It’s warming up in Hanoi; still, there’s always time for curbside soup.
These days I find myself drawn more and more to Medium. I wake up, inevitably stumble across something like this, start reflecting on my life during the last several years, and end up asking myself if the company I’ve kept, the time I’ve spent on Things, and the pursuits and professional relationships I’ve followed have had consistent value and quality. Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes it’s no, depending on which side of the bed I’ve woken.
Time is a funny little thing. It’s the most precious gift we have as humans and yet we so often squander it for foolish reasons. We spend it trying to impress others, we waste it fretting over past actions and future uncertainties, and we let it deceive us into thinking that we will always have it. It is the single most important thing that exists in our lives and yet we take it for granted until it’s too late.
I have friends who have been waiting to leave their jobs for the last five years or leave town and go somewhere else for the last ten, and I want so very badly for them to pull the trigger and become the change they want to see in their lives. Perfect timing is a myth, especially when it comes to the big stuff. Like coming out, or breaking up with someone you love, or telling your boss you no longer believe in his team, or asking for something when it scares you so very much to ask for it. There’s never a good time for any of it. It’s all hard and inconvenient.
The last several months I have felt an incredible sense of urgency towards stillness; to find a seat and sit in it. What I mean is that I’ve regained a deeper appreciation for how little time we have before we die, and adjusted my priorities accordingly. Family matters. Being in love matters. Waking up and working on something that I believe in matters. Resolving interpersonal issues swiftly and judiciously matters. Sleeping matters.
Status, reputation, being liked by influential people, material wealth, being feared or revered, new clothing, big housing, shiny toys, envy. None of these things matter, at all, and they’re terrible time investments.
Find out what you’re most scared about regretting later on and do that Thing now. We haven’t got a moment to spare.
Twenty Fourteen will be an important year for WordPress in Vietnam. Strong efforts around localization and internationalization have recently begun at Automattic and WordPress.com, and the polyglot community around WordPress.org has for many years already been very strong. The global reach of WordPress goes far beyond English and the West.
When I began the Hanoi WordPress Meetup Group in 2012 my goal was simple and selfish: to find friends in Vietnam who also love WordPress. We started off small, with eight people coming to the first event (half who were from Japan and passing through Hanoi for a visit). A few years later and we’re now consistently drawing anywhere from 25 to 40 members to the meetups.
The number of people alone isn’t that important, but the fact that it indicates growing connectivity among WordPress users and developers within Hanoi, and by extension Vietnam, matters a lot. There’s also a thriving group of WordPressers in Saigon who have helped to grow enthusiasm around the project within the southern part of the country.
The primary goal this year will be to hold the first ever WordCamp in Vietnam, which will happen later this year in Hanoi. Tuấn Anh (my meetup co-organizer) and I have already reached out to the WordPress Foundation about WordCamp and our focus moving forward will be making sure that we do everything necessary to have the best WordCamp possible that’s geographically authentic and at the same time mindful of the spirit of the global WordPress community.
In the meantime, keep up with us at the following locations:
Life in Hanoi has resumed and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’ve settled back into an apartment in Ba Đình, gotten back into the swing of things with the Hanoi WordPress Meetup Group, begun work in earnest with my newly formed LLC, started contributing to the documentation efforts for .org, and had time for friends, food, and sleep. I haven’t felt this energized about my career and overall professional outlook in more than two years, and day by day I continue to feel like my decision to shake things up recently was the right thing to do. It truly is incredible how taking the blinders off and stepping outside of the bubble puts everything into fine perspective.
After taking out all of the meat from this bowl it was more than fifty percent depleted; thankfully Mai handled my unwanted food like a champ and even had room for ice cream afterward.