this tradition and summarize my year here.
At the end of 2013 I had only one serious New Year’s resolution – I wanted to speak more often at IT conferences. The rest was pretty standard and a bit unspecified, like exercise more, find a passion, finally do something with my life, etc. Even though the first one wasn’t exactly S.M.A.R.T. in terms of planning, I really took it under consideration and worked hard to make it happen.
It worked out pretty well. For the first part of 2014, I had 15 talks in my account. They took place mostly in Poland, which changed after DevSum and me moving to London. Now I can brag as also being a DDD East Anglia, BuildStuff and NDC London speaker.
Less stressful and because of that sometimes more pleasant, appeared to be events when I didn’t give a talk. I was travelling a lot. I was never good at getting to know new people, networking or socializing. Conferences were great way to gain those skills. But it required a lot of effort.
I started my blog at the end of 2013. It might not seem as a big accomplishment, especially when you look at frequency of my entries from last half a year, but the fact that it happened and that I managed some kind of a regularity and attention, was a big deal for me. At some point I pushed myself even harder and switched to English as a language I use. The response has been great. My last posts have been pretty well received and, from what I can see in Google analytics, fairly popular.
I quit my job & found a new one
I already wrote about me quitting my job. It was a part of me finally making something with my life resolution. Still, this was the biggest decision I’ve made this year. Just to mention – I had no further prospects yet when I chose to make this step, so one can say it was brave, others that it was a bit silly. I can assure you it was first of all very stressful. Luckily everything ended up well.
With the prospective of running out of money approaching it appeared that I needed to find employment. Having in-mind my earlier decision about moving out of Poland, I launched all my international connections. A couple of European cities were under my consideration, but I mainly focused on Stockholm and London. I went through several recruitment processes in a very short amount of time. Giving the fact that I needed to find something within a month or so, the whole process put a lot tension on me. But it turned out to be also very satisfying – I passed almost every recruitment process so at the end of the day I could pick and choose.
Changing a place to live is rarely easy. Needless to say how significant this decision was for me after 14 years of living in Krakow, I didn’t expect that wrapping up your whole life could be so intense. Especially that I had less than a month to complete it. Packing my things and finding tenants for my apartment was just a beginning. It turned out that giving up tons of shoes, clothes and my beloved books can be a very emotional experience. Not to mention painful experience from carrying heavy boxes.
Finally I had to found my way in London. Job-hunting was the first step. Then came finding an apartment, settling bank account and applying for insurance number. To really settle in I need more down to earth arrangements like finding grocery and pharmacy stores, good lunch places or shopping centers. I totally forgot how to start your life again, I’m still in a process but it’s been simply great so far.
Passion means hard work
A part of doing something with my life resolution referred to my professional carrier and reflected itself in me finally finding something that I like to work on. Even more I’ve found a task I can’t wait to do when I’m back home. I started my own project, which is going to be launched soon, on a topic that I’m going to pursue as a part of my next year plan and that’s only the beginning. As a result of this search, I keep feeling hungry for new challenges. Although it’s quite energy and time consuming, this is how passion reveals itself in my case.
A bit personal…
Last but not least – I finally fell in love! And… I’m in a relationship. I knew it will be a hard work, but I didn’t expect the bright side of it could be so astonishingly wonderful. I finally got what other people have in mind when they chose to spend time with their loved ones. I finally understood what it means when people say that everything is better with that right person. I’m very happy, more than I thought I could be…. Let’s just leave it like that for now 🙂
I don’t know if this list is impressive for anybody but me. Most likely for many of you, this is what a standard year looks like. But from my perspective tons of stuff has occurred. Maybe for the first time in my life I feel that I worked hard and achieved a lot. Even if those things weren’t necessary planned according to the resolutions and happened by chance, they gave me the sense of accomplishment. The result of me being so tired just shows how much work and motivation it required. It was a tough year, but incredibly amazing.
Who knows what I’ll figure out for 2015? What will you?