The Only Way Out is Through

Written by Joe Ferguson / Original link on Jan. 14, 2018

On my deathbed I will pray
To the gods and the angels
Like a pagan to anyone
Who will take me to heaven
To a place I recall
I was there so long ago
The sky was bruised
The wine was bled
And there you led me on

2017 was a pretty rough year for me and I'm not sad to see it go.

Professionally I was laid off from a job I really loved, from a team that was one of the best I've been able to work with and learn from. The company took care of me and I wasn't out of work long. I took a new job working on another custom content management systems. The network of friends and contacts I've been able to build up over the years served me well. I was technically unemployed for about 30 days. I wish I could say I was "funemployed" but there was never anything fun about it. I was terrified and worried all the time. I landed on my feet and just over six month since i joined by current team I am now the team manager. I'm excited to be able to take a team to the next level. I've spent my career mentoring and leveling up other developers and teams.

Personally 2017 was the worst year because we lost my mother in law and my grandmother. My grandmother had an amazing and long life. She did well for a farm girl from Mississippi. My mother in law was not so lucky. What she missed in long life she made up for with incredible family and friends. I was one of many strays she adopted and to say that I won the mother in law lottery is the biggest understatement in the world. She's deeply missed by many.

I'm lucky to have a strong support system of family and friends that really made 2017 a bit easier. Lose your job? "No biggie here's five leads on places that would love to talk to you". Lose a family member? "we're here for you, whatever you need". I took December 2017 "off", by which I mean outside of my day job, one or two Open Source obligations, and one or two things here or there i just chilled out. A lot of responsibility for various organizations that I've helped run have fallen on me and I needed a reprieve to recharge for 2018. I spent a lot of downtime with family and friends and intentionally threw a lot of hours into video games and reflection. I feel like I've come out the other side with a strong will and plenty of energy. I'm taking the lead on many OSMI tasks, I'm the President of MidsouthMakers this year, I'm running my day job team now, things are going well. Knock on wood this isn't one of those times where life throws a mountain on top of you. All of this to say I'm doing okay. I've taken care of myself and I feel good. I've got some pretty neat prospects for speaking opportunities in 2018 and I'm excited about where my day job team will be later in the year.

By good rights I ought not to have so much
Put on me, but there seems no other way.
Len says one steady pull more ought to do it.
He says the best way out is always through.
And I agree to that, or in so far
As that I can see no way out but through—
Leastways for me—and then they’ll be convinced.

"A Servant of Servants" -- Robert Frost

Happy New Year, here's to a better 2018.

ericlbarnes joeferguson

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