“My 21st year was about hitting big milestones: graduating, getting a job, moving. This year is about making sure these big changes fit appropriately in my life and that I build upon them rather than stagnating. Graduating doesn’t mean I stop learning. Getting a job doesn’t mean I stop pushing myself to be better. Moving to a new place doesn’t mean I stop traveling. Beyond all of this, I’m excited to see where those I love go in life. Life isn’t something that you do alone and I’m lucky to know some incredible people that make my life well worth it.” Excerpt from last year’s post.
Wow – 22 definitely involved settling into some big changes and making some new ones. I haven’t stopped learning. I haven’t stopped growing as a person and as an employee. I haven’t stopped traveling. I still have those people in my life who make the chaos of change worth it. 22 was exhausting in many ways too (in the best way). I co-started an event series with Google to help LGBT organizations – since my 22nd birthday we’ve held 4 of these events with 2 more coming up. I’ve been so honored to get a glimpse into the wonderful LGBT organizations around the world. At the end of each event, I nearly cry looking out at all of these hardworking, dedicated folks who have helped me as an LGBT person thrive in the world today. I owe so much to so many.
I went to the World Cup and was there when the US won in the finals. I walked the field as the players warmed up and held the same game ball that Carli Lloyd would drive into the goal three times.
I lost my dear dog who, at 14, I still lovingly referred to as “puppy”. Going home just isn’t the same now that I no longer see his happy face watching me walk up the front steps.
I traveled the world – I’ve lost track of how many places I’ve gone. My comfort zone has expanded considerably as a result. My memories are scattered far and wide – I’ve surrendered to trying to collect all of them.
Simply put – I loved and I lost. I have no regrets.
I accepted the challenge of being a team lead at Automattic. I’m learning what it means to lead a team, create a vision, help individuals succeed, embrace mistakes, measure success, and foster cross team connections.
I think going into 22, I didn’t imagine that I’d have to make more big life decisions and go through another round of big life changes. I thought that was behind me with moving, graduating, and generally being thrust into the adult world. I don’t think I realized how many crossroads I would run into in the year ahead.
I’m so thankful for 22 even though it has been such an unexpected year. I can think of a thousand lessons I’ve learned. I think 22 really solidified my belief in giving 100% to whatever it is you are doing in the moment whether that’s a job, a relationship, a city, etc. You learn way more diving into the deep end instead of just dipping your toes in the water. I learned that you have to have your own back. I learned that we’re all doing the best we can with what we have. I learned that you create your own reality when it comes to your life and those in it – the reality you created isn’t always necessarily true though. I learned that I am more adaptable than I ever thought possible. I learned how important love is to me. I learned that someone’s instagram account may look perfect but that that may be the only thing that is in their life. I learned that travel is way more fun when you’re with someone you care about. I learned that space is sometimes the right answer. I learned that it doesn’t matter how many years have passed, there’s always time to reconnect with someone.
To the people who saw me through this past year and brought me so much happiness, thank you. I am better for it.
I’m lucky to have another year here. Heading into 23, I feel more experienced and more understanding of how the real world works. I feel like I have a better grasp on how to achieve the life I want for myself. I’m getting more comfortable with not always having a purpose behind doing something and to generally go with the flow. I’m realizing I can let loose a bit more and that I can be hard working without taking on everything that comes my way. I’m learning the subtleties of when to “yes” and “no”. I’m learning how to be my own friend and how to change the way I talk to myself.
I don’t know what to expect out of this year. Ideally, I’d love to pick a place to stay more long term to live. I could also see myself loving the nomad life for another year. Who knows! I don’t and I’m not worried about figuring it out. More than anything, I want to keep accepting challenges and to continue to seek out pure fun. I want to become more “grey”. I want to learn that I can be a good person and still refuse to let myself be mistreated or taken advantage of. I want to leave myself open to impromptu adventures with random loved ones. I want to create my own adventures with the people I care about. I want to continue to give back to the communities that helped get me here. I want to continue to carve out my identity as an employee at Automattic. I want to meet and love new people. I want to expand my comfort zone tremendously. I want to understand myself more and to really get a good grasp on what it is that sets my heart on fire. I want to continue to write, read, and process everything that happens around me. I want to continue to create a healthier relationship with technology. I want to continue to invest deeply in those I love.
I don’t have an overarching vision of where I will be in 365 days. I don’t have set goals that I want to achieve (these kinds of goals feel like ego boosting checkboxes anyway). I don’t have a clue where the chaos may take me next in terms of my location, my life, my job, and my love. For the first time in a long time, I’m okay with not having a game plan and with trusting the work I’ve put into my life to this point. In fact, the challenge of not deciding and planning my life out excites me. I feel that as I loosen my grip on concepts like materialism for example, I’m gaining a stronger grasp on who I am as a person. To close, I know what I want to learn and those themes to me are more important than any quantitative benchmark I could put on my life right now. 23, I’m ready for whatever it is you throw my way. I will do my best to embrace this year with openness, a passionate sense of adventure, a full heart, and a curious mind.