10 years ago I was living in Kansas City, Missouri working for B&R Business Solutions as a SharePoint Consultant. I had no idea who I was or what I was doing in this car heading to Virginia Beach, Virginia. I didn’t think I was worth listening to at the time. Four of us were sitting in the car heading from Raleigh, North Carolina. We made it in and dropped off our stuff at the hotel, then we proceeded to head to one of my first speaker dinners at a pizza place. I was wearing a backwards baseball cap. I was nervous, because I was 26 years old and I was going to meet some of the people from twitter and blog posts that I idolized. This guy, Joel Oleson, sat down next to me and I instantly became nervous. That was the start of my life in the public eye. From that day on I have felt like a huge imposter.
Imposter syndrome is one of the worst things in the world, because it creeps up when you are having a rough time and jumps out to engulf you in a world of self loathing and hatred. Every day I struggle with imposter syndrome. The past few years, since 2014, when I woke up with severe back pain, have been my worst imposter syndrome years. I have struggled with not being able to function due to severe pain. I have gone through a microdiscectomy and gaining at least 20-30 pounds of weight. I started working with a new technology, Azure, which has a million different choose your own adventure instances. I just found out I have another chronic illness in the past few months. I have also found out that nothing is clear cut or straight forward in life.
From all these different issues, including getting laid off twice, I rose like a phoenix from the ashes. Right now I find that I am having a hard time, because I am trying to pick the right path in my own choose your own adventure game. I’m not sure if going towards data is the right way or data science or staying a cloud generalist or just scrapping all these items and becoming a professional karaoke artist is the best decision. What I have realized in the past few years is that I want to mentor people and lead a team somewhere. I want to have kids and get married. I want to buy a house. I want to be the adult that the 26 year old me in the baseball cap would admire. I hope that in another 10 years I write another blog post and the 46 year old version of me is proud of the 36 year old version of me. I know that the 26 year old version of me has become an amazing 36 year old version of me. Here is to 2019 being the year of my greatest inspiration. Keep moving forward. To the undiscovered country and beyond!