Once more I find myself marvelling at how fast the days seem to be passing. Just a short while ago it was January and I had all the time in the world to finalise the last technical details of our wedding, before being able to move on to the more luxurious and interesting items (read: dress and decorations). And now here we are in February and I’ve just been told by a dressmaker that I’m dangerously close to leaving it too late to do anything about acquiring the gown of my dreams.
The main culprit is, of course, work. I’m bogged down in it, top to tail. And without meaning to sound too fed up, I’m including wedding planning in this category. It’s not so much fun to spend hours and hours of what precious free time you have searching the entire internet for the best deals on honeymoon apartments, trying to track down bridesmaid’s dresses in the most perfectly exact shade of blue, worrying that hardly anyone has RSVPd yet (telling me on Facebook doesn’t count, people!) and stressing about the weather, about which I can do absolutely nothing, of course.
Thank god the one thing we don’t have to worry about any more is money. Thanks to the well-timed contract I managed to pick up last month, everything is being taken care of. And a lot more besides – I’m starting to feel very hopeful that we may be able to bypass the ‘renting’ stage of our staggered house move and just go straight into a new property. Of course, this is entirely dependent on what our valuation turns up at the end of the month, but I’m quietly confident that we should have quite a tidy sum available for the next deposit. I’m already looking at houses … R thinks I’m being silly, of course, but I’m the kind of person who needs to have an end goal in sight and leaving Harehills for good is the best end goal I can think of right now.
Another fantastic thing about this contract (aside from how well-timed it turned out to be!) is that I’m learning a huge amount about a subject matter I’d never really considered before – digital accessibility. It’s absolutely amazing that someone such as myself, who’s been working both professionally and personally with digital content for more than two decades, could have got so far without ever really having considered what it means to create accessible content, and what I mean by this is content that’s accessible for users with needs outside of those which are generally attributed to the modern web user. Blind and partially sighted users, people with other kinds of disabilities, elderly users, people who have just never had the opportunity to become IT literate … the list goes on. And of course, my not having done so is mainly my fault. I’ve just never thought about stepping outside of my own experience in this way. But now that I have, I find it fascinating. There’s just so much to consider and, rather wonderfully, the demands of the job mesh nicely with my existing skill set. And it’s led me to the realisation that, where previously I’ve found myself becoming disenchanted with certain aspects of content marketing – the endless reaching, the constant one-upmanship, the hard sell of Trojan-style content curation and the trends-driven couching of commercialisation in what is essentially junk narrative – I am irrevocably in love with every facet of creating content for web dev, and creative web editorship in general. In my current position, not only do I get to work alongside a bunch of hugely talented (and wonderfully amiable) developers (a field I wish I could have gone into myself – alas, the lack of encouragement for women in IT, in the 90s) but I am also quietly buoyed by the knowledge that what I am doing right now is going to exist online and be useful to people for a very long time. It’s immensely gratifying.
So, here’s to the next couple of months. To the next stages of wedding planning, to moving forward with our plans to move house, to everyone sending me their bloody RSVPs (come on people!) and to exponentially increasing my knowledge about the work I’m doing right now, which has proven to be far more fascinating than I ever could have expected. And here’s to my future husband, who I have known for nearly a decade (!) and with whom I have just celebrated five years’-worth of partnership. I could never have predicted that he’d be the one with whom I would want to build a life and yet here we are, doing exactly that. And this, too, has proven to be far more fascinating than I ever could have dreamed.