I don’t consider January 1st the official start to the year because for myself, like many many others, it’s more like “national hangover day” and not really how I want to represent the beginning of the year. So effectively, for me, January 2nd is the beginning of the new year.
That said, my upside-down sleep cycles from the last several weeks of whirlwind have been making for some rather interesting dreams (no, not the naughty kind). I don’t usually remember them, but last night’s was vivid, odd, and stood out to me as trying to deliver a message to me.
I don’t remember ALL of the details, but the general sentiment was that I was back in my high school. Much like most of my high school experience, I was late and hadn’t done my homework. Where things got weird were, I found myself surrounded not by my high school teachers, but instead by various faces from today’s social media/new media/tech/geek scene that I’ve become so fond of. Instead of my stat teacher, I saw Allen Stern from centernetworks.com. Instead of the Bodeys (a mr. and mrs. pair of english teachers, for those of you who didn’t go to high school with me), Mr. Messina and Ms. Hunt. Hall monitor David Blumenstein had a watchful eye on me as I ran to my locker when I was late for class. Junto-master and IndyHall co-founder Geoff DiMasi was there as the social studies teacher. I’m sure there were more injections from my current reality to my actual past that I don’t remember as vividly, but you get the picture by now.
I’m not usually one for analyzing dreams, but I thought it was interesting that at the turn of the year, the turn of a year where I have so much more that I want to do and so much more that I want to grow, I have a dream like this one. I’m going to think of it as a cue that I need to remember to never stop learning, or think I have to stop learning. I’m going to think of it as a cue that the people around me are the best teachers there are, and part of the reason I look up to them so much is that I hope to be as good of a teacher as them.
2008 is, for me, a year of growth. That was my response on New Years Eve to a tweet that Chris sent out with a “themeword” meme. 07 was a year of experimentation and leaps of faith. I had just quit my job, started attending conferences, building my clientbase, adopting all kinds of new best practice techniques that made me more efficient. Nevermind the leap of faith that IndyHall would not only be successful, but becomes so integral into a community here in Philadelphia.
1 year later, it’s time to take all of the good habits and lessons that I acquired along the path of experimenting in the last 12 months and put them to use in a growth phase. Putting together a more formal team of talent is at the top of my list of “to-dos”, and we’ve already started formulating how that will work. Splitting my time between being the talent, and evangelizing best practices to new ears is also a priority. It’s about personal growth, its about industry growth (our industry, effectively our home), its about knowledge growth.
Instead of just attending conferences, I’m hoping to speak more. Instead of just building web sites, I hope to build web apps. Instead of just inspiring and managing myself, I hope to have a team to manage and keep inspired. I have some personal goals for IndyHall, but I’m going to save them for myself for now because I’m more interested in seeing how the community that we have here continues to hit a stride and take advantage of the resources we’ve created. That giving up of some control, for me, is part of my personal growth as well. I’m learning to practice what I preach!
I’m really excited about this year. Really, really excited.