Looking back on 2018, I haven’t been this happy, or this productive in a very long time. It feels good to reflect on this past year. By comparison, when 2017 drew to a close, I came to the conclusion that it was a difficult year. It ended with mixed feelings of nostalgia, regret, and a lot of uncertainty.
2018 was a totally different ballgame though. I began the year with two very simple goals in mind:
- Skill building
That’s it. Underpromise and over-deliver 😁
I busted my ass at work (at the time, I was working for an ad agency). I learned lot’s of things there, (and re-learned even more outside of work hours). Let me tell you right now, there are merits to skipping happy hour with your co-workers and going home to work on side-projects (or just going home to relax).
I finally picked up React (and Typescript for that matter). Spent a lot of time with Shopify’s tools (for a side-project), went back to Ruby for a bit and spent a considerable amount of time with tried-and-true PHP.
While on the subject of PHP — I joined Vimeo full-time, as a Front-end Developer. Thanks to amazing and open environment here, I learned even more regarding React, Git best practices, and how to write good PRs. As a bonus, I became a better Designer — mainly via feedback and collaboration. The tried-and-true iterative design process has been missing from my work-life since college, and it feels good to be part of a team that treats design as a first-class citizen. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about Vimeo as time goes on.
I focused most of my energies on mental health, which I recommend to anyone and everyone for the year 2019. Taking time to relax more did wonders (although leaving the “Ad World” really did most of the leg work here, I do not miss the hours or the pressure). Exercising more self-control with screen-time when I’m off work was a big one for me too. I tried cutting back on video games as well (even if I wasn’t entirely successful with that, it is for the better).
I’ve also begun to switch gears in my morning/evening commute routine too. Listening to more audiobooks than news or podcasts has been a mostly positive thing. Mainly because when commuting home in the evening, it can be really stressful. Nothing is more dreadful than a packed, hot, humid subway car, full of hundreds of sighs and negativity as millions of New Yorkers head home after a long day in the office. For whatever reason, there’s something very soothing about audiobooks, even at the height of the evening rush-hour.
Which leads me to my running routine. However irregular the days may have been, I ran more in 2018 than the year before, which is good I suppose. On the days I did decide to run, I wouldn’t run further than 2 miles at the most. My regret for 2018 is that I probably should be doing more than just running. Perhaps a more varied selection of cardio that involves my other limbs like swimming, rowing, or something.
So yeah, 2018 was a pretty good year for my personal goals. But I have so much more in my life than just myself.
My girlfriend, and best friend, Leah Constantine (@dumbcurator) joined The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a highly prestigious institution of art and history. But a week before that, in May of 2018 she graduated from The Pratt Institute School of Information’s Master of Science in Library and Information Science. Simply put, Leah’s amazing. Here’s her website.
In 2018, we didn’t travel as much as we would have liked. And that’s okay. For the most part, we stayed in NYC all year. I travelled to Texas for my step-father’s birthday and I was happy I did, because we skipped Thanksgiving with our families to save money. It panned out well for us, because for one, we did another road-trip to Texas for Christmas. And for two, we wanted to begin saving money for trips elsewhere for 2019.
All in all, 2018 was a fantastic year of growth for my girlfriend and I — honestly can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of this year. For 2019, I’m going to focus on several things:
- Focus on fitness and continue to monitor my health
- Eat better (less meat, more greens)
- Travel when possible
- Make a dent in my student loans
- Maintain one side-project at a time (instead of say 3 or 4, just keep it simple for goodness sake)
- Read more books
See you next year!