A Look Back Over a Year

About this time last year I was preparing for my firt ever WordCamp talk in Austin Texas. I decided it was time to really start giving back to the community. I am forever grateful that the wonderful organizers lave me a chance that April.


 What a difference a year has made. Phew end five years ago had someone told me that I would be making my living revolving around computers and websites I would have told them they were bat (fill in the blank) crazy! Never would I imagine that I would be 32,000 feet in the air writing about my career in WordPress coming back from San Diego but here I am.


I never told anyone before the WordCamp that I seriously thought about backing out of speaking there. I was taking on a more advanced security talk with some of the big names in WordPress security that I knew would be sitting in listening to me ramble about what to do when your site gets hacked. I had a huge, horrible case of imposter syndrome. However, I knew that had I backed out, my best friend would have NEVER let me hear the end of it. Between that would be the first time we would see each other in seven months, and what backing out would do to my name, we would have been in retirement homes and we still would be talking about the dumb move I made back in 2015.


I did it though. I flew to beautiful San Diego. I looked at that stage that I knew I would be on while Histro was giving his talk about site speed, and I freaked again.  I knew I should have named the talk “The Roast of Michele”. It would have made a great Comedy Central Roast if they could have recoded what was going through my mind.  Then I listed to Chris’s talk knowing I would follow him. That was not the first time as my first talk at WordCamp Austin I followed him. The only difference was, in Austin I banned him from my talk.  This time I had no choice. He was listening no matter what my nerves said.  Surprisingly enough, he gave me more confidence than I thought. When I looked out into the audience and see him and many others nodding their heads in agreement, I knew I was alright.


After the talk, I had a few to come up and ask questions and give comments which is the one thing I love a outgoing to these WordCamps. The engagement and being able to help people make the price tags of flights and hotels worth it.  We get upstairs and I’m analyzing my talk and was looking at it with my old D.J. And theater brain thinking you flubbered here, studdered there, and your totally forgot what the heck you were saying here.  Then I looked at Facebook.

Screenshot 2015-04-03 09.40.18

As I read this, one of the top dawgs in WordPress security, who just so happened to sit right up front came up, shook my hand, and said I had a great talk. Well you could have knocked me over with a feather right then. Never had I felt so humble and proud at the same time. It is a great feeling when you have your mentors comment on how you are doing.


I know this is just a stepping stone for what is next as I am already looking into how to grow farther with my love of WordPress. Who knows where I will be next year. Maybe I will become a great fan of coding and finally give in to my adornment of themes or have a great idea for the next awesome plugin. all I know is if this year is anything like last year, the sky is the limit.

Published by

Michele Butcher-Jones

Michele is a full time blogger, designer, and all around awesome person. She works for WP Rocket as one of their fantastic Support Rocketeers. Michele is the Lead Organizer for the Southern Illinois WordPress Meetup and the Lead Organizer for WPKids. When not in front of a screen, Michele enjoys life with her family and friends. Follow me on Twitter at @Michele_Butcher

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