My year didn’t go to plan, but then again – nobody’s did. Terrible things happened, beautiful things happened. I’m very happy with where I am and grateful for those who made it possible.
I’ve done my best to make time & place the central thread, but in a parallel universe I wrote this post around words & people and it makes just as much sense.
NYC & SF // Jan-Mar #
started my role at Ressemble thus ending my half-year stint of contracting, stress, and a dwindling bank account. The relief I felt when cashing my first check is a feeling I’ll remember for a long time.
- Money doesn’t fix problems, but it does transform them from the “how do I pay rent” variety to “what do I do with my day” sort, which are much more enjoyable to solve.
attended my first Roam Research meetup and met people asking questions such as: how do we record and share knowledge? How do we learn without a curriculum? How do we teach others while still learning ourselves?
- A common conclusion we came to was that this tool might just help us answer some of these questions. Glad to say I think we’re on the right path.
hosted a regular meetup for friends on Sunday evenings to come chat, meet more friends, and work on whatever they wanted. Can’t wait to continue this one whenever and wherever it will be.
enjoyed my last few months in the city. My friends and I made a list of places to visit and did a good job maximizing the time and calories consumed together. Thank you Nancy and Alex <3.
wrote [[post:concentration-compromise]] - everything I know about productivity, focus, and routine.
wrote [[post:coronavirus]] - the realization I’d unlearned everything I’d written one month prior.
Sacramento // Mar-Aug #
moved in with family after three years away. It wasn’t always easy but I’m glad to say our relationship is in a better place now than when I arrived. Being together allowed for difficult conversations simply not possible over the phone or during short visits home.
hiked solo most weekends offering me an escape from my suburban heat island to something restorative and green and not shaped like a box.
bought a hammock making it the best purchase of the year. Spending time in nature doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. I’ve laid on logs while reading books and a hammock is just better in all the ways.
established my Friday evening routine: mute all notifications, take a long walk to watch the sunset. Walk back home. Turn on a nice mix and lose myself in writing or drawing for the rest of the night.
- We typically have more control over our personal emotional-psychological environment than our physical one. It can be reconfigured into the space we want just as a room can be made into a kitchen for cooking and eating.
drove to Austin and back to enjoy a week with friends. Was reminded of how large this country is and realized how much of said largeness is Texas. Rekindled my love of long distance drives and gas station snacks.
wrote my friends in nature post describing how I wanted to live in and my plan to make it happen. Met several others looking for the same thing, ended up connecting with a friend to make San Diego a reality.
I am looking to co-live with a small (4-6) group of people outside of busy city life. These people should be intellectually curious, learning or building something that excites them, and generally leading their lives in a manner congruent with a more equitable, empathetic, and inclusive future. I see this as the first step in a longer-term plan described further below.
worked with my therapist to guide me in healing a wounded relationship with someone really important to me. Spent time exploring my own sexuality, desires, and insecurities with someone holding space for me while gently correcting misguided assumptions about myself and others.
- My model of therapy is akin to a player and a coach: the work is done by the individual, but the therapist facilitates the process and provides accountability and perspective.
helped Azlen build Cozyroom after connecting over a tweet of his. We came in third place! I learned a lot about design, interaction, and digital spaces. Honored to call him a friend and an inspiration.
Part of what makes New York City such an incredible place is the density allowing for groups of diverse people to come together, meet each other, and have a good time. There were two types of gatherings I enjoyed: friend-of-friend parties where you walk around and meet a bunch of people (<25-30 people total) and concerts/clubs/music festivals (up into the thousands). As both types are gone for the foreseeable future, I’ve been thinking about how we might replicate them online.
Last week I quoted some tweets by Azlen and tried exploring what an online space could and should be for online parties. A few back and forth messages later and we were hacking away at a prototype for Pioneer’s hackathon on Saturday morning. I should clarify, though: by we I mean Azlen did most of the hard work as I sat around and fumbled with trying to get my Vue components to behave properly.
San Diego // Aug-Nov #
surrounded myself with friends seeking reflection and mindfulness near nature. Supported each other on our journeys and gave one another space as needed. Enjoyed lots of tacos.
walked to the beach most days. Too bright during the day; much more inviting during sunsets. Meditating on a dark beach alone in the middle of the night is therapeutic.
became more comfortable in a mirror. I’ve spent plenty of time in gyms, but this was my first wall-sized mirror in a room where I could work out and stretch as naked as I wanted. And I loved it.
learned co-living lessons about car sharing and electrical emergencies and fridge space and flat tires and social bubbles and risk tolerances. As with any relationship, good communication and managing expectations will get you very far.
established healthy routines so that by the time I left for Austin, my sleep, diet, and exercise were in the best state of my life.
Everything comes down to consistency, rest, and self-love.
slept in two beds. one for resting, phone calls, drawing, and reading. The second for sleeping and sleeping only. Incredibly helpful in maintaining good sleep hygiene.
worked on side projects after a long time away. My first one was a sunset notifier. It puts the exact time right into my calendar leaving me no excuses but to go and watch it. Excited to share my next project in the coming months.
explored Wikipedia rabbit holes and developed a newfound respect for the average Wikipedian and the meticulous level of attention and care anonymous consensus entails.
Austin // Nov-Dec #
slept on the couch with wonderful cats and was reminded that the who matters a lot more than the where. Wrote a bit about my journey in finding myself, my home, and my people.
I can’t point to home on a map. It can be deep in Texas or at a cabin in upstate New York - the coordinates are of much less importance than the emotional space we hold for and with one another. Home is where I feel understood, loved, and cared for.
co-hosted Interhackt and pushed my online-hosting skills way beyond my comfort zone. We were amazed to see the connection and creation happening before our eyes.
lost my ergonomic workstation when my new Mac Mini went kaput and my laptop couldn’t run the external monitor on hand. Had to make do with a giant bean bag for a desk and an overheating toaster for a laptop, but I made it work.
enjoyed cooking by making the space and time for it in a beautiful kitchen, allowing me to relax and enjoy the process instead of worrying about a dozen other things not related to the food in front of me. Also, gas stoves are the best stoves.
NYC // Dec #
met with old friends. Nothing compares to the first hug after nine long months apart. Distance might change things but it should never destroy them.
- Parts of my memories are stored in my friends’ brains, and theirs in mine. Reconnecting means combining them for a fuller picture of ourselves and our stories.
hypothesis: switching from in-person interactions to digital ones with a specific group of people I established shared mental models with means I can access fewer of those models in my own brain due to the newly-constrained levels of communication.
followed my heart and had an amazing time with someone incredible and special. Discovered beautiful things about myself, each other, and our world.
took long walks through the city simultaneously re-living memories from the past and marveling at all that changed since. I accept the city I once knew is gone, but in its place is something just as beautiful, dynamic, and alive.
celebrated New Years by dancing with friends on a rooftop to a cheer from the rest of the city amidst fireworks, honking, and laughter.
Couldn’t have wished for a more perfect way to say farewell to 2020 and welcome to 2021.