What I listened to while writing.
Just prior to this, I was scrolling through Automattic‘s Bridge team’s updates (think of our bridge team as you would a formal C level team). I like to end my day in randomness if I can. There’s so much to learn at Automattic and so much information being generated day to day that it’s hard not to want to take in at least some of the flood of information. I open new tabs just for our internal content like most folks do when scrolling through the news – “Oohh – that looks interesting. What is that team up to? Whatever happened with that experiment?”. All of a sudden, I’m left with 30 tabs open 🙂
Even 3 years later, it amazes me how I still come back for more lessons, insights, laughs, etc. The fact that I can read about what our C level team is up to (and message 4 of them just in the last week) is a testament to the kind of company Automattic is and to how comfortable I feel here.
I nearly forgot it was my 3 year anniversary if it wasn’t for a coworker pinging me to say “congrats”. I’ve been so amped about the launch of round two of Mentor Everywhere (a remote mentorship program I started with others at the company) that I had blocked it out of my mind. This is how I know I’m still challenged and happy here – I lose track of time and get into a flow state. The fact that I can work on things so outside of my job description like Mentor Everywhere isn’t lost on me. I have friends who need 5 people to sign off on them getting time off whereas I can start something and run with it with little oversight and complete trust. It’s hard to process sometimes.
To wake up each day and work within the global context that we do is humbling. To interact with people all over the world who use our products and who trust us with their sites is challenging at times as there are people out there whose sites speak out directly against LGBTQ people like me, women like me, Americans like me, mental health sufferers like me, surrogate babies like me… I stay. I show up. I protect both sides. I pause and appreciate those I find who support my existence. There are no such easy answers after all.
Working remotely, traveling, getting to see loved ones — it matters to me more than I can communicate effectively. What keeps me here though is the complexity and responsibility of the work Automattic is doing. Years from now, when researchers (or whatever they will be called then) are wading through petabytes (today I learned) of data trying to understand how we lived our lives in this online space I hope they stumble upon the work Automattic is doing and marvel. I’m sure some of it will feel so very silly (“Can you believe this is how they communicated?! How inefficient!”) but I hope the core values that we work to protect shine through and they get why we worked so hard.
In 7 days, I’ll be surrounded by Automatticians. We’ll gather from our 55+ different countries, 200+ different cities, and 77+ different languages to meet in Whistler, Canada. In a world that seems utterly chaotic, it gives me a sense of peace and hope that 550+ people from so many parts of the world can come together over the same passion and work for a greater cause. It reminds me of why I love events like World Cups (speaking of: I’ve been to two since working for Automattic – Women’s Rugby and Women’s Soccer). It won’t be perfect – people will debate, hard questions will be asked, ideas will be challenged, compromises will be made, fatigue will set in… but we’ll walk away better for it.
Thank you for 3 years, Automattic. I look back quietly smiling on my time here. I’m ready for the hard work the future has in store for us. Can’t stop. Won’t stop.