Starting Over Again

At the beginning of May, I’ll be leaving Wildbit to create some space and flexibility to work more on Adaptable. In the meantime I’m actively looking for opportunities that will help pay the bills and give me a way to do work that aligns with my hopes and dreams for Adaptable, but more on that shortly.

This is a good change, but that doesn’t make it any less scary. While change is frequently good and healthy, the uncertainty can be overwhelming. When it involves leaving an organization that you love and admire, that only adds to the difficulty.

Almost four years ago, I decided it was time to move on from Sifter so I could focus on my leg and recovery. During my time working on Sifter, Postmark always stood out for reliability, ease of use, and customer support. To this day, it’s quite literally still the application and team by which I measure all others. So when it came time to move on from Sifter, Postmark (Wildbit really) was the first and only team I reached out to about employment. I couldn’t have made a better decision.

Wildbit brought me on board while I was still spending a lot of time working to sell Sifter, and they weren’t concerned in the slightest about how an impending amputation could affect my work. They simply brought me on and told me to focus on getting better.

Shortly after joining it became clear that amputation was the best route. When I told Natalie, Wildbit’s CEO, I’d be back at work one week after amputation, she told me that was ridiculous. When it took two weeks, there was no pressure to get back to it, just a good-natured “I told you so.” Over the years when I made trips to Denver to deal with leg issues or get a new leg, I never felt stress around work. I felt wholly supported without question. And having Friday’s off to make that four-hour journey to see my prosthetist made a huge difference as well.

Needless to say, moving on from Wildbit is difficult. Nonetheless, it’s time. And, unsurprisingly, Wildbit is as supportive as ever. So in about six weeks, I’ll put in my last day at Wildbit.

So what’s next? I’m not quite sure yet. At this point, I have more questions than answers.

My long-term plans live with Adaptable, but barring a huge surprise donation, I still have to find work that pays the bills. Whatever that work is, I’d like to make sure it aligns with my hopes and dreams for Adaptable. How it aligns could take quite a few forms, though. In a perfect world, that would look like full-stack design and development for a small non-profit in the publishing/content management world serving those with disabilities. They’d use Ruby, Rails, and web standards and care deeply about accessibility. Of course, a subset of that combination is a little more likely. Regardless, all of these or any of these would dovetail nicely with my dreams for bringing Adaptable to life.

To further clarify, my experience losing my leg and learning about privilege and disability has also informed my thinking and priorities. Accessibility both in the real world and online has become even more personal, but that’s not just accessibility in the context of disability. I want to create more universal access for everyone whether the lack of access is due to disability, a lack of privilege, or something else entirely. So “access” will undoubtedly play a role in helping me know what to do next as well.

While I don’t have an exact roadmap yet, I have enough direction to make a case for getting started. So that’s what I’m doing. I’d love to talk to folks and see what’s out there. Where can my experience be put to good use? Where can I make a difference? Need help from someone like me? Know someone who does? Let’s talk.