Introspective: Three Years Later, Back On Steady Ground, And I’m Still Here

ChampionAs I started to write more blog posts this month, I looked at my calendar and realized that it’s nearly three years since I’ve moved to San Francisco. So as a blogger may typically do, I decided to continue on with my introspective as I had done when I marked my 1 year anniversary and subsequently my 2nd year.

I sit here in front of my computer on this Labor Day weekend to pause and reflect on what’s changed in the past 365 days to give me cause to celebrate or be depressed about. I seem to be one of the lucky ones to have come out ahead finally securing a job with a remarkable agency called Kane & Finkel (@kaneandfinkel), but more on that a little bit later. But what else have I been up to in the past year?

More photography than I ever thought possible.

It was pretty surreal that in this third year, I have become more known for my photography and, as a result, was brought in to do more photographs of tech events and conferences. At the 2011 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show, I was fortunate to be able to be one of the photographers at the Mashable Web Awards in Las Vegas and also at the annual Tweet House event It Won’t Stay in Vegas party. But perhaps the biggest thing that I’ve done this past year was also head to Costa Rica in order to photograph two of my best friends getting married. Of course there were occasional gigs at South by Southwest and I’m really thankful for those companies who wanted me to be at their event. It seems that my photography has advanced in a way that I’m pretty happy about. It has truly scaled and I’m looking forward to building more photography relationships and capturing more of the tech scene and events.

Took nearly 3 years, but I finally have a job.

Ever since I’ve moved to San Francisco, I’ve surely had some on and off jobs…all of which were fantastic and I took something away from each of them. But what eluded me was the principle of full-time employment: that security of waking up and showing up to do some work without 100% fear of not having work the next day and having the benefits necessary to take care of oneself. Sure, in this economy you can’t guarantee that full-time employment will last forever, but it’s more the principle. Last year, I didn’t mention that I had a full-time job because well, quite frankly, it was only a contract position, but since then, I’m happy to tell you that I’ve been working there as a full-time Interactive Producer and it’s going fantastically. It’s with a healthcare communications company called Kane & Finkel and as an interactive producer, I’m focusing on helping pharmaceutical companies develop out their online/digital marketing strategy. Believe me, as much as I love helping to produce this great content, I’m definitely learning a whole lot more about the regulations and legal issues and the slightly unconventional way business is done. You could say that it’s more of a business-to-business agency since most of the work I’ve been involved in deals with physicians and sales representatives, rather than actual consumers/patients. It’s still great and what I really love is that we’re not sitting around building just websites or simply doing banners or email marketing campaigns. While those are great, I’m getting hands-on experience in producing great animations and Mechanisms of Action in addition to developing applications for tablets and iPads. Truly great experience!

Oh, and did I mention that as of last month, I made it here for over one-year? Yup, another major milestone achieved in 2011. Props to me!

It wasn’t a year filled with kittehs and unicorns

As much as I shower praise on my past year here, it hasn’t been all good…I think I’ve set a personal record for the most times I’ve spoken to law enforcement for various reasons, either reporting a crime or witnessing one. It has definitely got me on edge about how my world has been changing. I won’t go into detail here, but my friends are aware of the circumstances. Oh, and only now have I seriously thought about getting an emergency preparedness kit in case of a disaster (e.g., earthquake, hurricane, fire, etc.). Do you have one prepared?

What would life be without friends?

As always, my year was great because of the friends that I made over and maintained relationships with. They continue to inspire and motivate me to do better and try new things and I’m lucky to have shared my experiences with them. Hanging out with great folks like Gregarious Narain (@gregarious), Maria Ogneva (@themaria), Megan Berry (@meganberry), Brian Solis (@briansolis), Dave Mathews (@ggdm), Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang), Ben Parr (@benparr), Karen Hartline (@khartline), Michael Brito (@britopian), Spencer Chen (@spencerchen), Marie Domingo (@mariedomingo), Michael O’Donnell (@photo), Chris Saad (@chrissaad), Marcus Nelson (@marcusnelson), Chris Heuer (@chrisheuer) and many many more have really helped shape my view of life and guided my career. I am truly blessed and fortunate to have them for colleagues and friends.

Living life one day at a time, but let’s not go too slow

Sure, the past year has been filled with me spending time at work doing some remarkable stuff and there’s not much that I regret from the past year. But overall it was worth it and I’d do it all over again. Now that we close the chapter on another year, time to start on the next year. What lies in store for me? Well a whole lot of things…including renewing my thoughts for developing my photography site snapfoc.us and getting a better handle on integrating technology into my life. Spending more time with family and friends is always important and I’ll look to the next year for new adventures and endeavors. Who knows what will lie ahead in the next 365 days. It’s a wild wild world…and I’m eager to know what lies in store for me.

Thanks for being a part of it.

Image Credit: sarej / sxc.hu