On Tackling Giants

A little over four months ago, I applied for an internship with an open source project that I really believe in. I was on unemployment at the time due to the fact that the previous company I worked for declared bankruptcy, and refused to pay me quite a lot of money that was owed. It was a no-win situation, and I was pretty much reduced to designing websites on shady freelancing services.

It’s funny how things work out, actually. These were the people that I looked up to ever since their Kickstarter campaign. I’ve always been obsessed about how human beings communicate, especially when using the web as a medium. The ideas driving it: decentralization, enhanced privacy settings, and using your own little space on the web as a social hub all struck a chord in me. At the time, there was no real alternative to Facebook for the FOSS community. (Elgg, GNU Social, Crabgrass, and Appleseed were poor replacements at the time).

So imagine how I’ve felt, being able to interact with the people I look up to the most on a daily basis. For the last four months, I’ve basically been working my dream job. I work with some of the smartest, most creative people I know, and it’s incredibly inspiring.

I never thought in a million years that I’d actually be doing something that I really care about and believe in before age 25. I just want more than anything to constantly prove that hiring me was the right decision, as I’m incredibly grateful to be involved with something so much bigger than myself.

Sometimes, I’m just wondering if I’m living in a dream, and I’m just wondering if I’m going to wake up, and still be back where I was a year ago. I hope more than anything that that’s not the case, though. The people I’ve met and the things that I’ve been driven to do have given my life structure and meaning in ways that I could not comprehend before. It’s the glue that holds me together, and my state of mind has gotten so much better because of it.

Sean is a guy from the middle of nowhere in Illinois who passionately supports Free Software, Free Culture, and decentralized communication systems. He serves as the editor of We Distribute, a publication dedicated to the development of the fediverse. In his spare time, Sean is a budding indie game dev, writer, web developer, and a musician.

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