28 March 2007

Several anniversaries for me, recently. Last weekend was my college reunion; 30 terms since I matriculated (ie: went to university) means it’s time to get back together with my contemporaries. In real money, that’s three and a half years since graduation; not a vast amount of time for significant change, but still enough that our vectors have already begun to diverge more significantly.

A handful of marriages, at least two babies; quite a few (proper) masters’ degrees, some now on the way to PhDs; quite a few trainee lawyers. A smattering of medics, one policeman. Many people beginning to look to leave their first jobs. What you’d expect from 25-year-olds, I guess.

Most of us were apprehensive before it; it’s easy going back to see the friends you’ve stayed in touch with, but what of the people you barely knew? What of the relationships that were strained to begin with? They turned out not to be a problem, because it’s hard to remember that everybody’s grown up that little bit more since we left. Most of us have been away from there longer than we studied there. It makes a difference; it was an excellent night if only because of how calm it felt – people that, whatever their difference, were comfortable in each other’s company.

Our contrails may be scattered, but our origins are still the same; we settled back into old jokes, old routines, the old bar. And it’s a useful reminder of the things that we all share in common, not just that place, and the many different paths we could have all gone down. Several people asked about how the whole journalism thing was going, and I felt a bit sad to explain that I wasn’t really a journalist – I’d just worked within journalism and publishing, and from time to time had written a bit on the side. At the same time, it was a reminder that I really enjoy the software/design/web/media thing I do, but one that made me consider what would have happened if I’d pursued that more vigorously.

An excellent day, really, and a better night; it continued long into British Summer Time over Polish lager, bourbon and port. My brain bore the brunt of that assault.

It feels like a tiny milestone. Perhaps because it was the first thing this year I couldn’t really see beyond. But it’s in the past, now. 2007 has been exhausting, so far; busier at work, busier outside of work, feeling I’m falling behind in personal projects but having lots of fun nonetheless. The next goal is to try and bring some of those ideas to fruition. And to answer the eternal question: where next? I’m beginning to feel like I’m diverging too far from some critical path, but hey, maybe I misread the path to begin with.

12 months in this job, too. This year I’ve really begun to feel a bit more settled in it. It took me a long while to settle into the whole “corporate” atmosphere, and I don’t think I ever really will, but I’m generally left to get on with things so that’s good. I still wish the making process wasn’t so fragmented, though. I’m glad I made the move, though; it was the right time, and I’ve learned a great amount so far. I’m hoping that learning will continue.

12 months since last year’s ETech, where I gave a talk – my first real “speaking in public” as a professional (if that’s the right word – I’m still not sure). That was a scary and exhilarating time, but again, great fun: I learned a lot and made new friends, and that’s always worthwhile. It would have been good to go this year, but it’s no great loss. I’m going to be at Reboot again this year – at least in attendance – and am already looking forward to that. I’m a little concerned I’ve coasted a bit in 2007, and there’s nothing like Reboot to force you to raise your game.

Oh, and, finally: I started blogging a bit over six years ago. It seems like an age; it was, I guess. I still haven’t imported that content, like I promise so long ago. I probably should – but it’ll be heavily edited of teenage mush. I really just want to prove it was actually there.

Six years of this internets game, and look where it got me. I’m rather glad I ended up here.