For the first time in eight years, I celebrated my work-aversary in person with a few coworkers. For a distributed company like Automattic, it’s a true reflection of how much I appreciate my coworkers that I’d want to meet up with them to celebrate, despite no need to do so. Each have been at the company longer than me and it felt surreal to gather. I kept having flashes of how they each have shown up in this lengthy eight year journey of mine.
In many ways, I’ve somehow stumbled into a dream role. After two years of being a developer relations wrangler, I switched into a new role as WordPress Product Liaison. As I like to tell folks, my job is to be an accelerant, a doer, and a dot connector across the company and community. I feel like it’s both playing to so many of my natural strengths and challenging me to be better all at once.
It’s strange to be an “elder” in many ways at the company with 92.7% of people starting after me (we can look this stat up internally). I still feel like I’m learning so much each day and have so much more to give in the years to come. It’s also reminded me of the importance of doing what I can to both maintain aspects of the culture and to help others push against it.
To go from feeling like I barely succeeded at being hired to celebrating eight years is humbling. Automattic has given me a life that many loved ones can’t understand — “Wait, you can just work from wherever? Wait, you do what?” It’s also given me a life that allows me to share it with many others. For example, pretty soon I’m headed out on five weeks of travel that will include a funeral, two weddings, and one house/pet sitting stay. All of these are ways in which I have the luxury of showing up for folks and, in between the big events, find ways to see more loved ones that I’ve fairly easily been able to keep up with thanks to the ability to physically go where they are.
As with every year I’m here, it’s the showing up for loved ones that really brings me joy: holding my grandma’s hand in her final moments, celebrating a 30th birthday party, watching one of my best friends compete in American Ninja Warrior, being able to be physically there for a struggling pal, meeting all of my half siblings, meeting another best friend’s kiddo, watching my brother get married, on and on. It’s in these moments that I am nearly speechless with gratitude, knowing how easily it is for me to do these things compared to most.
You would think by now I would take for granted all that working for Automattic has given me but I haven’t. Every day I am reminded of the seemingly archaic ways in which many people work. It’s giving me so much joy that more and more of my friends are experiencing the highs (and lows) of remote work. This time last year, I was hanging in Western NC for nearly 6 months frolicking with one of my best friends. Now, I’m in Seattle settling into a new apartment and trying to build a life of sorts. I can’t wait to see where I am in a year or maybe even eight more years from now.
3 responses to “Automattic: 8 Year Anniversary”
Yay!!! Congratulations 🎉 and here’s to the next Eight years.
I for one am looking forward to reading all about your new adventures and insightful meanderings. Keep sharing and being you!
Thank you so much 😀
A wonderful sharing, it has that uplifting undercurrent I love to read about! Take care of you, my friend.