At this time last year, I felt a little down. All around me, friends were achieving milestones, making resolutions, and declaring high hopes for the new year. I couldn’t quite figure out what my goals were or what I was looking forward to.
Little did I know that — in many ways — 2019 would be the best year yet. In no particular order:
- I got engaged!
- I got my first tattoo!
- Last January, right around this time, I promised myself I’d write a novel. I outlined and researched extensively, established a writing routine, achieved the NaNoWriMo word count, and made sure my story had a beginning, middle, and end, with a cast of characters I now feel like I know as intimately as family. Starting this month, I’m continuing with the editing process.
- I turned 30 and left the bullshit of my twenties behind!
- My sister and I pulled off our best annual April Fools joke yet.
- I took a full month off in between jobs and spent it writing my novel, going to the gym, traveling, and doing whatever the heck else I wanted to do.
- I helped found Inclusive Tech Hub, a space for women and non-binary people, people of color, and anyone else who has felt left out of “traditional” tech spaces to learn tech skills together. Since its inception last January, Inclusive Tech Hub has grown to nearly 1,000 Meetup and 300 Slack members. In 2019, we held 17 events, collaborated with 11 local companies, and featured over 10 local charities, including Resilient Coders, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, SpeakOUT Boston, Partners for Youth with Disabilities, and the Boston Women’s Fund. With volunteers from our amazing community, we hosted free courses on UX design and research, data science with R, SQL, DevOps, and crafting the perfect resume, just to name a few. The ITH community also brought Boston some incredible talks, panels, and discussions around topics like “learn[ing] any programming language — faster,” “dar[ing] to share your ideas — even when it scares you,” the story of #BlackTechTwitter, UI/UX careers, and the engineer’s path.
- I was maid of honor at a close friend’s wedding in New York City. It was a beautiful day and an incredible joy to be by her side.
- In June, I joined the engineering team at Wistia. I’ve never been happier at work. My company is innovative, inclusive, focused on employee happiness, and breaking exciting ground. I feel supported, challenged, and valued there and can’t wait to kick off 2020 with my fantastic colleagues.
I also joined a gym and found a badass personal trainer. I don’t have a six pack (yet!) but I feel stronger, happier, and more mentally disciplined. I traveled to and from Philly to see my partner and got to know my second city even better. And I spent lots of time with friends and family.
This year didn’t come without its sadnesses. In September, after a heroic battle with liver cancer, my aunt Joyce passed away, and we’re all still getting used to a world without her. But I know she’s always with me. Her larger-than-life spirit, her love for her family, and the giddy music of her laughter are all gifts I will carry with me for the rest of my life. And, last week, when my boyfriend proposed, he did so with a ring Joyce gave me months ago — explicitly for that purpose.
In 2020, I look forward to:
- Revising my novel. Showing it to more people.
- Fighting the good fight for our Democratic presidential nominee. (Whoever it is. Honestly, we can’t let our own party divide us.)
- Continuing to work out.
- Planning a wedding!