Reflecting on 2009

looking into 2010

Random Observation/Comment #228: One of my main goals has been to make every year the best year of my life. I’m worried I set my expectations too high for 2010 because 2009 will be hard to surpass.

2009 was a bad year for so many people due to job loss and the economic recession.  For me, it was definitely baller.  The main goals I’ve crossed off in the past year include: finished Master’s thesis (bounded!), started a company, road tripped to Ohio (twice), completed a research project in Germany, traveled to Europe and Asia (major cities include: London, Interlaken, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Prague, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hannover, Fussen, Schliersee, Brussels, Bruge, Amsterdam, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Denia, Paris, Binz, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hong Kong, Taipei), sledged on the Swiss Alps, collected 100 more beer caps, started a collection of beer labels, tried every flavor or Rittersport, drank the best beer in the world in Belgium, uploaded 200 albums on facebook, took over 30,000 pictures (8,000 with the S90 after 1 month), fell in love, wrote around 110 entries on the blog, (almost) wrote a book about love, listened to all of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings audiobooks, wrote the first chapter to a comic, got a job during economic recession (w00t), reorganized my laptop and room, learned German, got better at Japanese, bought a manual camera (Canon S90), obtained Master’s degree, bought a bottle of blue label, and started 5 other side projects.  Best year of my life.

I’ve learned so much more about myself than with any other year in my life.  It’s almost like I started living after I went to Japan because, before that, I was so concentrated on making other people happy that I never actually looked at who I wanted to be.  Cooper taught me so much, but it had drained my energy.  I felt like I didn’t want to go into engineering or research anymore because academia would make me die early.  My hair would start falling off and those bags under my eyes will permanently turn purple.  Although my brain may be filled with some useless knowledge about a specific subject, I don’t think that would necessarily help me lead a happier life. I feel like I’d always be searching for some type of project closure that would never come.  Ignorance is bliss.  Let me feel that productivity with the smaller projects.  Let me find happiness in community.

2009 was my year of exploration, observations, and opinion formation. For it to get better moving forward, 2010 would need to be a year of paving an interesting career and building a sound foundation with a happy and stable community.  In the case where I was mostly alone with my camera wandering the world and finding the interesting cultural differences everywhere, I can now settle into a comfortable home and explore the world around me.  There’s so much hidden in NYC and I expect to be part of the community that shares it with friends.  From my travels, I met so many people aching to see this place, and now, I have the honor to live here.  Why not become an expert and bring together the best of all worlds?

~See Lemons Optimistic for 2010