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Year in Review: Resolutions

The Year In Review:

Wow, where did the year go?? I feel like I was just staring at a clock that had freely spinning hour and minute hands! It’s crazy. I’m almost 29, which is almost 30.

If there was a theme for this year, it’s probably relaxation and reflection. I don’t think I grew much professionally at all, but personally I grew a good amount:

  • I took part in PlatoHQ at work, which is a networking and mentoring opportunity with engineering and product leaders. I took 40 calls in maybe six months, to the point where apparently the CEO of Plato was asking who I was (making the most of it LOL).

  • I started fostering a cat after my birthday (her name is Kate and she’s the sweetest thing EVER), and after some initial things to work out, we’re doing okay.

  • I took my first vacation longer than a week since I graduated, by going to LA and Hawaii with two good friends (Maui was absolutely GORGEOUS, and Waikiki OMG).

I also got into audiobooks! I always fall asleep while driving so my friend in North Carolina recommended audiobooks as a way to stay awake. I think the key takeaway from audiobooks is they’re so easy to reread to truly solidify my understanding. I’ve listened to “The Confidence Gap” around five or six times through already, and I think I might do the same for “Atomic Habits”.

Here’s the full list of audiobooks I’ve listened to in 2022:

  • “A Promised Land”, by Barack Obama
  • “Greenlights”, by Matthew McConaughey
  • “The Practice of Groundedness”, by Brad Stulberg
  • “Young Rich Widows”, by Kimberly Belle et al.
  • “Project Hail Mary”, by Andy Weir
  • “Promise Me, Dad”, by Joe Biden
  • “Dune”, by Frank Herbert
  • “Matterhorn”, by Karl Marlantes
  • “The Confidence Gap”, by Russ Harris et al.
  • “Start Small, Stay Small”, by Rob Walling (a reread from previous years)
  • “Atomic Habits”, by James Clear (a reread from previous years)

That’s not including the list of books I’ve read through, which isn’t much if at all. I think I’ll continue to listen to audiobooks in the new year, but that’s neither here or there, so why don’t we get right to the New Year’s Resolutions and how we did.

  • Visit a foreign country (DOES NOT MEET EXPECTATIONS)

    This ended up not being a huge priority for me, so it’s okay I didn’t visit a foreign country. I think the world is still looking to get over COVID, and given how it might be year 3 out of 5, it might still be raging for a little while longer. Going to Hawaii for two weeks, and being able to see Jon in Dallas early this year and visiting Los Angeles for the first time more than made up for it.

  • Look for a significant other (MEETS EXPECTATIONS)

    I ended up doing it this year, I got a girlfriend! We broke up like a month after we became exclusive, but I learned to kiss without a YouTube tutorial, learned to lean on somebody, and enjoyed quality time together, all trappings of a relationship. I told my parents about her a month in and they DID NOT like her at all (mostly around appearance), and did their best to try and break us up. I kept them away but became overly afraid and clingy and a doormat and that did me in; people can smell desperation. Also, she cared deeply about things I didn’t care about, and I cared about things she didn’t care about, so it might have been for the best anyways. Next time, I might wait 6 months before mentioning anything.

    The breakup itself was simple, but not easy. It took around 5 minutes and I had to pay $8 in parking (we broke up at the National Portrait Gallery and I parked at Gallery Place 😑). I thought I’d never get over it, but surprisingly enough the really heavy part took around 2 days (made sure to get out of the house, do chores, and meet friends), there was a long tail of 2 months of sadness, and now I think I’m okay. It’s a world of change from before, and I think the key difference is I didn’t hold a torch or cling to some pedestal for this person. It’s quite literally just another numbers game, like investing when the market’s down or job searching or anything like that.

    Now that I am better established, I think I’ll tolerate less bullshit in dating. For example, now I get spooked now if people have a mean or sad streak in them, or if they respond to my prompts in one-word answers. I’ll also have to work to be less of a doormat, and confront my partner about things I don’t like in frank, explicit communication. For example, my ex used to dump her worries about passing the bar on me, and then when she passed the bar like I said she would, she celebrated with her friends and told me that she just wanted to forget about it. I felt it was unfair but didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to rock the boat. Now I’m like if they’re gonna leave if you’re a doormat anyways, why hold back? And the great thing about emotional journeys (vs. intellectual journeys) is that lessons learned are oftentimes very quickly internalized, so I shouldn’t have to write this down in a notepad to remember to do this.

    I’m not sure whether I’ll be pushing on this front in terms of writing up a New Year’s Resolution, but I’ll probably be pushing on this front every day, even if I don’t expect to have or make time for a relationship due to working on a side hustle. If I do so consistently and maintain my mental psyche while doing so, I should be able to get into another quality relationship by the end of this year. It’ll probably take around 3-4 more quality relationships before I find the person who I might marry. It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience.

    In any case, this was by and large the final frontier of regular stuff I haven’t cracked, and I cracked it. It doesn’t seem so terrifying anymore, and that’s exactly what I wanted to get out of this. So woohoo!

  • Work towards goals in powerlifting (PARTIALLY MEETS EXPECTATIONS)

    You can read and watch all about it in my other blog post on fitness, but I got pretty far in just a few months and then just stopped growing at all for another half year. I need to be consistent, around not just showing up on time to personal training (something I’ve struggled with), but also showing up for myself in going to the gym by myself twice a week and eating right consistently.

    I have the tools and I know what it’s like to be in a flow state when it comes to fitness, I just need to be consistent about it. That’s probably the hardest part. The good news is, I know enough about getting into a flow state for fitness where I can reduce the amount of willpower or motivation I need to get back into the flow if I’m ever out. Honestly, my body gets that same itching sensation if I don’t go to the gym often enough (like when I see a mountain I haven’t climbed yet) where I’m less worried about breaking my flow state.

  • Get 10 customers for side hustle (DOES NOT MEET EXPECTATIONS)

    Though not for lack of trying. At the beginning of this year, I asked a friend from work to try and help me out by hopping on a call every week and seeing how things are going on my startup. I let him down, and didn’t ship anything. Fast forward to a few months in and I got into YC startup school, and got some matches for startup founders, and got to YC interview stage (!!). I committed to one and didn’t really do a whole lot because I was in a relationship and didn’t make the startup a priority. I asked to leave after my cofounder put up a challenge, and now I’m back at square one. Now I’m chatting with a now-friend who’s starting his second company, and looking to make decent progress on a weekly basis by running some mom tests and creating Figma designs.

    I think honestly I work better solo. I just have an incredibly hard time trusting a partner and knowing what to expect, that I’d almost feel more comfortable just doing it myself. Of course, that means actually, you know, doing it instead of just talking or strategizing about doing it. I have been able to write some code, such as a BigQuery dialect for sqlglot, but haven’t been able to write apps or systems quite yet.

    That’s the thing, knowing what to do at any particular moment, especially given huge time constraints if I’m not going to leave my current job (which I’m currently clinging onto in the face of economic recession).

    I’ll be carrying this forward for next year, I think starting my own revenue-generating app is the new final frontier for me.