Monday, January 5, 2015

What's Next?

It is the beginning of the year; the time to make resolutions. I never really was a fan of resolutions. It meant making a list at the beginning of the year that was railroading my progress or life for the rest of the year. If I stick to the list, then I wasn't being spontaneous and letting things lead me where I need to be. If I didn't stick to the list, then I would feel bad at the end of the year as if I didn't accomplish anything. 

There are a lot of people who feel that January first is just another day and people shouldn't wait until the start of the year to make plans or change their life around. The day doesn't matter. If everyone decided to do it on June 1st, people will still complain about the start date being June 1st. Doing it at the beginning of the year makes following the progress easier. Some people like to make resolutions around the beginning of a season. As long as you are trying to make progress and better yourself, it doesn't matter when you start as long as you do start.

Last year was about knowledge and change. I quit my job and took a few months off to try and figure things out. I ended up moving from the east coast to the west coast. It felt a little like starting over. I didn't know anyone over here and the companies I worked for didn't hold much weigh over here as they did back in New York City. Interviewing was intense. Sometimes when you have been doing something for a long time and relying on libraries and plugins, you forget the simple stuff, which tends  to be the stuff that gets asked on interviews. So I had to do a bit of studying so the things I already knew were at the front of my brain and tip of my tongue. The interviewing process over here is different than on the east coast, which was a bit frustrating. In the end, I was given a few offers and chose the job that would give me new experiences (data visualization).

This year I would like to focus on creativity, heath and exploration. I would like to be able to express myself freely again. So many things have happened in the last couple of years that had me closing myself off to everything and everyone. I want to start drawing again. I would like to take more photos, actually edit them and display them instead of just dumping them in my photo library. The same goes for videos as well. I have a list of programming projects to work on but I never get to them. Theses days it is not about having the time; it's more about getting the motivation to work on them. I mentioned health because for the first two days of this year I spent it sick with food poisoning. Not only that, but most of the weight I managed to lose 2 years ago seem to come back to me last year. So this year I have to work on eating better (again) and being even more active. Being more active fits in with the last topic, exploration. I live in a new city but I've barely done anything, beside the two times I visited before moving here. I want to explore the city and near by areas more. I also want to finally plan a trip abroad. I keep saying I'll go next year and years have past. I still don't know where I will go but my top choices are Japan and South Korea. I just wish traveling there wasn't soooo expensive and I was more fluent in the languages. I was hoping I would get a job that would include traveling to those two places for business but I'm not that fortunate. 

Two things that I was already doing last year but would like to continue doing going forward is reading more and continue pushing myself to learn Japanese and Korean. Last year I read 32 books even though I pledged to read 7. This year I am pledging to read 12 books. I should probably pledge to read more, but the years that I set a goal of 20 and 25 books, I barely got close to the goal. So a book a month is reasonable. 

As far as languages, I need to stop thinking I will just absorb the language by being around it. Yes it does help, but my brain needs a map to understand the meaning. So I really need to study more. I have the basics down like pronouncing, recognizing and being able to write most of the syllabaries for both languages. I also can understand something like every 5th word in a spoken conversation, along with knowing certain phrases that are used often. I really need to memorized a lot more of the basic vocabulary. Funny thing is, earlier today some Hindi phrases jumped into my mind. I was studying Hindi a few years back but put it on hold to learn Korean. So I know brain is retaining the info, it just doesn't know how to spit it back out and make sense.

I always wish that this year is better than last year, and it barely happens. So I'm hoping sticking to my goals will make it feel like this year is better than the last. Wish me luck.

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