2018 in Review ๐Ÿ“…

Thursday, January 3, 2019 :: Tagged under: personal essay. โฐ 4 minutes.

๐ŸŽต The song for this post is Resurrections, by Lena Raine for the game Celeste. ๐ŸŽต

Sapo and Rocco snuggling. Click for full size.

Let's start with these two.

Another one in the books. I'm happy to report that I'm ending 2018 feeling like it was a good year for me. For the planet? For the country? Oh heavens no, everything is (often literally) on fire. The things we know are terrifying, and there are tons of horrors we haven't found out yet (did you know we lost most of our insects in the last few years?). My generation (and the next, most likely) will spend our entire lives undoing the damage.

It's not productive to focus on things I can't or haven't invested in changing. Looking at myself, I'm satisfied with 2018. Going into it, my theme was "marathon, not sprint." For most of my life my focus was surviving moment-to-moment, not choosing to live proactively. It was about minimizing pain, not maximizing joy. I never built anything to last because I barely wanted to participate in the present, why would I meaningfully invest in a future?

I'm not out of the woods on these. But with the help of therapy, supportive networks, the passage of time, a bit of work, and a whole lot of luck, I feel that I'm trending upwards.

Let's get this recap going ๐Ÿพ There's going to be a narcissistic number of photos of me; don't wanna post photos of other people on Public Internet without their blessing so these are what you get.

A year at Lyft ๐Ÿ“ฑ๐Ÿš™

Lyft company photo. I have a big smile. Click for full size.

My Lyft company photo. I can have a big smile.

Most of my "Year in Review" posts start with whatever it looked liked professionally. In my 5 years in NYC, I've changed gigs a lot! In early-startup land, team cohesion matters tremendously, and conditions are volatile. I don't regret any of my job changes.

I started and am closing this year at Lyft. The NYC office had ~8-10 engineers when I joined, and now we're bursting at the seams with several dozen (and a lot more to come). I've interviewed on the order of 50-60 candidates in two cities, worked on the most successful monolith โ†’ microservices breakdown initiative I've witnessed (and I've seen a few), launched a few new features and services, and am happy to work with one of the most affirming and healthy teams I've ever been a part of.

I don't know what 2019 will bring. I don't have any intentions of leaving, and for all my skepticism about VC-backed tech companies and my guillotine rhetoric, Lyft is probably the employer I've been happiest with in my 10 year career. I don't feel like they get everything right, but they have a much higher hit rate than I suspected they would coming in.

But: Life is tumultuous! Here's to more ๐Ÿ™‚

Body changes

Initially wrote about it here. I'm still counting calories (a little less carefully during the holidays) and doing a lot of strength training. On the year anniversary (May-ish) I might put up some really douche-ey before/after photos. It's been a ride.

Deconstruct

Right before hitting the stage. Wearing Danny Trejo because I feel like a superhero when I do. Click for full size.

I wore my Danny Trejo t-shirt because I feel like I can do anything when I do.

I wrote about why I think its a great conference here, and expressed some gratitude. I'll probably write again after my talk goes up! ๐Ÿ˜„

Blogging

Hey! I blogged a lot last year! The motivation was mostly laid out in "Towards a More Open Web": I miss blogs, I miss people blogging. I like most of what I wrote well-enough, but favorites would be (in chronological order):

To take an old Twitter convention:

๐Ÿ‘ PLEASE ๐Ÿ‘ WRITE ๐Ÿ‘ COMMENTS ๐Ÿ‘ ON ๐Ÿ‘ THIS ๐Ÿ‘ SITE ๐Ÿ‘ AND ๐Ÿ‘ NOT ๐Ÿ‘ SITES ๐Ÿ‘ LIKE ๐Ÿ‘ FACEBOOK ๐Ÿ‘ OR ๐Ÿ‘ LINKEDIN ๐Ÿ‘

When the comment sections get hoppin', that's when I'll know I Made It as a blogger lol.

Software

I wrote a static site generator that produces this website, my first real project in OCaml. I tried to write a CommonMark compiler in OCaml but gave up.

After perusing OCaml's web application offerings, I decided to learn Elixir and play with Phoenix instead. I made and deployed a stateless, silly app, built the bones of a much more meaningful one, before shelving it to build The Next Big Pablo Project, which I'm aiming for general, embarassingly-early release in February or March.

Trips

I went to Burning Man for the second time.

I went to Guatemala for the first time in 5 years and climbed the Acatenango volcano.

Pablo and Karen at the summit. Click for full size.

Getting to the summit is one of my happiest memories. Celeste shirt, obviously

Dog at the campsite. Click for full size.

Dog on the campsite on the way up

Pablo in Tikal. Click for full size.

We visited Tikal. I counted: it was my 10th time there lol

Jumping at Tikal. Click for full size.

Always gotta get a jumping photo

San Antonio Palopรณ. Click for full size.

San Antonio (and Lake Atitlรกn) continue to be my favorite places

Me in Antigua Guatemala. Click for full size.

Home base was Antigua, not to be forgotten. Also, drinking Gallo.

Here are three panoramas you can see full-size if you click through. I love going to Guatemala.

Mayan ruins at Tikal. Click for full size.

Mayan ruins at Tikal

View from the summit at Acatenango at Dawn. Click for full size.

View from the summit at Acatenango at Dawn

FILLME. Click for full size.

Lake Atitlรกn.

Recently went snowboarding for the first time in 15 years. I ate food branded by everyone's tรญo, Danny Trejo.

Visit to Trejo's Tacos. Click for full size.

"I wish I loved anything as much as Pablo loves Danny Trejo."

Visit to Trejo's Donuts and Coffee. Click for full size.

AND WE WENT TO GET DONUTS TOO

Smiling selfie on the ski lift. Click for full size.

I fell! A lot! Some were very hard! My body was in serious pain. But it was a ton of fun.

Mountain Cloud. Click for full size.

The skies were gorgeous

Sparkler photo. Click for full size.

New Year's Eve in LA. Someone brought sparklers. Now I can have the prototypical Burner "holding a bright light source with whimsy" photo.

Karen and Pablo silhouette. Her coat game is substantial. Click for full size.

I'm a sucker for silhouette photos. LA has beautiful sunsets.

Relationships

I tried to be more socially active this year. While previous years were just barren desert, last year was a desert with some cactuses, and maybe a bird here and there. I'll try to up this in 2019.

Karen and I have another year under our belt, and we've now lived together for over a year.

Sapo had a medical emergency. He had another in November that I didn't blog about. He's very challenging but I love him very much.

2019 Goals

More gratuitous dog photos. Click for full size.

These guys.

The main thing โ€” keep the momentum from 2018 going. Keep marathoning, less sprinting. Mainly:

But, if I'm able to squeeze in a few more, I'm looking at:

ONWARDS! Click for full size.

ONWARDS!


Thanks for the read! Disagreed? Violent agreement!? Feel free to drop me a line at , or leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you ๐Ÿ˜„