Here are a few things I did this year and some goals for the coming year.
My most significant change was moving from San Francisco, CA, to New York, NY. New York is an amazing city to live in, but it is wasted on a homebody like myself. Apart from the relocation, this year has been relatively monotonous, with a few highs and lows sprinkled within.
This year has been challenging for the tech industry. From what I have read, the root cause seems to be an overestimation of trends from the pandemic era. According to layoffs.fyi, over 150k employees lost their jobs. I am grateful to have kept my employment through this turbulent time.
I had the opportunity to work on some exciting projects. Of course, like any other startup, there are shifting requirements, and these frequent changes bothered me a lot, but lately, I've adopted the mindset of embracing the chaos and treating it as a part of the process. This outlook has improved my work, and I hope to keep this attitude.
Towards the end of the year, I was promoted to senior software engineer! In the upcoming year, I plan to take on bigger projects and positively impact the engineering culture and progress as an engineer.
This year was practically a repeat of the last year. I only ran 170.3 KM, but I have somewhat of an excuse this time. I suffered from an injury called Plantar Fasciitis because I ran multiples over my average mileage on a rainy day in a worn-out shoe. I can only blame myself for my poor decisions, but while waiting for the foot to heal, I realized that running is something I love and want to continue doing in the future.
I have no set goals for next year apart from being consistent and injury-free.
US consulates in India suffered from an unprecedented backlog this year, and since my visa had expired, I couldn't travel out of the country. I had the opportunity to visit some incredible places in the continental United States, including Yosemite National Park, Key West & Portland, Maine.
I got my visa renewed towards the end of the year, so I plan to travel out of the country soon -- starting with Mexico in January!
I enjoy going to the theatres but dread the noisy and unruly crowds in most New York cinema halls. In that regard, Alamo Drafthouse has become one of my favorite places in the city. They have some quirky rules, so it might not be for everyone, but if you find an opportunity to check it out, give it a shot!
A lot of incredible movies were released this year. Here are some of my favorites:
My playlists had stagnated quite a bit, and I was listening to the same songs over and over again. I am primarily into rock music and have difficulty finding new artists I like. Then, I came across Music Map, a web app that maps similar artists, and I discovered a lot of new music that I love.
According to Spotify, I've listened to 26,105 minutes of music this year.
This year felt more monotonous, and I have a decent idea why that might be. Since the past few months, I have been spending an inordinate amount of time on my phone/TV, which is unproductive on most occasions. I'll pick up my phone and involuntarily scroll even though I can barely retain anything afterward. This behavior has had a considerable impact on my well-being. Unfortunately, my repeated attempts to moderate this habit have not worked out in my favor so far. In the coming year, I want to rectify this behavior.
On a positive note, I maintained my journal throughout the year. I was a tad inconsistent in the first couple of months, but I fixed it soon after. I have been using Notion as my primary source, but I have growing concerns from a privacy standpoint. I tried out standard notes, but their UI is not my favorite. With a lack of options for my particular needs, I started building a solution. It is a daunting task, and the more I work on it, the more I realize how much I still need to do. I am curious to see if it is possible to build this out and maintain it going forward, but I have learned a lot so far and want to give this an honest try.
On paper, this was a very productive year. I moved to a new city, received a promotion at work, and had some clear personal wins. Most days, however, did not feel that way. Next year, my goal is to continue the things I am doing right and replace some detrimental habits with better ones.