Necessary Reflection

2021, what a year. I don’t think I’ll end up writing a post about all the crazy shit that happened, but it was one helluva year. Calling it a rollarcoaster of a year isn’t quite apt; it felt more akin to one of those mechanical bull gambits. Optimistically speaking, I grew in some unexpected ways and began grounding myself to the things that are important to me. Now, onto the goals!

Failed Goals

  • Publish Video Content: I didn’t post a damn thing last year, but I will say I had a handful of amazing opportunities to work with soem friends on film sets and shoots. I just didn’t post anything of my own. My shoddy excuse is that I was writing much more (writing portfolio + new manga instragram page) and focused much more on learning about storytelling. Regardless of that, I need to fix this soon. Movies are my favorite artform at the end of the day.
  • Be More Disciplined: Seeing as I got fired last year, I have to call this a fail. I can go and blame it on my distate for my former job, but I wrote it explicitly in my goal last year that being disciplined means that I still do things even if I don’t want to. I still come with a strong consistency in pace and quality. That mental strength was not there, simple as that.

Successful Goals

  • Climb V10: This has been a climbing goal of mine ever since I started climbing; thrilled to finally put down Aquatic Hitckhiker V10 in November ‘21. It’s only the beginning of the sends.
  • Read at least 15 Books: If I’m being extremely nitpicky, I would say I actually failed this one, but I’m going to cut myself some slack ehre. I ended the year on 13 books and >40 mangas. Getting fired was a blessing in disguise because it gave me time to read books/manga and watch tons of movies. I’m counting the manga I’ve read as books for a couple of reasons. 1. The sheer volume of manga I read surmounts the books in my collection. 2. The manga were often thought provoking, wildly creative, and dense.

Goals for the Year

1. Get @chew.on.manga to 1k Followers

Even though the page has been on a bit of a hiatus, I’m more determined than ever to take this page over the 1k mark this year. For those of you who don’t know, I run this manga Instagram page where I make posts talking about the story and essence of some amazing bodies of work. I started the page towards the end of last year and have already seem some momentum and a community growing behind it. I do feel somewhat grimy making a tangible goal around number of followers, but how else am I going to empirically measure growth and “success”? If I can build an engaged audience of 1,000 manga enthusiasts, there will be many more doors unlocked. Community is one of the most important things to me.

2. Don’t Get Fired

This one is a pretty low bar, but if I feel like if I don’t set it explicitly as a goal for the year, I’m going to regress to where I was last year. For the majority of last year, I’ve had a rather rocky relationship with my engineering career and have only just found a deeper detemination to return to the workforce. I’m officially writing this blog post after having started at Sprig (we’re hiring :D) and love it so far. Let’s hope we can keep this up!

3. Host 4 Dinners

This one if very straightforward. My close friends know already, but a life goal of mine is to open an experience oriented restaurant, mainly centered around manga and its stories. To me, nothing connects people more than sharing food, so eventually, I have to a space dedicated to building that community. This goal is the first step of that. I’ve already hosted one of these dinners for a small group of friends, and I’m itching to host more. I have a swath of ideas for future dinners, but if anyone has some more, don’t hesitate to share!

4. Be Happy

Frankly speaking, this is something I struggled with a lot last year – feeling genuinely happy. There were many moments where I thought I was happy, but in reality, I was really fooling myself. A big part of it was the fact that I felt extremely lost. I felt frustrated and restricted and I had no idea why. Is it the people around me? Is it my lack of passion for my job? Maybe it’s all in my head? The answer is not that simple and it’s not going to show up on a silver platter. Maybe the kind of “ideal” happiness that I’m looking for doesn’t even exist. Whatever the case, it’s a couple months into 2022 and I’m already feeling much better than I was six months ago. There’s so much left to learn.

Honorable Mentions

Four goals is a great place to start, but life is multilayered and offers opportunities to achieve so much more. Let’s get after the one above and then some:

  • Get a raise: the recession has begun and I could sure use a lil more cash.
  • Film something: Film has taken a backseat recently but it will never be forgotten.
  • Learn to cook African/not basic European cuisine

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