My 2014. There may be many like it, but this one’s mine.

This is going to be frank and open. Probably more so than most people are used to from me. I’m not one to openly share personal things, especially on the Internets, possibly out of fear of it being abused like a weakness or something silly. Perhaps that’s also why I feel a Wall is the best way to describe it. Time to break that shit down, brick by brick.

Personal 2014

2014 has been a year of ups and downs, like many other years. I’ve experienced more of fried America (motherfriggin’ cheese curds), and also experienced the broken America as a short emergency room trip and several other medical mishaps are still haunting our finances. And, related to this, how broken the health insurance system is around here. It was the first year I’ve had my health “covered” since moving here, which entailed a lot of searches for doctors within an arbitrary network of care providers and paying a lot of money for very little.

In regards to health, 2014 has also been the year where I’ve started to pay more attention to what I eat. Carbs, and sugar in particular, have been mostly cut. I did so mainly to support my wife, but at the same time it’ll help me as well. We still have cheat days though, can’t go completely cold turkey with that stuff.

It’s also another year that I’ve not been back home, something my current financial means don’t really allow for while maintaining an already humble-ish lifestyle. It’s my main regret of the past year.

On the upside, this has been a very good year for comic book related media. TV networks seems to be finally catching on to the potential of comic book related shows. And in film, Marvel is keeping its stride with this year’s successful portion of their Phase 2 (Captain America 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy) and DC releasing a number of excellent book to animation films (Justice League: War and Son of Batman) as well as celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary (clearly more important to me than Marvel’s 75th, sorry guys :p).

It was also the year that I got to see Monty Python’s live show, and Video Games Live. Especially the latter was an excellent experience and highly recommended if you’ve any interest in video game music at all.

And finally, this year was also the first year we got to go out of state and go on a road trip to see friends in North Carolina. While the drive itself made me feel bad that I couldn’t help more by driving part of it myself, it is something I’d like to do more often and see more of this vastly diverse country.

Professional 2014

On a professional level, this year saw a promotion of sorts for me. I’m now a developer lead, which means I’ve just about lost my soul to a more managerial position.

In reality, though, this means that I now also get to guide and support a team of awesome dudes and have a bit more influence on the department as a whole.

I’ve also started to make a bit more of an effort to go out to meetups (WordPress Orlando in particular) to, at the very least, show my face in the community. This has also led to attending my first WordCamp, which has been a very interesting experience. A lot of this is really due to Adam Soucie, without whom I probably would not have done any of this and would still be comfortable in my driving license-less shell.

And lastly, this year has also been the year where I’ve started making contributions to WordPress and WordPress related projects. I’ve reported a bug and submitted a patch. The ticket itself is a bit dead in the water, but that’s okay. I’ll need to revisit it for 4.1 and at least make note of whether it’s still an issue or not. Something else I’ve come to enjoy is translating things to Dutch. I feel it’s particularly important, now that I use this language a lot less, to keep in touch with it. I will probably never fully forget how to write or speak Dutch, but I do catch myself forgetting words more and more or combining the Dutch and English words. Like, “nummber”.

Goals for 2015

A post like this isn’t complete without at least a goal or two to work on for the next year. It probably won’t come as a surprise that one or more of these will be related to what’s described above.

On the whole, I’d like to strive to make our financial situation better than what it is now one way or another. We get by as it is, but living paycheck to paycheck is just terribly, and needlessly, stressful. This, as well as keeping up with the diet and finding time for exercise, are probably the top priority for this year.

As a developer I would like to find time to give back to the community more. I have some massive anxiety demons to slay (think Balrog, or Tarrasque, size) before I’m ready to speak in front of an audience, but spending more time fixing bugs or contributing in a more “behind the scenes” fashion should definitely be possible.

But most importantly, stay committed to the wife. She is, ultimately, the reason why I’m here and who I’m doing all of this for. While I’m still getting used to all this married life stuff two years in, I’m trying my best to not let all the other stuff consume it. As such, if push comes to shove, things will change to fit around my life with her and not so much the other way around.