December 31, 2021•
7 minute read
2021 was a very long year. In part because we didn't get to decompress after 2020, in part because a lot of 2020 stayed with us through the entire 2021, and in part because of a bunch of personal stuff that happened.
2021 was a very long year. In part because we didn't get to decompress after
As you may or may not know, in my family the New Year is the holiday of the season. When most people are taking down their house decorations, we are just putting them up (to avoid confusion, we mostly decorate inside): the New Year tree, presents, and such. For the past few years, we decided against exchanging gifts for the sake of the exchange: there's enough garbage in the world for us to buy some more just because of a calendar date and just because we have to.
In any case, the end of the year is not only the biggest holiday of the year for me, but also a time to reflect on the year, take stock of my progress, and make plans for the year ahead.
The year that
I've seen countries fall in a blink of an eye. I personally witnessed it twice: once in 1991 when I watched tanks heading towards Moscow during the
If you think that the American flavor of democracy is somehow immune to these things, think again. It's not, it may and in all likelihood will happen here. And with one of (only) two major parties making every effort to prevent their opponents from voting, and the other party being so anemic while running the government, the American Democracy® and the entire American Experiment™ is all but doomed. We will see this country disintegrate within our lifetimes, and it makes me very sad #EndTheFilibuster #VotingRightsBIllNow #EatTheRich
While resistance is futile, I joined the
While a lot of things got back to some variation of "normal", for the most part this year was still a full-on pandemic year. Hundreds of thousands of people died of COVID-19, albeit most of them deliberately unvaccinated. People kept struggling to get their jobs back, and the economy was still in a state of flux. It's important to remember that the economy is not the stock market, and that the stock market is not the economy (and not even necessarily reflective or the economy). The struggle is real, and it's much more real for those essential for the actual economy. With this being said, the labor shortage got some bargaining power in the hands of the working class, which is without a doubt a great thing.
For my family the pandemic kept affecting our plans, specifically, our plans of getting together. With embassies closed or working at limited capacity and with other government agencies significantly underperforming, a lot of our long-term plans were (and still are) in jeopardy.
Personally, I'm extremely privileged and lucky to be in a position of not being affected by the pandemic. I work from home at a company that gives a shit about me (not personally, but as an employee). When
This is probably the biggest event of the year for me. In early January, I sold my rental house in Georgia (with a written provision in the contract that my tenants will be able to remain in the house and their rent will not change for at least another year), and with some financial luck that followed the acquisition of Auth0, I was able to come up with about 10%-worth of downpayment and buy a house for us here in Arlington, WA. It's not a dream house by any stretch of imagination, but it's our house and we're turning it into a home.
Work was, well, interesting this year. I've accepted another role within the company, but it turned out to be a complicated affair. I got to work on a new process and a new team, which was pretty awesome. However, a lot of my initial assumptions and working theories were wrong, and by the end of the year our team shifted from its initial purpose to a new one. I'm building a net-new product, and as much as I love coding, its success is still an open question. On the bright side, I learn a lot and my team is pretty great.
A family member landed in the US as a permanent resident, and, well, buying a house.
My failure to recognize mental health warning signs in time, and my inability to act decisively to get to work on things I want to work on.
My expectations for 2022 are really, really low. I hope to rectify this year's failures, keep working on my mental health, rest way more than I'm used to, and hopefully travel a bit more. I also hope to attend a few conferences and give a talk at one of them :) I mean, reach for the stars, am I right?!