A year of change, reflection and new beginnings

This year has been one of the most difficult of my life. I haven’t had the energy or motivation to sit down and share my journey with you all, but with the final days of 2022 approaching, I thought to take a moment and check in.

I started this site to be open with the world about my mental health, to document my journey into tech, and discuss topics I found interesting or fun. This post will have a bit of it all.

Earlier this year, I tried to take my own life.

I had been suffering with depression for a longer time than I realised. I hid my struggles in work, travel and keeping active. I started pulling away from family and friends and telling everyone I was “fine” or “busy”. I was in a long-term relationship I slowly realised wasn’t right for me – but struggled to find a way out.

It was all too much. The idea of standing on my own. Looking after myself. Being honest.

Luckily, I was unsuccessful. A failure I will cherish for the rest of my life. My – hopefully – very long and happy life.

I have so much gratitude for my family, friends, therapist, colleagues, new neighbours and community for giving me the light I needed in a desperate moment of darkness. They say it takes a village to raise a child. In my view, it takes a city to raise an adult. I wouldn’t be who I am today without all of you. I hope I can return that love and give you all a glimmer of hope on days when you find it difficult to put one foot in front of another.

I also have love and gratitude for me. My strength. Everyday has offered me a different option, and I will continue to cherish the unknown. The beauty life offers in our weakest moments. The opportunities you have no idea are coming.

I am still very much in my recovery journey, but I end 2022 with peace in my heart. I’ve reconnected with loved ones, continue with therapy, am dating again and… I HAVE A DOG! You might’ve seen his beautiful, wrinkled face all over the timeline, but just in case you haven’t met the love of my life, Ronnie Kulidzan, yet:

A huge support to me this year has been work. I started the year hiding in it, taking every opportunity to not be at home, invested all my time and energy into my career. Now, I have a much healthier balance between my home and work life. And, what a year AWS has given me…

I was promoted in my role as a Solutions Architect, I spoke at seven national and global tech conferences including to about 800 people at AWS London Summit and 200 at re:Invent. I traveled to countries I’d never been to, met new colleagues, customers and partners I now consider life-long friends (I hope you all realise!). And, I took the next step in my career journey and moved to a Specialist role working directly with the products I love.

I am so thankful to everything this company has afforded me, but I am most thankful for the people. They supported me at my lowest. They gave me space. Space to heal. To grow. To find myself. To flourish.

I am so excited for what will come in 2023. Spoiler alert: me and the Serverlesspresso kit are hitting the road again!

I can’t put into words how grateful I am to everyone in this wonderful tech community. From the bottom of my heart, you are all AWSome.

Thank you 2022 for making me see the truth. For giving me strength I didn’t know I had. For changing my life. I will never forget you.

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