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.