Would you believe that a year and a half ago, today, I don't believe I had even considered actually attending a conference?
Then through a twist in fate, I ended up at Symfony Live 2012 in San Francisco, and something clicked.
In the 6 months that followed, I became co-organizer of the Ann Arbor PHP user group, went job hunting, and accepted a position at Mashery. Exactly 1 year ago yesterday, my wife and I said goodbye to the house we bought to build our family, and my daughter said goodbye to the only home she had ever known. Exactly one year ago today, we arrived in California, in the Bay Area, our lives changing, irrevocably. We knew it would be an adventure, but we didn't know quite what we had in store for us.
Nothing symbolizes that change more, actually, than how we ended tonight. For those of you who don't know, I am traditionally a very, very, very picky eater. Vegetables were the enemy, and trying new things was extremely rare. Through very careful introduction and an enormous amount of patience, my wonderful wife has gotten me to (relatively) vastly expand the range of foods I am willing to eat and try. So how did we celebrate tonight? We walked down the street to the local indian restaurant, where I enjoyed some Chicken Tikka Masala. Ok, actually I enjoyed a lot of it.
I also ended up going to a lot more conferences, speaking at them, even - which unfortunately puts extra stress on my wife, who has consistently been above and beyond far nicer about how that deal works for her than I would be in her shoes. Raising a child with someone is hard enough all on it's own. When one of them is out of it completely, not only does your only backup go away, but the child may get upset as well. I've watched my daughter alone for at most, I believe 4 days straight. My dear wife has had several multi-week stretches, one of which lasted for 6 weeks. I just landed Thursday from 5 days away and I'm headed out for nearly a week and a half on Thursday. I say near enough because I get to see them over-night next Wednesday. Woohoo!
The one constant in all of this is my wonderful wife, backing me up, and constantly performing amazing feats of ex parte parenting. I've heard stories that leave me surprised I even have a daughter still.
One year ago today we leaped, together, into the future. It's amazing how fast the time has gone.