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turning 33

Today is January 4, 2022. It’s my birthday!

Today, the cold I’ve had for four days (don’t worry, it’s not Covid), woke me up a couple hours earlier than I’d prefer, so I turned on the kettle, kept the lights low and reflected on the year while I waited for the water to boil.

There’s all sorts of end-of-year rituals out there. The past couple years, I would dedicate some day around this time to financial planning for the year ahead. I don’t give too many f***s about that this year. It can wait another month.

Human & community end-of-year rituals are slowly being replaced by the gift-wrapped surveillance retrospectives from our favorite tech companies. I think Spotify’s is the only one I can stomach.

The stories we tell ourselves are incredibly important. All of these big tech annual wrap-ups seem to me to be an invasion of that story telling sphere: Don’t worry yourself with remembering. We’ll tell you who you were this year.

In that vein, when I sat down with my notebook this morning (which I personally celebrate as New Year’s Day) I wrote down everything that came to mind about this year. Accomplishments, notable moments, let-downs, et alia.

  • Bought a Fender Telecaster on my 32nd birthday as a gift for myself
  • Moved out of an apartment into a house with a basement, washer, & dryer
  • Almost dated someone. Didn’t work out but it was closer than I got in 2020 🤷
  • Started therapy with a Buddhist psychologist. Interesting experiment for a few months
  • Started exercising after the sedentary year of quarantine. Joined a kettle bell gym. Fell in love with the Turkish Getup.
  • Got tendinitis & put a pause on the Turkish Getups and all elbow-involved activities
  • Faced my workaholic nature full on & started physical therapy to resolve tendinitis
  • Built a pedalboard with my friend and jam partner
  • Started taking voice lessons & pushing myself to sing in front of others
  • Wrote a few songs, dove into GarageBand to record & share them
  • Went to a couple awesome shows at unique venues: Josh Ritter at The Old Church, Julian Lage Trio at The Aladdin
  • Upgraded a project guitar with new pickups that I soldered myself. Hopefully it works. I loaned it to a friend
  • My parents visited me in Portland and we had dinner on the Portland Spirit. Highly recommended
  • Earned a promotion to Senior Product Designer
  • Came up with PooPal, taught myself some SwiftUI, learned about incubators & VC funds, discovered that I might be an entrepreneur
  • Created this blog, wrote about a personal misadventure, and am actually writing another post!
  • Pushed myself to live out loud on Twitter & engage with online communities
  • Created a new portfolio website & committed to finding a new role in 2022
  • Learned a ton about no-code tools like Webflow (how I made this blog) & Notion (where I draft blog posts & organize thoughts)

Naturally, I’m forgetting things. But that’s the point. We’re not computers. We remember what has emotional import or affects our immediate reality.

I’m proud to say a I spent a majority of my time pursuing a creative vision for myself. Although we can’t rule out how much time I spent working on that butt-shaped dent in my couch with something on the TV. But being entertained isn’t as important to me as creating, so not remembering what I watched is pretty much in line with how I felt about watching it: just something to pass the time.

✌️Last updated 
January 11, 2022