Man, May 2017 was tough.
It felt like one of those months that everything went wrong. A few things that were threatening to happen happened. It’s vague-booking at the finest, I’m aware, but the fact my phone being stolen after giving a talk at MWUG was kind of the straw that broke the camels back. Would I call it depression? Of course not. It’s unfair to call it such as seeing how people with serious mental illness are affected. But I’m not going to lie – I felt May 2017 and the sheer coincidences were out to get me. It was not fun, and kinda ruined 2017 for me.
It took me months, months to get back to some sense of normality. A weekend in Cologne on my first Deutschegraps Wochenende with PROGRESS & wXw (that saw my favourite match of 2017) that was immediately followed a few fun days in Manchester finally put a smile back on my face, and I returned in July 2017, and I felt happy. Things began to look up – I lost a bit of weight, I was doing loads and I was truly happy.
But once again the nagging feelings crept in. Something wasn’t right. I’m not sure what it was but it felt strange. Like a stagnation feeling, more than anything else. Seeing people grow and improve and do so much with their lives – whilst nice – made me reflect on what I was doing. The honest answer? Nothing. Sure I was doing stuff, but it wasn’t big, scary stuff. I felt like if my life was an RPG I was dicking about with the side-quests. October came and I was praying for December. Imagine clock watching, but calendar watching. It wasn’t healthy. So one of my new year’s resolutions (beyond one that I share on Instagram) was to change something, so that 31st December 2018 was a lot happier for me than 31st December 2017.
And 31st December 2017 I spent playing video games in Arcade Club in Bury, it was a lot of fun.
January came around. Happy New Year & all that. Right! Let’s attack the year. I know! I’ll look at my goals – let’s find my own place! Get on the property ladder! Live the British dream! I may not have anybody to share it with, but dammit I can still set up my Xbox and not whinge when somebody doesn’t empty to the dishwasher. I set up a few viewings for flats in Manchester. And then I realised half way through a viewing of a dingy place in Old Trafford, when neither me nor the estate agent particularly wanted to be there.
I’m not sure it was what I wanted.
I looked at what I could change on my life, so the next thing was a job. I love and care about the FireCask team to bits, don’t get me wrong, but a sexy job came up to work on a WordPress product (something I’ve a lot of interest in). It was remote work for a good company with industry leading names, but after sailing through the first interview, I looked again.
I’m not sure it was what I wanted.
I rang my brother, and I must have spoken to him about an hour. He’s an accountant, you see. He looks at things analytically. The job was with a French based company – paying in Euros, and assuming I smashed it and collected every bonus and Brexit was a total disaster, it still would be a sizeable pay cut.
But – he said – what if I didn’t smash it? What if Brexit isn’t a total disaster?
Difficult to imagine the latter, I know.
In the end, the analytical brother disappeared and the psychiatrical brother emerged. He laid out what I’ve been doing and what would make me happy. I was single, I was living in a rented accommodation, I had a decent job and travelled a bit. A solid 6/10 on the happiness scale but something wasn’t right. In the end I talked about a dream I’ve had since about the age of 18.
The dream of going freelance.
It’s not a freelance dream of sipping Margaritas on the beach, but to put to bed a working class guilt of having slightly longer lunch breaks, getting an earlier train to head back to see mum & dad, and opening my laptops on strange days in strange countries to graft, affording me an extra few days exploring. I’m not sure if any of these are actually possible, or it’s just a pipe dream, but I’d like to try, at least one day.
He then hit me with four words, that pretty much set the tone of this year up to this point.
“If not now, when?”.
Truth is, I’m not in a better position to give it a try. I’ve a bit of savings, I’ve a good network of contacts, I’ve no mortgage, no debt and no commitments. Sure it’s a risk, but it seems like a sensible risk. And if it doesn’t work for whatever reason – I know I can say “At least I tried”.
So, now you know the backstory, and as I sit writing this in an airport in Frankfurt, after seeing PROGRESS Wrestling & wXw rock the Batchkapp in a weird kinda full circle, allow me to introduce you to my Freelance face – Dwi’n Rhys. Dwi’n Rhys (pronounced “Dween Rhys” – Welsh for “I am Rhys”…clever eh?) is a WordPress freelance business, where I concentrate solely on making WordPress work. And trust me, in my 6 years commercial experience, I’ve seen many installations where WordPress doesn’t work. Winwar Media is still going – if I have the pleasure of working with you – these will be where the invoices come from, just it’s SEO is abysmal for it’s branded term thanks to a popular Windows based file archiver. Winwar will focus on plugins and affiliate sites, Dwi’n Rhys will be where you come to if you want your WordPress site secure, speedy and SEO friendly. To be honest are though if you drop a contact form on any site of mine I’ll probably triage it into the right place.
Anyway, hit me up on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for a chat and a brew. I’m happy to meet within the Manchester & the North West pretty much straight away, North Wales fairly sharpish and elsewhere area pretty much with a bit of notice.
So to answer the question I posed at the beginning of the year: when…is now.
Also published on Medium.