Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.
Automattic GM 2017
After 10 days away, I’m home. I’m excited to be with my people here and get back to my routine, but I’m also a little melancholy knowing that I won’t see my coworkers for an entire year, if ever again. (I’ve never been good at goodbyes or finalities.)
I admit that that sounds dark, but it actually makes me very appreciative for the time I do get to spend with them, which is why I do everything I can to make the most of our week together.
Here’s a random, disjointed glimpse of my GM, minus most of the work stuff. Because, well — it’s work. It’s kind of weird to take photos of people in the middle of a meeting or class… though there’s a few of those too. 😀
Gorgeous sights. Face swaps. Surprise doggos. Improvised lobby dance parties. Late-night eats. Catching up 1:1. Prom. Immature jokes. Honest conversations. Peace signs. Homeroom. Twinning. Champagne. Domains. Nodules. Surprise connections.
As someone remarked this week, “You’re really good at burning the candle at both ends.”
Cheers to my team, and I hope to see you all soon.
Dad’s First Comment
While working in Thailand, I received the following message from my brother:
I checked our shared iCloud photo album (primarily used to share photos and videos of my niece, but lately I’ve been sharing photos of my travels so that my family knows that I’m alive and well) and saw several likes and comments from a Jenny Zhu.
I got my parents iPads a couple of years ago — they’re registered in my name, which is why the comments appear from “Jenny Zhu.” But this is the first time they’ve posted anything, anywhere. I’m overcome with glee because, well, how cute is this?! They’re learning! Can’t wait to continue to help them (slowly) discover the wonders and conveniences of technology.
Automattic GM 2016
Flash talks, townhalls, workshops, presentations, projects. It was a blur, but as always, it was wonderful to catch up with some of my lovely coworkers. (I wish I could say all of my lovely coworkers, but there simply wasn’t enough time!)
Here’s a disjointed glimpse of my week in Whistler in photos/videos:
Last week I checked out the Renwick Gallery’s opening exhibit, WONDER. I went solo, and because it was a weekday, there were gloriously few visitors. I’ve included few photos and (Snapchat) videos that don’t do it justice.
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.
Automattic GM 2015
It was a wonderful week reconnecting with old friends and getting to know new ones. It seems like a lot of time to spend together, but I wish we had more than just one week out of the year.
Late nights. Early mornings. Dance parties. Oversharing. Contact improv. Jane Doze. Chillin. Swing dancing. Messes. Flash talks. Lists. Bacon. Escalade. Cocktail suicide. Questionable automattchers. DJing. Ghosting. Selfies. Credit card. Mentor/mentee shots. On fleek. Speed shopping.
My week in photos and videos:
WordPress.com Terms of Service Meetup – Glasgow
This week I had the honour of playing semi-host to (a selection of) the combined forces of the WordPress Jetpack, legal, and Terms of Service teams.
There was Irn-Bru, bucky, pommes frites, castles, Garage, fish suppers, macaroon, gin, bottles of vodka, curry, big balls, easter eggs, single malt, World Cup failures, dancing lawyers, burgers, ayes, bathroom mood lighting, ampm soaps, tapas, and spam.
A friend asked me what I’m looking forward to in the new year, and I realized that there’s plenty. In the first 6 months I’m headed to:
Portland, ME (Visiting family)
South Lake Tahoe, CA (Debauchery with friends)
Portland, OR (More friendly debauchery)
Austin, TX (Bachelorette party)
New Haven, CT + New York, NY (Reunion with childhood friends)
Myersville, MD (Wedding + reunion with my college roommates)
Zion National Park (Continued friendly debauchery)
I’m looking forward to so many local camping trips and weddings in that time as well.
I have a feeling that the upcoming year is going to be a lot of fun and a bit chaotic (in the best way possible). This made me happy, which made me think of all the other things I’m happy about, so rather than outline what I’m setting to accomplish in 2014, I want to reflect on a few things I’m grateful for from the past year:
- My and my loved ones’ health and wellbeing.
- All of the kind, intelligent, hilarious, talented, and fun-loving people in my life, some of whom I’ve now known for 20 years now! Woah.
- Staying up too late for my own good.
- My landlord who has still not raised my rent, allowing me to continue to live in a beautiful and wonderfully bizarre city that I love.
- Amateur blogging.
- Getting engaged at the only Cal football win of the season.
- My new job and team.
- Taking my parents on their first vacation since 2000.
- Great reads.
- Honesty, on both giving and receiving ends, even when it makes me feel stupid.
Cheers to a fantastic year ahead!
Last week I had the pleasure of spending five productive and fun days in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico with a couple of teams I work closely with at Automattic.