Nomadic Jake
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Nomadic Jake

So What’s Next? A Review of 2020 (and preview of 2021)

Photo by Katie Montgomery on Unsplash

I’m not gonna lie; 2020 was NOT “my year”.

To put it mildly.

It started innocently enough for me: two great trips to Bali and San Diego, meeting amazing people and seeing amazing things. Along the way, I crafted plans to drastically change my life and creative output, and was incredibly excited to execute on those plans.

Then the ‘rona happened. Travel was halted indefinitely, plans were revised, changed, and ultimately scrapped. I retreated to my apartment and continued to work, and that was that.

Oh, and I caught coronavirus too. The preverbal cherry on top, as it were.

But it wasn’t all bad: I could still work, keep a roof over my head, and keep myself clothed and fed. I kept up with family and friends through virtual meetings, and kept myself busy outside of work with the best and worst hobbies imaginable: “painting” and console gaming. I play a mean game of Rainbow 6…

I was also able to travel once more during the pandemic: my yearly sojourn into the desert for a “digital sabbatical”, the trip took on a special meaning with everything that was happening around me. Disconnecting from politics, pandemics, and excessive screen time was both rejuvenating and restorative.

In the end, as bad as the world-wide situation was I walked away from it as a lot of us have: healthy, thankful, and perhaps a little bit wiser for the experience. Life has a way of throwing a wrench into our lives whenever it feels like it, and 2020 was no exception. I’m still incredibly thankful for the people I have around me both here in Wisconsin (where I’m currently living) and in far-flung places around the world who I’m lucky to call family and friends. I’m also incredibly thankful for the (still awesome) job I’ve been working at, and I’m also thankful that our world is perhaps starting to see glimmers of hope that this pandemic’s days are numbered.

So that was the recap of the previous dumpster fire that was last year… how about “what’s next” (as mentioned in my post title)?

What’s Next.

Well, I’ve decided to go back to basics. If 2020 showed me anything about my inner processes, it’s that I can be too scatter-shot and can spent far too much time researching a million different things and acting on none of them (or, at least, acting on them initially, getting bored, and walking away). Therefore, I’ve decided to hone down on certain goals that I feel are important for my personal and professional well-being this year, and with them accomplished I’ll be setting myself up for great success and expansion in the months (and years) ahead.

The three areas I’ll be focusing on are:

  1. Health and Physical Wellbeing (making diet and exercise choices to lose weight and establish a healthy body for the years to come)
  2. Business and Entrepreneurship (building and maintaining fulfilling and profitable income streams outside of my main source of income)
  3. Mental Health and Wellbeing (proactively addressing mental health issues like Impostor Syndrome, anxiety, and creative burnout through diet, exercise, meditation, and other means)

I’ve spent far too much time worrying about what I may be doing right or wrong, or what I might want to do, and it’s just time to focus on basics and form a foundation to build off of. The right way.


The past is for learning and the future is for hoping, so all we’ve really got is the present to act on.

Sure, 2020 sucked all kinds of ways, but there’s nothing that we can do about that. The past is for learning and the future is for hoping, so all we’ve really got is the present to act on. My hope is that 2021 will be a transformative year for myself… in a good way. Because no matter what the situation is, we all need to keep moving forward.



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