When you don’t take the time to recognize what you have accomplished, nothing will ever be good enough. - Poornima Vijayashanker
Reflection is a drag, and we have too many things to think about in the future for us to spend time looking back. It’s too easy to move on to the next big thing, without first internalizing what we have achieved, small or big. So on the last day of 2015, I want to list a few things I’m proud to say I got done this year.
Getting comfortable with and understanding yourself better takes longer than a year, but I aimed to do what I could.
• Meditated with a group, a few times every week.
• I decided reading was important to me. I read about 30 books!
• (Almost) paid off my student loans. I learnt how to properly invest and save money.
• I learnt to drive on the other side of the road, in Chinatown, NYC. Passed with flying colours in in Red Hook.
• Got a credit card, a reputable credit score, and got on my buildings lease. Which means I’m officially a grown up.
• Bought my first proper bike, and first proper suit.
If 2014 was understanding what it truly feels like to be alone, and being ok about it, 2015 was about surrounding myself with people I liked and who liked me.
• Learnt how to salsa dance (kind of), in an aggressively latino Brooklyn dance studio.
• Learnt how to play volleyball (kind of).
• Went on many first dates (and subsequent dates).
• Did fun stuff with friends in Tennessee, Florida, New Jersey, Maine, Vermont, California & Massachusetts.
• Like running a Spartan race in an army base on the border of Kentucky.
• Like riding a bike really fast downhill somewhere in the forests of Maine.
• Like renting a Jeep and driving to the southernmost point in the U.S.A
I was literally the furthest from my family I’ve ever been, yet I’ve never felt as much warmth, support and love. Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
• Thanksgiving with my Mum’s side of the family in Petaluma, California
• Summer in Provence with my immediate family (pictured).
• Spoke with my grandparents probably more than every year prior combined.
Many of my good friends from Australia made it to New York to say hi too! The benefit of living in a destination city.
Ruby, Nic, Katie, James, Emily, Sarah
• Listened to smart, accomplished people talk, like Werner Herzog, Alex Bloomberg, Lemony Snicket, Neil Gaiman, Milton Glaser, Paul Ford and many, many professional designers too.
• Rode my bike through all 5 boroughs with 32,000 other cyclists for the Five Boro bike tour, and later through the Hudson Valley too.
• Made it to a basketball (Nets), baseball (Mets), football game (Titans).
My career in 2015 was a bet made a few years before, that started paying off.
• Launched a new product from scratch, to beta, to thousands of new customers
• Participated in 2 hackathons (one was 24 hours straight)
• My team started a post-it art war, later deemed a ‘reason to love New York’ by NY mag.
• Now officially a human centered designer
• Started a design email newsletter promoting design thinking
• Got a promotion, and a job title that validated this journey to America in the first place: ‘product designer’ :)
All in all, a fine year. Probably the best so far. But there’s more to come. A few days ago I was told by a stranger that “2016 will be the best year of your life.” I’m going to take their word for it.