I nearly didn’t start writing this mainly as I’ve found it difficult to get back into writing, let alone be in the right mindset to want to write at all. This partially stemmed out from struggling with injury last year. Thankfully, 2018 has been much much kinder to me, and I’m glad to say I am no longer struggling with at least the physical injury, that aside I intend to start getting back into the rhythm of writing once again, something that should come more and more frequently over the upcoming weeks and months.
That being said, this time around I want to reflect on how I came into the MVP Program, and specifically around how this has positively affected my life and those around me, both closely and those perhaps not so close, both in physical proximity and in my ever growing reach of my networks as they have grown over the last 3 MVP Award Cycles.
My journey to becoming a Microsoft MVP came early on into my IT career, but also in comparison to many around me, my IT career is relatively short, in which I have only been in active IT based roles since December 2012, a little over 5 & half years, but in that time I have been extremely lucky in some of the roles that I have managed to be able to work in, whether that be working for organisations like Barclays & University of Manchester, or being a part of the Organisation team for the 2016 PSConf EU event, or being able to revive the UK PowerShell User Group Community, and as a recognition of the community work I have done I was Awarded the MVP Award in April 2016 as can be read about in the preceding posts https://blog.kilasuit.org/2016/04/01/congratulations-2016-microsoft-mvp/ - https://blog.kilasuit.org/2016/04/01/fooled-ya-today-i-became-a-mvp/ & perhaps the more serious https://blog.kilasuit.org/2016/04/07/awarded-the-mvp-award-what-this-means-to-me-and-the-future-for-the-community/ as well as my renewal thoughts last year https://blog.kilasuit.org/2017/07/04/mvp-award-renewal-time-my-renewal-new-recent-mvps so it was only natural at some point I would write something similar this year.
However the journey in the years leading to becoming a Microsoft MVP came at a time things were chaotic, to say the least, in my personal life & I knew from my interest in understanding Psychology & my own Mental Health, something that I’ve been focused in learning more and more about since my early teens, that I needed something that was not only consistent in life, but something that I could really push at and find passion in. That something has consistently been centred around my working life, with a huge part of my working life requiring more in depth knowledge of a service or services which actually really boils down to my thirst for expanding my knowledge in a wide variety of areas, technology is just one of many of these areas, as mentioned above, but it is the one I have centred my career around.
My desire to learn, a desire that hasn’t disappeared and likely never will, pushed me down a path that forced me, or more accurately actively encouraged me, to apply a fair amount of time & effort into not only getting into the IT communities centred around the area I was in at the time (2012-2014 means predominantly SharePoint) but to also expand outside of those communities as well into areas including but not limited to, SQL Server, web development and more later on and approaching 2015 time frame, the PowerShell Community.
It was at this point I made 1 single choice, a choice that at the time was essentially a huge gamble for me, and this was played in part due to the fact that I was struggling at the time, as i said previously things were personally chaotic, and due to the chaos I was undergoing I ended up suffering with a case of social anxiety, which was brought on by the immense stress that I was undergoing at the time. This would then occasionally lead to me having small outbreaks of mild but distressing panic attacks. These would typically happen in crowded places like Shopping Centres, Train Stations, and later on at User Groups and Conferences. However they initially only happened so sporadically that I took very little notice of them, but as time progressed they became more and more common and with that they also got more intense. but I quickly learnt coping mechanisms to manage them. I could have taken myself to the doctors and got some form of prescription of anti-anxiety medications, which mainly tend to be of the benzodiazepine family, or referred myself to for some counselling, which looking back I could have really done with at times over the years, even if it was just as a further helping hand to get me through everything.
Let this be the beginning, of what will be a long reflective look on the troubles of the past, and of the troubles that lie aheadm with more to come in the