A confession, a transformation, and a few words of thanks all in this rapid fire post.
Is This Thing On?
This is a tricky bit here, trying to explain some personal feelings and stuff without getting all...like a Morrissey fan or something. I kid! Well, kinda. But people who know me know that I'm a directly spoken person, without much artifice or guile, and tend to speak openly even about feelings many do not openly discuss.
So my first two days at UDS were overwhelming as I previously said. So much going on and I really didn't know how I fit into all of it. Metaphysically, where am I in the Ubuntu spectrum in relation to everyone else?
Becoming Ubuntu Studio Project Lead wasn't a path or ritual founded on merit, it was an abhorrence of a vacuum. So I'm basically saying that I filled a void rather than earned the position. It would be dishonest to say that I am without pride or ego and I was considerably bothered to feel that I was a suboptimal leader devoid of practical experience leading a project inside the Ubuntu ecosphere.
It led to a lot of soul searching. I found it, my soul that is, in case anyone was worrying.
But I felt a sense of unworthiness being at UDS, especially after hearing many session where I lacked experience to understand all the concepts and considerations and I almost felt that someone would tap me on the shoulder at some point and tell me that I didn't belong and it would be best to go home.
I suppose I didn't show it, but I was unnerved when Jono made a point of telling me he wanted to discuss some things about Ubuntu Studio with me. I'm brave enough to admit this now, not then, but I fretted...slightly. Only slightly.
The third day, however, was a catalyst.
The Skin I'm In
What happened on the third day? It wasn't a specific event, it was a confluence of a myriad of influences, sweepingly vast and pervasively small. But mainly it was Kate Stewart.
Starting on Wednesday I began to attend session for release planning, the release team, and how to improve the process. Ah! The process.
Again, those who know me know that I am process driven, I need a plan. If one is missing, I will either create it or instigate group development of one. I don't crave attention, I'm happy to be part of a well organized team moving towards success, but without a well defined process I am quite unhappy and moved to action.
I learned quite a lot of information about releases and how they would be managed. The inclusion I felt in turn engendered an amazing sense of efficacy. I now felt that I could begin to potently effect the changes that I felt were necessary for Ubuntu Studio.
The fourth and fifth days did nothing to dissuade these feelings. I began to work very late at night to work on additional blueprints, updating wiki pages with planning notes, and carefully evaluating the team's plan for Precise. I was, and still am, extremely motivated.
I dreamed about making Ubuntu Studio better on both Saturday and Sunday nights. I'm having trouble keeping focused on my regular job because I just want to work on Ubuntu Studio.
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)
Another aspect of what made the UDS a very, very moving experience was the people.
It was simply amazing seeing all the various peoples, from various locales from around the world, with their own various cultures, all working together harmoniously to make the world a better place.
And the personal contacts that I made during the week equally moved me. I'm horrible remembering names and it became so important to me to remember people that I started to write down names as I learned them and some context to help me remember. I usually don't do that, most times I smile and talk and before I have even turned away from the person I have already forgotten their name.
Not this time and certainly not these people.
Thank you Mark for Ubuntu.
Thank you Randall for being my roommate, explaining things to a UDS neophyte, and making me be social when it wasn't my first inclination.
Thank you Kate for making me feel included and explaining things when I had so many questions.
Also, thank you Jono for talking to me about Ubuntu and Ubuntu Studio.
There are many other people I will thank, but now right now. But I will.