January 01, 2020 · ~6 minutes
First day of the year, first blog post. For someone who use to write so much over the last decade, I sure stopped writing in the last few years. Let’s hope this year will see me scribe down my thoughts a little more regularly.
Seeing all these decade-in-review articles and Twitter threads made me want to reflect on those last 10 years and see what I’ve accomplished (and failed to accomplish).
Ten years ago, I had just turned 18. I was living with my parents in Grenoble (France), and was in my first year after high-school. I had no idea what I wanted to do. At that time, playing video games was basically all I was interested in. Your typical boring shy nerd.
Obviously, a lot has happened over the last 10 years for me. People say one’s twenties are the most active years of one’s life. Yet, if you’d had told me 10 years ago where I’d be today, I would not have believed it.
- 🏠 I moved out of my parents’ house, in with my then partner in their apartment in Grenoble (France).
- 🇩🇪 I moved from Grenoble (France) to Berlin (Germany), then moved two more times in Berlin, although both times on the same street (I like it here).
- 🤓 I taught myself English and worked hard to disguise my accent as “non-native but not French either”.
- ✊ I started learning a 3rd language (Dutch, as mentioned in my article about 2019).
- ✈️ I have been to 14 countries across Europe, and left Europe on a single occasion to visit Istanbul (Turkey).
- 🐈 I got (and still have) 3 cats: Griffith and Lilith, from my former relationship, and Macbeth from my current partner.
- 💵 Thanks to hard work and more importantly a lot of privileges, I managed to become financially independent.
- ❌ I failed to get my diploma in Computer Science.
- 📚 I wrote 2 books: one book on CSS and one book on Sass.
- 👀 I got to endorse and be a reviewer for “CSS Secrets”, Lea Verou’s bestselling CSS book — which is not nothing for me given she is one of the figures who inspired me to pursue a career in web development.
- 📝 I wrote over 250 articles, some on highly regarded websites such as CSS-Tricks, Codrops, Tuts+ and SitePoint (read how I got to write for the web).
- 🏦 I worked in 4 different companies across 2 countries, 3 of them being banks or bank-related.
- 🏆 I got short-listed for Developer of the Year 2015 by Net Awards (although I should have been in the “Young Developer of the Year” category at that time, since I was under 25).
- 🤓 I have been a Google Developer Expert in web development.
- 🎤 I spoke at a dozen conferences over Europe.
- 👩💻 I authored or co-authored over 40 open-source projects, such as Sass Guidelines, SassDoc and Browserhacks.
- 🐦 I have never been on Facebook, but did get on Twitter and have built a substantial audience, principally around web development.
- ♿️ I got really invested in digital accessibility, making it the flagship of my current position, and trying my best to make the web a better place.
- 👫 I have made incredible friends and lost touch with a few (thankfully not all of them).
- 💔 I went through a 4+ year long relationship as well as its aftermath, yet managed to stay good friends.
- 😅 I realised dating is really not my thing.
- ❤️ I found someone I want to construct things with again.
- 👨👩👧👧 I managed to stay very close with my family, especially with my siblings, even though I lived in a different country for half of the decade.
Health & insights
- 🖐 I experienced some form of tendonitis caused by high level of stress during the break-up with my former partner.
- 🦶 I managed to twist both my ankles in one night, making for a fun trip home back from Croatia (not).
- 🏳️🌈 I learnt that sexuality and, more importantly for me, gender as well as physical representation are flexible concepts and that it’s okay to experiment with them.
- 😬 I’ve come to realise that I am not always good enough, that I have flaws, that I can be a jerk (with or without wanting to be one) and that being a good human being takes effort and self-reflection.
- 😔 I finally understood how privileged I am in this society (young, white, male-passing, from a upper middle-class family). This knowledge, and the thought that not every one has been as fortunate as I was, I carry with me every day.
- 😣 I spent so much time coding or talking and writing about code that I got close to burning myself out a few years back. Since then, I have been balancing coding with other activities.
- ✏️ I stopped drawing. I realised it was just getting frustrating. Drawing has always been very connected with difficult emotions for me, and that’s not something I wanted to keep carrying with me.
- 👩💻 I discovered web development (more about how I got there), enjoyed it, realised I was good at it, and made a career out of it.
- 🎱 I learnt how to play pool, to a level that is enjoyable. And I taught a dear friend how to play as well.
- 📖 I still haven’t really got to enjoy reading literature, which is funny for someone who likes to write that much. I did manage to read a few books over the last years, mostly humourous or scientifical (or both) but it takes me a long time.
- 🎮 For the better or worse, I kept my love for games, be it video games, board games, or even role-playing games.
- 🌱 Since living alone, I started caring for plants, getting more and more enthusiastic to the idea of getting new ones.
- ☕️ I started to really appreciate coffee and beer in a different way, especially since moving to Germany.
- 👩🍳 I got into cooking, not just to survive but also as a hobbie, and I am getting better and better at it.
- 🌶 Thanks to my Dutch-with-Indonesian-heritage partner, I’m learning to appreciate spice, something sorely lacking from French cooking.
- 🍽 I had diner at a Michelin Star restaurant on 3 occasions in 3 different countries (Les Terrasses d’Uriage in France, Bandol sur Mer in Germany, Niven in the Netherlands). Each occasion has been incredible, and they are memories I will not forget.
I guess that’s a short and sweet recap’ of the last 10 years, focusing on the positive. Now onto 10 more!