Holy smokes, 2014 was the biggest year of my life thus far! When I try to convey the magnitude of this year to my friends and family in everyday conversation, my emotions win out, and I trail off. So why not put all of the events in a nice easy-to-consume list, in chronological order for those of you who have not yet broken the barriers of time.
I marvel at how much Megan and I compacted into this year. I often complain that I don’t have enough time. After living through 2014, I realize that I should stop complaining, that my lifestyle is not so delicate, that there is always a way to squeeze in more life, that my body can take it.
Commence the time lapse:
March 8th: My beloved cousin Johnny dies. He meant so much to so many. I’m still denying that he’s gone as I write this, and I will be feeling the reverberations of his death for years to come, if not the rest of my life. I wrote a letter to his daughter to help me cope.
March 30th: We learn that Megan’s dad, whom I refer to as Papa John, has cancer in his urinary bladder. We visit him, and the prognosis is bittersweet: It is likely curable, and the treatments aren’t as harsh as chemotherapy, but there’s a considerable chance he could loose his bladder resulting in a large drop in the quality of life. We’ll wait and see…
April 6th: The newly assembled BruteProtect team has its first official meet-up in Albuquerque, NM. My employer, The Hotchkiss Consulting Group, switches from being a web design agency to a start-up overnight! Sam Hotchkiss put together an awesome team who has since become my second family. Our aim at this point is to create a robust WordPress plugin that allows folks to secure their websites, as well as manage multiple WordPress websites from one dashboard. We work hard and play hard for seven days in beautiful Albuquerque, sweating green chile from every pore, and battling gnarly server scaling problems. It was an amazing bonding experience, and if you want to know understand it better, watch Silicon Valley on HBO – it was basically written about us.
Late April: After thousands of hours of work, we launch My BruteProtect, a premium version of our plugin. We will spend many more hours in the coming months adding features, fixing bugs, and providing customer support.
May 5: Megan and I take our belated honeymoon to Edinburgh and London. We get some much needed relaxation, and fall in love with both cities immediately, as well as with each other all over again. The trip includes haggis, hiking, and whisky in Scotland, and lots of great theatre in London.
Summer: Megan performs in 4 plays in the exciting PortFringe Theatre Festival. This is followed by a warm performance in The Selfish Shellfish at Deertrees Theatre. Her original play, Open Casket, gets produced at the Footlights Theatre.
August: This is the month of WordCamps. I travel to WordCamp New York with Sam Hotchkiss and Derek Smart, and my dream of one day opening my Rocco’s Tacos restaurant is shattered. There was a Rocco’s Tacos right next to our hotel, and they’re a chain, and they weren’t open so I couldn’t even try a taco and tell them how mediocre they were! The next week, the BruteProtect crew assembles for the first ever WordCamp Maine, an event organized largely by our own Stephen Quirk. The next week, most of the team heads to WordCamp Boston.
August 28th: BruteProtect is acquired by Automattic. Our goal was always acquisition, but none of us ever dreamed it would happen so quickly. We joined the company just in time to fly out to the annual Grand Meet-up, held this year in Park City, Utah.
September 27: I speak at my first WordCamp. I talk about using a MVC mindset when developing WordPress plugins.
October: Megan and I help out our friend Cory King by performing in his yearly Haunted Hayride in Skowhegan Maine. I think our costumes are effectively creepy, yes?
November 6: I returned to the stage after a 7 year hiatus. I play the part of the Earl of Kent in my wife’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear at the Footlights Theatre. It was my first time locking wits with The Bard, and it was very challenging. I was still refining my performance with each night’s show, and by closing night, I nailed it! I also designed the blood effects. So much blood.
November 13: I give a lecture at St. Joeseph’s College in Windham, ME talking about what is like to persue a career on the internet. Thanks to my pal professor Chris Sullivan for inviting me.
The Holidays: Papa John’s cancer goes into remission! We spend a lovely, relaxing Thanksgiving and Christmas with him.
Great post Rocco. It was indeed a hell of a year! I too get mushy when talking about the progress we’ve made as a team and the bond we’ve all built as a second family. <3