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A Nerdy Love Story

After delving into the awesome-sauce podcasts over at wpBuilds, I started thinking about my own journey into web design and the path Itook me from a curious kid to a professional web designer, thento finding my soulmate and growing this business and our lives together. It’s a nerdy love story about how I fell in love with web design, which eventually lead me to falling in love with my best friend and fianc.

It began, as most stories do, in a simpler time… I was about 12 years old and it’s the mid-90s, read: a snail could crawl across the room before you could download most files, especiallya photograph, and that’s if the internet didn’t drop out. With nothing more than a clunky PC and a screechy, pay-by-the-minute, dial-up modem barely tetheringme to America Online I found my sanctuary.

I didn’t set out to be a freelance web designer. As a kid, I had no idea web designcould become more than a hobby that none of my other friends found nearly ascool or as interesting as I did. Self isolation become my new normal, although I enjoyed the quiet and reprieve from my regular home life that was, in a word, chaotic. Held up in my room, I would dissect lines of code while trying to make something resembling a decent, functional websiteinstead of somePicasso-esquemess. It took a couple years, but I was a kid. I had nothing but time. Slowly, my skills started to build and I began finding paid work doing this thing that I didn’t even know would becomemy career.

Aftergraduating from Portland State, I launchedfull-time as a Digital Nomad while Itraveledthe worldand bounced around living betweenPerth, Western Australia and Singapore for a while. In both, I found clients that I continue to work with today, and who have referred me to other clients worldwide. Distance from my clients has never been a deterrent from me being able to do my job well and, in turn, see thoseclients return for more work in the future.

Travelinggave me a better appreciation for fully seeing and accepting who I am and how I choose to live life on my own terms, even if it’s not the usually path that other people take. Itgave me a widenedlens to be able to see the world from a broader perspective other than just my own, which benefits the way I design for my clients every day. They appreciate that I have traveled and/or lived in their culture and experienced first hand many of their special and uniqueeccentricities, which has helped me to build rapport with both businesses and the end-users.

This experience also made me have that “AH-HA!” moment one day when I realized, oh, I really am a web designer. This is my career. I’m doing it, and making money, and I love it! It’s weird how that realizationdoesn’t always click until it’s already been happening for a while. It was always just a hobby but now it had stealthily becomemy dream come true.

Being a freelancer can be a lonely life, especially sinceI’ve continued to work from home. So, near the end ofMarch of 2016, I left my cozy inter-nest and nervously drove tomy firstweb designMeetup at a bar in town. As I walked into Rontoms on Burnside, Iimmediately bumpedinto an acquaintance of mine from a couple years ago Gar. Like me, he was there to meet other web geeks and hone his web design skills after completinghiscomputer sciencedegree with a minorin web design. We reconnected that day and have becomebest friends, business partners,and practically inseparable ever since.

Finding our passion lead us to finding each other, and now we’re engaged to be married.He’s the type someone I’d only dreamed about, but didn’t know if I’d ever find someone who sees all of me, including all my weirdness, and loves and accepts all of itwithout seeking to change me. Someone who sees life as one big, hilarious adventure.He even hassimilar ambitions and ways of going about them, including traveling while still remainingcareer driven, andkeeping that balance of a work to live, not live to work lifestyle.

Now, about a year and half later, we’ve moved to the Bay Area and have a dream of owning a Fifth Wheel (fancy RV/house on wheels) with a truck by mid-summer. That way, we’re never too settled but still have a place to call home. It allows us to travel and work from anywhere we go as wefully realizeour dreams of becomingDigital Nomads. It may seem like a strange way of life to some but, to us,it’sa culmination of decades of hard work on our separatepaths that finally lead us to each other. We only get one life to live it – so let’s roll out!

Thank you for reading my nerdy love story, and how I evolvedfrom a kid with a dial-up modem to owning this company with my incredible fianc and building a life worth living together. We are synchronously building our dreams aswe help you build yours. I look forward to getting to know you and your unique story whether as a client or as a fellow WordPresscollaborator, and eventually as a friend.


4 thoughts on “A Nerdy Love Story”

  1. I love this! I would love ?? to touch base on creating a website for my non profit Just Peace! You are incredible and I love your authenticity!

  2. Well that looks a lot like Elaine. <3
    Good job, girl.
    We've been through some shit. I hope this works out for you.

  3. Nice story Ellie. You guys get it. I get it. Work to live and travel the world. Life is short. I am really glad I met you guys and looking forward to crossing paths again. Keep doing what your doing.

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