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Ten years

January 11, 2013 ・ Blog

An artful picture of my passport

Today I took receipt of a new passport. I will get my next one in ten years. I’ll be 47.

Ten years ago, I had yet to get my first writing job. I had just finished a six-month postgraduate course in periodical journalism at the London College Of Printing, during which I stood in front of my class and said I wanted to write for Edge.

I spent that January on a work placement at the RIBA Journal, a magazine for members of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Its office then was in a newly built office complex in the hinterlands of London’s Docklands, a bland island of marble and glass in a post-industrial concrete sea. The wind seemed bitterly cold there, but maybe that was down to my fears for finding a proper job.

A month later, though, I’d find myself on another placement and subsequent job, at a new architecture and design magazine on which I was the first officially active editorial person. Icon’s done pretty well ever since.

In January six years ago, I walked out of the Channel 4 offices for the last time. I felt relieved. I hadn’t enjoyed the year I’d spent working on its website much, and I fancied the chance to spread my wings. But again, I was also worried about my chances of finding work. This time I had a child to help support. I couldn’t know then that it’d end up with me working at Edge and us moving to Bath from London.

Two years ago, I was on a trip to Valve’s office in Seattle to see Portal 2. If there’s any developer that all game journalists would want to visit, it’d be Valve. And like pretty much any other game journalist, I can’t deny that I fantasised that I’d be offered a job there, as crazy as that’d be. In reality, I spent most of the time holed up in my hotel room with a stomach bug and a deadline.

Ten years, it turns out, is a long time. In that period, I’ve had two children, gotten married, bought two homes, developed a career and moved between cities. I don’t know where my family and I will be when I’m 47, or what I’ll be doing. In the context of all I’ve done in the past ten years, I suppose that’s exciting. But I’m also a little scared.