Each month in 2015 came with its ever more increasingly difficult obstacles to overcome and for the first 6 months of the year a lot of the obstacles had come about in the previous year or two and a lot of it was predominantly centred around my children.
Yes Children – Plural.
At 19 I became a father to my now 6 year old son and then at 23 I became a father to my now 2 year old daughter. So relatively early on in life I was blessed (and as of the last few years in some ways to be cursed) for becoming a parent so young.
But anyway to set the scene of entering 2015 – my daughter had been in care for the majority of her life (since she was around 3 months old) and by the end of January my son was back in care whilst going through court proceedings – and at this point it was not possible for me to have them back, let alone practical – something that still really irritates the absolute bejeasus out of me.
January – April pretty much was all over the place because of all the goings on with the children and trying to get settled into my then relatively new Job at The University of Manchester, which meant that in those months not only can I really not remember what really happened much of that time due to the vast amounts of ridiculously unnecessary documents as part of the Family & Children’s Courts processes.
May – Now if I could delete 1 month (well 1 week if I’m truly honest) then this would be the one. This was the month when the decisions on future contact with my children would be made and although I fought and fought and fought throughout the whole 76 weeks that we were under court proceedings, it was essentially all in vain as the ruling was completely against my arguments based on supposed “professional opinions”.
I have made it more than clear that the odds were against me because of a few basic facts
- I’m Male – and regardless of the push of same sex rights, men are still widely considered as being the less capable when it comes to family
- I was brought up to believe that you struggle and juggle – but you get through it in the end – this was perceived as me being “less willing to accept help if needed” and that is utter bullshit!
- Other than myself in court there was only my barrister, the Children’s lawyer and my ex partners lawyer that were male and present. Female Social Worker, Lawyer for the Local Authority (not my Local authority either), Children’s Guardian & the Judge
But Also May was the month that started the ball rolling for speaking and attending #PSConfAsia – so it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Although I didn’t commit until Mid-June when I had the outcome from the Court case. Needless to say from that point onwards I made a conscious decision that I needed to really start the ball rolling for a better, more flexible and more enjoyable future – so you could say that in June I made the decision that I would at some point in the following 6 months leave the University of Manchester in pursuit of something more fitting to what I want to be doing.
So a part of this involves me making what could be a life changing and seriously difficult time ahead as I move into self-employment but it is something that I have thought about doing now for almost 3 years.
So that will be one big challenge of 2016 – however that is only the beginning as the first challenge is to find somewhere permanent to live. These last 2 months have been expensive although comfortable as I’ve spent most of the time in hotels. I dread to think how much this has cost me personally and with no real tangible gain from it at all.
2016 will see me continue the work that I started with the PowerShell User Groups here in the UK and I am looking to massively expand this where possible. This is mainly in part with the fact that I love presenting and meeting the community but also there is, in my opinion, a massive gap in the skills base of real understanding of PowerShell and in part this can be partially alleviated by increasing the number of User Groups across the UK. So I’ve already put it out there that if anyone thinks that they could co-organise then I will work with them to get these off the ground and running. I will also provide content to them and help get the community growing – the end goal is to be in a similar position to the SharePoint & SQL User Groups where there is a decent local User Group Community and then we can look at localised PowerShell Saturday’s at some point in 2017. Ambitious – but that is the way I am and with the help of those out there that want to get these things off the ground then we will achieve it – plus hopefully by this time next week I should have some good news about the future for these events – so hold on tight.
Also 2016 is the year when I will really Start-Contributing to the wider community, I’ve been promising a PSISE_Addons module for about a month now and the reason for it being delayed is because I’m just adding more and more features to it to make it better, that and I’m actually refactoring the codebase for it already. This will be one of the topics that I will be covering at the Manchester & London User Groups and I’m hoping if I’ve hit it right then it should be a major help to all that use it. Not going to give much more away than that until released (and blogged about of course)
Also 2016 will be the year that will involve lots more presenting. As it stands I have already been accepted for the PowerShell & DevOps Summit in BelleVue, WA for my 26th birthday so that will be an interesting and amazing event to attend, which I would have been looking to attend even if I hadn’t been selected to present just because of the sheer number of the PowerShell Community (and Product Group) will be there.
I’m also waiting to hear back from at least another 7 events on whether I’ll be presenting at them – a Variety of SharePoint, SQL & DevOps type events.
Then there is also #PSConfEU – which I am co-organising with Tobias Weltner and this looks to be another fantastic event – we already have a great line up of speakers and still a few slots to fill. Details about this will be posted in the next few days and I would urge you to Register at www.psconf.eu as soon as you can.
Then late on in the year I’ll be returning to Singapore for the follow on #PSConfAsia Event. And I can’t wait for that one either and hopefully there should be some good news in the upcoming weeks about this event. So again keep your eyes & ears open for updates.
That’s a brief overview of 2015 and overlook of what is to come in 2016.
But one final thing to remember – there is always a story behind every person and most of the time that story stays behind a firmly locked door. I’m happy to be open about it as being open about it all helps me remember that no matter how hard it’s been (and it’s been torture at times) I’ve got though it all and will continue to do so for years and years to come. One day the wrongs of 2015 will be corrected but the journey there for me is longer than I had originally anticipated and forms a solid core of the plan of my next 5 years.
So as we enter 2016 – be happy you got through 2015 and look forward to the beginning of yet another journey. This one already looks and feels like it will be amazing and the people that I meet along the way will be a fundamental core to that becoming a reality.