On the good stuff
19 December 2014
Last week I wrote about taking emotional/mental stock at the end of the year, an activity that took on a dim tone due to its potential difficulty and confusion. To balance it out, it’s important not to miss the good stuff. In recent years, I’ve established the habit of looking back at the end of each year and making a list of what I did that was worth noting.
- I gave sixteen talks in four different countries and thirteen different cities.
- I visited New York City for the first time.
- I visited New Zealand for the first time.
- (I also visited some other places for the first time, but those previous two were my favorites.)
- I launched a mother/daughter workshop series called Code and Cupcakes which has turned out to be a pretty decent idea.
- I was interviewed on live TV and made the paper version of the Tribune.
- I registered my first LLC.
- I quit my job without another already lined up and spent some time figuring out what I genuinely wanted to do, a previously inaccessible luxury.
- I accepted a new job that capitalizes on my experience and interest strategizing educational content and mentoring presenters, which I’m used to only being able to do on the side.
- I turned over leadership of Girl Develop It Chicago, which marked the first time in two years I wasn’t organizing a GDI chapter in some capacity. The subsequent leaders have been doing an amazing job, I’ve been advising them and I’ve still been teaching GDI classes. It was a good move.
- I started work on my largest tattoo so far which covers 2/3 of my back (it’s an astronaut in space, you can call her Mae J).
- I was introduced to my life partner, Tom Servo.
- I took my daughter on our first proper family vacation ever, to Disney World.
- I saw Vertigo on 70mm film.
- I applied to and was accepted by DePaul University to finish my computer science degree.
- I celebrated one full year living in Chicago.
- I took a trapeze class.
- I turned thirty-three years old.
- I filled 3.2 writing notebooks.
2014 is the year I lost patience with the myopia of a tech community constantly prioritizing being right over considering the full range of human context, and realized I was much happier existing outside of it. 2014 is the year I realized my worst struggles and pain in recent years had been a result of being caught in others’ plans based on their perception of what I represented and what they needed from me, rather than who I was as an individual and what I needed. 2014 is the year I realized I had been a token, and the year I realized people were taking pieces of me, bit by bit, and not thinking about what they put back. 2014 is the year I realized there was a much better life outside of others’ expectations.
And, with that, I think I’m done looking backward.
What’s up next?
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