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2022 Recap

Intro

Welp, 2022 was certainly a very big year for me both personally and professionally. Reflecting back on my recap from last year, this year was overall an improvement as I continue to take better care of myself.

A white sack with a gift label that says 2022

Mental health

This year, I started attending virtual therapy sessions. I'm extremely fortunate that this is a benefit from my company and I was able to sign up and connect with a therapist as frequently as I needed. Honestly, I was feeling burnt out and needed a neutral, outside perspective to help me identify a healthy, sustainable path forward.

After my first session, I was asked to write down my personal values. I had actually never done this before, and it was a great exercise of self reflection and building a stronger identity. I wrote a bunch done, but ultimately found three key themes of what I value:

  • Accountability (through consistency, being ethical, and honoring commitments)
  • Acknowledgement (through getting credit, getting feedback, and understanding impact)
  • Authenticity (through a transparent agenda, public and private support, and creating safe spaces)

If these needs aren't being met, I tend to feel disastisfied. Likewise, if I fail in these areas, I feel an enormous amount of guilt.

Attending these therapy sessions was also a good opportunity to be aware about what I was feeling and experiencing, because I had to provide a lot of context to a total stranger. This context put a lot of things into perspective and provided more clarity into what my options really were and ultimately I ended up doing a complete career change (more details to follow in a future blog post).

Physical health

I'm not going to lie - I slacked this year. I had brief stints of consistent gym attendance, but then would consume myself in a work or home project and... you get the picture. I know I keep saying I want to do better next year, but I'm going to keep it realistic and just try to take more walks and enjoy some fresh air.

This is my third year of working from home, and while I still very much enjoy it from a work perspective, I need to motivate myself to move more frequently.

Reading

I failed my reading goals big time this year. Normally, I power through books but for some reason I just couldn't get into a natural flow despite me actually enjoying what I was reading.

"Bad Blood" by John Carreyrou

Oh I absolutely loved this book about Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos scandal. I also watched the Dropout on Hulu which was also super captivating and well done.

"Billion Dollar Loser" by Reeves Wiedeman

I'm STILL reading this one, but it's also another satisfying scandal - this one is about Adam Neumann and WeWork. Between this and "Bad Blood," it looks like people will believe just about anything based on confidence and hope.

2023 List

  • "Ruined by Design" by Mike Monteiro
  • "Managing Humans" by Michael Lopp
  • "Engineering Management for the Rest of Us" by Sarah Drasner
  • "Stop Overthinking" by Nick Trenton

Writing

I'm actually proud of myself with the writing I managed to do this year. It may not look like much, but I actually revisit a lot of what I wrote quite frequently. While I do love sharing knowledge, the fact that it was extremely useful to me was a huge bonus.

In 2023, I want to produce more of that type of content by slowing down a bit after I wrap up projects before jumping into the next one. I'm very guilty about doing this because I'm addicted to being ahead of schedule and getting that dopamine hit, but that isn't sustainable.

Highlights

I stepped out of my comfort zone this year, and it paid off.

Professional stuff

  • 💼 Joined the Consumer Group Design System at Intuit
  • 👩🏻‍💻 Changed titles from UX Engineer -> Software Engineer
  • 🛠 Automated image asset contribution through our CI
  • 🤖 Integrated an AI library into one of our components
  • 🚢 Shipped my first component used for player
  • 👩‍🏫 Continued onboarding teams to design tokens

Personal stuff

2023 Resolutions

Next year, I want to grow our podcast and shift into an engineering management role for our team.