Yuletide Rundown, 2021

December 25, 2021

Christmas Day is always a little sleepy in my house. As such, I get a little reflective. One of my goals this year was to start blogging again, and I love checking off goals. So let’s do a yuletide rundown and get the blog going again!

Goals and themes, 2021

I create a list of yearly goals every year. Crucially, these aren’t “resolutions” to act differently. Those are too vague. Yearly goals are are concrete things I can pursue.

A year or two ago, my friend Etel introduced me to the idea of setting a yearly theme: once again, rather than a “resolution”, the idea is to center one’s thoughts and feelings for the year around a theme.

Here’s what my 2021 goals looked like:

Screenshot of my yearly goals list - checked goals are “$100,000 net worth”, “$10,000 in down payment savings”, “1000 twitter followers”, and “Start the blog”. Unchecked goals are “lose 40lbs”, and “move out of mom’s house”

I didn’t set a theme for this year, but if I had to guess the theme would probably be “set myself up for the next phase of my career.”

Other awesome things that happened this year:

  • The Inclusive Naming Initiative became an official LF directed fund

  • .. And our work was featured in the New York Times

  • I wrote LF103: Inclusive Strategies for Open Source

  • I spoke at KubeCon EU, KubeCon LA, and the Confidential Computing Summit

  • I negotiated a title bump and raise at work

  • I was diagnosed with ADHD-Combination and began medication

  • I built a gaming PC

  • I met awesome people at KubeCon LA, Open Source Summit, and Linux Foundation Member Summit

  • The Kubernetes Code of Conduct Committee launched its first Transparency Report and provided transprency through documentation via its Incident Response

  • The CNCF techdocs team aunched the Docs Assessment process for CNCF docs, leading to one of my favorite comments ever from a maintainer:

    Nick Young: I wrote this on the maintainer survey, but thought I should send it to you directly as well, so that I know you got it: I found the docs review you did of Contour the best thing we’ve got out of being part of the CNCF. Thanks both for that and for helping me kick of a similar thing with the Gateway API docs. Love your work.

All in all, this was a hugely accomplished year and I’m so pleased with myself for it.

Decade goals check-in, 2019-2029

In addition to yearly goals, I also set goals for myself for the decade. There are some things that don’t happen immediately, but that we angle ourselves towards over time. Here’s what those look like as of 2021:

Screenshot of my decade goals list. Unchecked: “Write a book”, “Start blogging again”, “Find the love of my life”, “Own a dog”, “Find my bridesmaids”, “Finish the record player”, “Spend some time in China for business”, “Hit coastFI@65 number”, “Find a way to get to new york”. Checked: “Pay off student loans”, “Move abroad” “Pivot into UX Writing”, “Work for a (really) early stage startup”, “Make enough money to live in Vancouver”, “Become a conference speaker”, “Lead Content Designer, UX Lead, or Product Lead”, “1000 twitter followers”

I only noticed that “Start blogging again” was unchecked when I started writing this post. One more off the list!

I’ve had to amend this list already more than once, as I’m making progress on my decade goals faster than I anticipated.

Places for improvement and reflections

In 2021, the goals that went unmet were personal ones: I didn’t lose 40lbs and I didn’t move out of my mom’s house. While I was hugely successful with work goals, my personal goals at both the year and decade level need attention in 2022 and beyond.

In 2022, I’d like to advocate for and talk about non-developer positions in open source. I think there’s quite a bit of meat here: community level initiatives, the difficulty of git-based workflows, implicit biases, an open source governance issues. I’d love to do some thinking and speaking on these topics in 2022.

Another thing I’d like to do more of in 2022 is explore the intersection between technology and the societies we live in. I’m increasingly convinced that technologists don’t spend enough time thinking about the complex societal implications of the things we create. My background is in arts and design: the lack of engagement and dialogue with society as a whole is strange to me. I have a project I’d like to start up around this theme in the new year, and I’m mega excited about it.

But once again - I’m spending more time thinking about my work life than my life life. So let’s refocus!

I’d like to embrace creativity and uniqueness in 2022. From my 20s onwards, I focused on making more money: I lived in an expensive city, and I had student loans and a mom to take care of. Only recently did I stop feeling like I was treading water. I’d like to spend the next period of my life and my career creating tings that matter to me personally, and letting money take a back seat.

I am, at my heart, a designer and a creative. As I took on technical writing and moved deeper into software, those were parts of myself I felt I had to shelve to succeed. In 2021 I felt a pull within myself back to those places, through work with INI and the Code of Conduct Committee. However, those avenues come with limitations. I don’t always feel as if I accomplished what I set out to achieve, partially because they live in the constraints of organizations under capitalism.

In 2022 and beyond, I want to create a valve for the part of myself that doesn’t fit neatly into the money making machine of tech. I want to shed light and lead technologists into thinking about their work in the way an artist would: for its affect, rather than its existence.

Goals and Themes, 2022

As such, here are 2022’s goals:

Screenshot of my 2022 goals list. Unchecked: “Have a hobby”, “Have a partner”, “Blog more”, “Speak at 4 conferences”, “Speak at 6 conferences”, “Do a python bootcamp”, “Start the talk show”, “Find the perfect apartment and decorate the shit out of it”

As I tweeted : my goal for 2022 is to be more myself, and I would love your support.

As such, my 2022 goals are focused around building a happy home life, re-engaging in romance and love, and spending my energy on things outside of work.

The pandemic and moving continents multiple times in the last decade haven’t helped my social life: I have dear friends in Berlin, a few remaining in Vancouver, and (especially after open source), lovely people in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and London. In 2022 I’m looking for somewhere I can put down roots.

I spent 2020 setting myself up for financial success, 2021 setting myself up for career success, and I want to spend 2022 setting myself up for personal success and happiness.

Per my friend Etel’s concept of yearly themes, I want the theme of 2022 to be Celebration. I’ve come so far in terms of self confidence, setting myself up for success, and building a life I like, and I want to celebrate it. I want to celebrate myself. I want to make new friends and gossip over brunch, I want to fill an apartment with things my mother wouldn’t understand the value in but that light me up inside. I want to experiment with fashion again. I want to celebrate being alive. I want to celebrate being fortunate enough to be in tech, an industry that can make your dreams come true. I want to celebrate being in open source and meeting all the wonderful people in it. I want to celebrate being a funny, silly, pretty girl that everyone loves to be around.

Can’t wait to meet you, 2022!