On a personal level 2012 has definitely been the hardest year in a while…

The scary bits

The scariest thing (it would appear to be) is that I have left a permanent job and went Freelance. When I did it I was not scared. The work has come in regularly and I have not been without work for longer than a week. Except now. And for the first time I am scared I will not find something.
I should definitely write a separate post on encouraging people on starting contracting in Web Development, but I am not sure some employers would appreciate me pushing some permanent employees to do the big jump…
Anyway it was the best decision I’ve made in ages. I am free, I get to meet lots of people and work on new stuff on every project.
The downside? You’re on your own. If you are stuck with a bug or a problem, there is no team mate or experienced boss you can ask help. Luckily in the era of the social media, I have been able to Tweet for Help and some vey nice people have looked into my troubles and offered me a hand.

Thank you ūüôā

I also did lots of other scary things…

I’ve gone skiing for the first time and challenged my fear of heights and of skiing.

I’ve started to learn how to drive and discovered how hard the practical exam is. Or, excuse me for saying this, how much a big business it is – I am now on my third attempt, feeling very comfortable and able while driving, but still failing the test on very small things – OK I could do with improving my behaviour on roundabouts, so hopefully I will past next time…

I have had my first minor operation, under sedation, of course. I am so scared of any medical operation. When I ask somebody “how painful is that operation?” everybody seems to say “it’s the pain afterwards the worse part” and I’m like “I don’t care how much painful it is afterwards, I am scared about the pain I will have DURING the operation.
So after begging my dentist to get a tricky wisdom tooth out under sedation, I had the best experience of my life (except for the students repeatedly failing at performing a smooth intravenous injection):¬†literally, as soon as the drip¬†got into my body I was completely out. I “woke up” (I was always conscious, just in a happy place somewhere…) not remembering anything but most of all not feeling any pain and/or sign of having received an operation.
What struck me though was the fact that I somehow performed Jingle Bells with the aid of the beeping heart monitor… So definitely repeating an “under sedation” any time soon.

The nice bits

I got engaged! Which I never thought would happen AND to the best soul mate ever, so how could I ask for more?

The one thing I really enjoyed this year was organising State of the Browser¬†for the second time. I loved every hard worked/ing second of it. I loved contacting the sponsors, getting all the speakers ready, attending amazing sessions by the best in the industry (like my favourites Bruce Lawson, Martin Beeby, Pete Gasston – it is quite a thing to bring your favourite speakers to a conference you are organising!) and most of all I loved working together to the other amazing organisers of London Web Standards. I’ve never worked with such enthusiastic and caring volunteers.

The sad bits

On that note I have made the hard decision to leave my role as band manager of the folk band Amaraterra and of Vice President of the Apulian Association Friends of Puglia. As a volunteer, organising tech conferences for 175 people seems to be much easier and to be bringing so much more happiness to me than to organise small events for a bunch of Italians.

So what will 2013 bring me?

Oh..I’ve only got 2 conferences and 1 wedding to organise on my cards…FOR NOW…I am sure it will be amazing but challenging.

So help me by attending both, they are free!

Titanium App Camp, 2nd-3rd February http://appcamp.londontitanium.co.uk/

State of the Browser, April some time http://browser.londonwebstandards.org/

I also plan to pass the bleeping driving test (one day…), to organise the most eclectic wedding, to finish two hacks, tour the Mekong region (that’s already booked so THAT’S definitely happening yuhuuu) and possibly start wearing contact lenses (I need to overcome my fear yet…).

Happy 2013 everyone!