What you're looking at is a lobster, in a ditch, drinking scotch, whose mouth is on fire. That is my spirit animal that was created on the Twitter-verse through the power of the Western Devs, which I would not be a part of had I not become an Microsoft Edge MVP with Microsoft.
This amazing drawing represents a large number of "hilarious" stories that come from many conferences and adventures that have come through the MVP Program. Although I'm a bit late with the post, after being renewed this past April, I have had the chance to reflect on my five years and appreciate being a part of these communities for so long now.
Beyond the Career
It wasn't until last year where I realized how important these groups of people really were. I had experienced a family tragedy that really impacted me and my family, and it took me months to sort it out in my mind.
The first thing I was able to really grab onto to pull me out of the funk was my community within the MVP Program and my collegues from the Western Devs.
I know it sounds sentimental, but it's true. I almost quit all of my community work and thought wiping the slate clean and going nuclear with my career was the only way to start bringing back some semblance of normal to my life. All of that changed with the 2014 MVP Conference and was able to talk face-to-face with people and start finding my passion for technology again. I really focused on that, and have thrived on it since.
My point is that I hope someone else reads this and realizes how important their profesional network is. Not just for the professional stuff, but as a reminder on why you "keep on keepin' on" as some might say.
I don't know where things are going, but that's okay. What I do know is that I love technology and with communities like the Western Devs and the MVP Program, I will continue to grow and expand my horizons with technology.
And that is the whole point.
Special Thanks To...
A special shout out to D'Arcy Lussier for pulling the discussion out of the Western Devs fog and turning it into reality, as he did the lobster. Cyrena Friesen for making it a reality on Twitter. And Donald Belcham for lighting the lobster on fire with scotch and reminding it that it'll forever be in a ditch.