Looking Back

As we close out 2020 and move towards a hopefully brighter 2021, it’s important to take a deep breath and reflect on what was accomplished in an unexpectedly brutal year. Given all the sociopolitical turmoil, government mandated isolation, and harsh adjustments to virtual life, I’m thankful to say that 2020 wasn’t a complete wash. I somehow managed to hit 3 out of the 4 goals I had set last March.

Failed Goals

  • Climb V10: Very clear fail here, seeing as I only sent a V9. After moving to San Francisco in June, my motivation for training had plummeted, resurfacing only when I was unhappy with the number displayed on my bathroom scale. When the only options for climbing are (not so) nearby crags, I found my priorities shift to more physically stagnant interests. No excuses this year. Let’s send that 10.

Successful Goals

  • Write a Screenplay for a Short Film: I’m extremely proud to announce that I accomplished this goal. Some of my closest friends have read it and given me feedback that I’m actively trying to incorporate. Maybe after a couple of more iterations, I’ll feel comfortable enough sharing it here. This is but the first step towards writing something I can truly be proud of.
  • Advance My Career: Oct 2020 marked the end of my tenure at Confluent and Nov 2020 marked the start of my journey at Truework. Confluent was a great launching pad for my engineering career — expanded technical foundations, learned to mentor, led development on a greenfield project, received a promotion, and more. I’m optimistic that my time at Truework will be even more fruitful.
  • Improve My Focus: It took a while for me to gauge the success of this goal. On one hand, I felt extremely scatterbrained, especially in the latter half of the year, but at the same time, whenever I dedicated my heart to something I truly wanted to accomplish, I found myself unbelievably focused. This feeling is the basis for a new goal for 2021.

Now, let’s get to this year’s goals!

1. Publish Video Content

Last year, I started exploring my creative side — learning to write effectively, read quality fiction, and venturing into different photography styles. Progress in these areas has been gradual and will undoubtedly continue even as I begin shooting video. I’ve already published a handful of still-image content, but have yet to take video as seriously. I have some ideas around a Youtube channel and a digital magazine that I still have to figure out, but there will be something public by the end of this year. How can I shoot a feature film if I haven’t shot any video before?

2. Climb V10

Seeing as how I didn’t accomplish this goal last year, here’s to 2021 being the year I finally become a half decent climber. I’ll try my best to share my journey along the way, anything related to training, trips, troubles, etc. #RoadToV10.

3. Read at least 15 Books

This one is pretty straightforward. Nothing tricky about reading 15 books by the end of this year. Despite reading only a handful of books last year, I found my writing was gradually improving, or evolving rather, with each novel that I finished. I do have plans to write another screenplay sometime this year, so reading books/screenplays/scripture/character driven narratives remains top of mind. That said, I find much benefit, but more importantly excitement, when I find myself engrossed in a book whose genre contrasts with my usual preference. I only have around ten books stacked on my night stand I intend to read this year, so if anyone reading this has recommendations, please send them my way!

4. Be More Disciplined

As mentioned above, I found my focus would deepen and lengthen when directed towards passion projects and problems I found exciting, but it would waver in other occasions. My life doesn’t always offer the luxury for me to work on the most alluring operations, which means I have to find a way to remain disciplined in those unfavorable situations. For now, I’ll define discipline as the mental strength to always do what needs to be done, whether I like it or not. I’m unsure of how to measure improvement though, something to figure out later.

Honorable Mentions

The goals above are the one’s I want devote most of my energy towards, but 2021 will be even better if I can make lots of progress on the following:

  • Make Senior Engineer
  • Shoot photography/do something creative for a paying client
  • Build a following around this blog or another creative endeavor
  • Learn to cook South American and African cuisine.
  • Go to a concert

Cover photo: a picture i took of the golden gate bridge