Necessary Reflection

Another year for the books, and one quite different from the previous. I can’t remember a year that has not been tumultous. 2022 was the year I traveled the world with my best friends. It was the year I bid SF farewell and moved to NYC. It was a year of necessary, deep self-reflection and rebirth. I feel that I’m both a completely different and the exact same person in 2023 than I was in 2022. The biggest difference is perhaps the clarity I’ve found within myself. I hope 2023 will encourage another positive inflection point in my life. Now, let’s see this year’s goals.

Failed Goals

  • Get @chew.on.manga to 1k Followers: Really dropped the ball here this year. Worry not my manga maniacs, this page is coming back stronger than ever. Hold me accountable and shoot me a follow.

Successful Goals

  • Don’t Get Fired: Mission accomplished. Sprig has been wonderful to me, and I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon.
  • Host 4 Dinners: I only hosted 1 official dinner for the chew.on.manga dinner series, but I did manage to host something just about every other week. I’m only counting dinners where I cooked for >4 people. Some highlights for those interested include impromptu summer dinner parties (I cut this crazy watermelon mixed drink in one of them) and small dinners after I moved to NYC. Going to bring back the larger format, high production value dinner parties soon. Stay tuned, loves.
  • Be Happy: I’m marking this as a success because when the year came to an end and I looked back at all that happened this year, I realized I smiled through nearly all of it. I think it’s quite unrealistic to assume happiness looks and feels as joyous as portrayed on social media. If anything, being happy might just be not being utterly distraught. I’ve embraced my friends stronger than any year before me, traveled all over the world with them, and fought through loneliness and confusion together. But at the end of the day, I cherish their company and their love – and that’s more than enough for me.

Goals for the Year

We’re going to try something new this year. For the past three years, my set of goals have been comprised of two concrete measurable goals and two more open ended goals. This year, I want to try keeping all of them somewhat open-ended. Thinking over it lightly, I’m concerned these goals might turn out overly ambitions, but who cares, we’re here to get shit done.

1. Build strong communities

“Building communities” might be an overused phrase in 2023, but I think it is something extremely important. As people worldwide continue to transform their social lives online, the importance of strong communities is even more crucial. People of all ages, especially those who lack the apetite for socializing, are beginning to find an evergrowing sense of loneliness and isolation. I’m no different. I understand acutely how cruel loneliness can feel, and I believe myself someone who has extremely strong connections with others. Therefore, for myself and for others who are searching for belonging, I want to create a space, digital or physical, for people to congregate – to follow and contribute to an ethos that unites. Luckily, I’m no stranger to bringing people together, and even more luckily, I have a number of friends who are also great at that. To start, I’m rebooting my manga ig page to dive back into that wonderful community. I also want to do something around the creative (likely music) community. We’ll see what happens.

2. Produce an ambient album

Not an open-ended goal at first glance, but you’d be surprised. Music has been a core part of my life for as long as I can remember, and 2022 was an especially mind-opening year for me musically. I’ve been on a house/electric music bender for the last few years and have recently come to the conclusion that one subgenre of electronic music stands out as the most interesting to me – ambient music. It offers arguably the most expressive yet subtle sounds and harmonics that many musicians struggle (or simply don’t want) to explore. But being the nosy motherfucker that I am, I want to produce an album that investigates these near limitless soundscapes.

3. Set up new financial vehicles

This one is simple. At the point of writing this, I’m not remotely close to where I want to be financially. Sure, my goals may seem lofty to some, but these aren’t their goals; they’re mine. Even though that are already some mechanisms in place, I want these new vehicles to grow my wealth alongside my personal interests. Now, seeing as my personal ambitions largely conflict with financial interests, I’m confident that I can figure something out.

4. Love more

I know for certain that this goal is the hardest to pursue and the hardest accomplish. I don’t mean to boast here, but I love my friends, family, and the broader world already a great deal. Despite that, I want to rethink and evolve what my “love” is. Love has a different meaning for nearly everyone; the way it’s given and received differs immensely as well. In the past, I thought that a combination of support, empathy, genorsity, and care could constitute for love, but now, I realize how deep the iceberg goes. Love, a beautifully dangerous emotion, has layers and colors and modes that people desire, yearn, and ultimately deserve. I want to love more wholistically, present and accept vulnerabilty, provide comfort for everyone in my life and those who I may cross paths with faintly. Writing this, I find myself sounding as if I know nothing about love, but trust me, those around me know I love them very much. This year, I want to be more active and thoughtful about the way I express love, directly and tangentially. The world is nothing without the warmth of love.

Honorable Mentions

No honorable mentions this year. We’re reaching high with the four up above.

Cover Photo: Beautiful day at Art Omi (i love you shamik)