Goodbye 2013, hello 2014!

I’m writing this under the influence of medicine to fight a fever and massive sneezing. I have a cold again, maybe a flu. I’ll run the easy joke for you: I hope it’s not the Spanish flu.

It’s my third big cold in less than a month, probably due to flying to diverse far away places in cold weather so I’ve put my body under stress. Tut, tut. It’s definitely not the way I wanted to start a new year, but hey, what can you do when your body prefers to get ill?

Anyway, I was going through my 2013 notes a few days ago and found to my great surprise that I had met all the “dream goals” I had set to myself (yay!), and failed a bit on my “achievable goals”, to which I didn’t know whether to shout yay or boo. But truth is, I spontaneously replaced some of my achievable goals with other goals/projects which, looking back, seem totally cooler now. So I’d say yay to that too.

I took the idea of dream goals and achievable goals from The Accidental Creative book. Basically you set yourself a list of weekly / monthly / quarterly goals, and also set aside some time and think about things that would blow up your mind if they happened. And dear readers, they happened. If it wasn’t because of the ibuprofen I’ve taken, my mind would be blown up and reduced to minuscule fragments by now :-)

For example, a couple of the dream goals were:

  • speaking at a local event → and this year I’ve ended up speaking at two local events and four international events
  • get to work primarily with JS for a living → and I worked on a very cool London agency as creative technologist for a few months before joining Mozilla to work with JavaScript and awesome people

Another determination I took inspired by that book was to try out lots of new things and step out of my comfort zone in 2013. And so far it hasn’t been a bad idea! I started the year skiing for the first time ever, which was definitely out of both my comfort and fitness zone. I almost broke my leg three or four times, fell on my right knee so many times that the bruises lasted for a month and a half, and I felt like an idiot until the a-ha moment happened and I got the hang of skiing. And then it was EXHILARATING because I was under control. Or well, sort of!

Some other new things I did for the first time:

  • travel all the way to the end of a tube line — I went to Watford on the Metropolitan line!
  • visit Stonehenge — I had been wanting to go there for years but apparently it was never “the right time”
  • started running — I hated running in gym class, but I found that running at my own pace is great and energising. Thanks to Edna for the encouragement and inspiration!
  • attended a sketchcrawl in London — it was snowing and freezing but I had a great time and made some friends
  • went to Brighton on my own — on my mini-before-joining-Mozilla-break. I had never travelled there alone, so it was sort of weird
  • visited Bournemouth and swam in the Atlantic ocean — it was COLD!
  • travelled to another continent on my own — I was terrified on the gate, but I told myself everything would be alright
  • visited Canada — twice!
  • started playing the ukulele — something else I’d been procrastinating on for years
  • visited a North American beach (Santa Cruz) and even wet my feet on the shore — it was COLDER than the Atlantic!. Thanks to Donovan Preston for driving us there!
  • visited an American theme park and experienced fake scares, American style — It was like in the movies!
  • pulled a Heilmann and stayed in London for less than 24h before taking the next plane
  • ice skated — a mere two days before flying for Christmas, so I had to be careful not to break a leg or something!
  • played drums — with thanks to Lucas Rocha for the great beginner’s lesson!
  • carved a pumpkin for Halloween — this was way more work than I expected, but also very funny
  • volunteered as HTML/JS/CSS mentor for a Webmaker session for teenagers/youngsters — and met some very bright and promising people there, yay!
  • learnt to get along with other people’s cats and dogs — I used to be scared of both, but I even dare petting them now!
  • played a little role in an internet sensation — it was funny and totally unexpected, which made it even more enjoyable!

I am also really happy that I got to meet so many amazing people too. In retrospect, I’d say I had heard/followed only about 25% of them before, so that makes 75% of new influencers on my life. And that is very enriching!

Even better, not all of these people discuss purely technical stuff, which was the kind of topics I tend to pursue. I’ve been mind-blown on a series of topics from diversity to sexism thanks to all these interesting conversations I’ve witnessed in the last months (because I prefer to shut up, listen and read until I understand what’s going on), and I realised there were many subtleties and nuances I wasn’t aware of, and I was doing many things wrong before, so it has been a very humbling experience. Thanks to all these people who care. They are way too many to list here, but you’ll surely find them if you get into the JavaScript community :-)

And in 2014…

I want to continue improving along the lines of what I started in 2013, since the strategy seems to be working well ;-)

I won’t bore you with another list; I’ll invite you to keep reading this blog for continuity instead. Talking of which, I intend to write more here–at least a post a week!

So… subscribe to my RSS!