Ten years ago today, I published my first blog post using WordPress,* just 10 months after the platform’s initial release.
It was a scary road back then. You had to create your own theme, there were no plugins, and we hacked core (!) to no limit.
It’s kind of cool how a blog post like that one can be just like a time capsule, showing you a snapshot of the person you were all those years ago. Back in 2004, I was 19 years old, working at a book store for $6.75 per hour. I was studying part time at the local community college in Manassas, Virginia, but I didn’t really know what I wanted from life at that point, so I honestly didn’t put all the effort into it that I should have.
It’s interesting to look back and see how I got from there to here. Shortly after my first blog post, I left the book store to go work at Target as a cashier. It wasn’t too long before I found my way to the pharmacy to help out as a cashier when the lead pharmacy technician was out for maternity leave. The pharmacist saw in me someone whose potential was being wasted as a cashier, so she encouraged me to learn to be a pharmacy technician myself.
So, I left the community college, and enrolled in a pharmacy technician certification program, got my certification before even completing the program, and started as a pharmacy technician with Target at $12 per hour. Not too long after that, I started a blog called PharmCountry.* Originally, I started blogging about news in the pharmacy industry, but eventually it became a place for me to tell stories about work, and eventually morphed into a personal blog.
I even started a blogging service aimed at pharmacy bloggers. The service never really got off the ground, but one of the first users of the site is still successfully blogging to this day. When I shut down the service, I bought her the domain pharmacychick.com and I still host it. It’s one of the most popular pharmacy blogs around.
Over the last ten years I’ve made several resolutions to blog more, and every time I kept to it for a while before letting life get in the way. Sometimes it was writer’s block, sometimes I was busy, and sometimes, I just didn’t have anything to blog about.
After seven years of working for Target, I left for a job at Apple, where I currently work as a mobile device technician. I’ve been there for three years, and make quite a bit more than I ever made at Target. I’ve made very close friendships at Apple, as well. These are people who share my passion for technology, and some of them even use WordPress, and come to me for help.
I became active in the WordPress community when I moved to New York in 2009 and attended my first WordCamp. I became a member of the local meetup group, and to this day have attended/volunteered at almost all of them. Since then, I’ve attended, volunteered, or spoken (sometimes all three) at more than a dozen WordCamps and various meetups around the US. I’ve made close friends in cities all over the country.
Thanks to the WordPress NYC meetup group, I met my four colleagues/friends at Tadpole, a development company we started two years ago. It’s been growing slowly, but surely. I’ve also taken on a part-time job at CyberChimps, doing support for their themes as well. Hopefully, before too long, I’ll be doing WordPress work full time, and I’ll be able to fulfill my dream of traveling, blogging, and helping WordPress users full-time.
It’s kind of amazing to think about all the different roles WordPress has played in my life. A place to collect my thoughts, a learning tool, a way to make new friends, a reason to travel to different places, a source of income, and who knows what else the future holds in store?
Only time will tell, but looking back at the last ten years, I’m looking forward to the next ten.
*Apologies for the archive.org links. I didn’t keep backups of my old sites.