Not Another Damn 2016 Post
So we’re 10 days into the new year and I wanted to post a little something personal about 2016 before it fades away. That year was nuckin’ futs and although many bad things happened, I’m thankful anything happened at all.
I stretched and did things that were really uncomfortable. At times I felt incredible joys, and later suffered through devastating sadnesses. I floated in the middle of an endless abyss of boring-as-fuck ennui for months that I thought would never, ever end. But it did, and I’m thankful for the perspective I have now that life is full of color again.
20 Things I Did in 2016
- I volunteered a weekend to teach high school girls about UX via ChickTech Seattle. Teenagers aren’t that scary.
2. Some incredibly smart & talented people volunteered their time to chat with me at my side hustle, UX Book Club — Nir Eyal, Alan Cooper, Abby Covert, Richard Banfield — so grateful (and a little starstruck at times) for the amazing spirit of the UX community.
3. I organized the first Super UX Meetup as a part of Convey UX. Over 400 thirsty UXers got to experience a fantastic panel with Indi Young, Christina Wodtke, Nathan Shedroff and Kelly Franznick (and shoutout to a damn good panel moderator, Scott Berkun) and drank free all night. I’m organizing it again this year, too, so if you’re in the Seattle area mark your calendars for February 28th!
4. I met Metric backstage when they came to Seattle @_@
5. I did Hip Hop Dance with my homegirl Di Dang
6. I did boxing and punched stuff.
7. I did Krav Maga and kicked, punched, hammer-punched, and yelled. Only 30 very painful sessions to go.
8. For my 29th birthday, I fulfilled my childhood dream of renting out a skating rink and making them play Beyonce all night for me and my friends — complete with busting my ass at the end of the night!
9. Spent some quality time with my best friend, my heart & soul, my sister-from-another-mister, Ashely in NYC. We got drunk af at Dylan’s Candy Bar and the rest is just a blur.
10. HOLY SHIT I did public speaking. A bunch. One time to an audience of 900 freaking people. It was seriously the scariest thing ever, and I can’t wait to do it again this year.
11. I organized a Star Wars themed Dribbble meetup @ the Disney Offices and it was ~ aaaaamazing ~
12. HOLY SHIT GOOGLE I/O HAPPENED and I got a Google Cardboard and my eyes were opened to that whole VR thing. I finally ditched Samsung after 5 long years of Galaxy ownership for a Google Pixel + Daydream VR.
12. I kept trying to get a mentor, even found a freakin’ cool one, but I was awful at actually showing up to the damn meetings. Gotta fix that this year.
14. Attempted the memorable 24-hour scavenger hunt, Cotopaxi, but it was more of a slowtopaxi this year (and that was totally okay).
15. I flew over 10,000 miles (but without leaving the continental US).
16. I played well over 200 hours of Overwatch and have a gold rocket launcher to show for it. Justice rains from above.
17. I dabbled in instructional design and dug a foundation for a Mobile Training Program. It ultimately wasn’t the right fit for me, but I’m glad I tried.
18. I participated in an incredible research study at work that sprawled across 3 different cities. Talking to users is the best part of my job and I’m lucky to work at a company that takes Customer Obsession to heart.
19. I designed & launched Amazon on Apple TV — talk about a massive beast of a project. Completely new shopping paradigm on a completely new platform (for me anyway).
20. I joined the Concept Lab at Amazon. I get to play + explore + experiment with technology and pull apart ideas with people way smarter than I am (and I hope it stays that way for a long time).
Here’s to 2017.
I read this quote from Neil Gaiman at the start of every new year:
I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.