Another year has gone by, but it will not end (at least not on the east coast of the US) without me publishing my first blog post on this new site! In some ways, not much terribly exciting happened to me in 2022, but it was a year of a lot of introspection and growth for me, and I believe I come out of this year a stronger person than going in.

Let’s take a look back before we take a look forward in a future post. In more or less chronological order, here we go!

New Job

In January I started a new job at a fairly large payments company based in San Francisco. It’s the biggest company I’ve ever worked for, which was something that both excited and terrified me at the time. This past year has been one of the most exciting and challenging ones of my entire career, both for reasons that I anticipated and reasons that I didn’t. (It’s hard working for a large company, for the expected reasons but also for reasons that I hadn’t really anticipated, which maybe I’ll talk about in a future post.)

To be frank, I didn’t really know if I’d be able to “make the cut” at a company with such high standards as this one. Fortunately, I’ve proven my imposter syndrome wrong once again and accomplished a great deal in the relatively short time that I’ve been here. My hard work has not gone unnoticed, and I’m optimistic for the exciting new opportunities and challenges that the 2023 work year will bring.

New Car

New Car

New year, new car! My last car, a generous gift from my parents, was about ten years old at the beginning of the year and was, uh, a bit worse for wear. My wife and I started looking into new cars and ended up settling on the Volkswagen GTI. This was a huge step for me as it was the first time I had bought a car myself! I had originally wanted to get the Golf R, but they’re basically impossible to get. Every dealership around me either had none to give or was charging $10k+ in markups (no, that’s not an exaggeration.) So the GTI it was! I’m extremely happy with it.

Learned to Drive Stick

I learned to drive stick! Not much more to say on this really. I always felt it was a bit of a shortcoming in my “car enthusiast” credentials that I couldn’t drive a manual transmission. Fortunately, with the help of my dear wife, I have corrected that shortcoming in 2022! I’m now reasonably proficient at driving a manual transmission.

Started ADHD Treatment

After struggling through basically my entire life without even knowing I might have ADHD, and then struggling another year or two knowing that I probably did have ADHD but not really feeling like I wanted to do anything about it, I finally went to get an assessment done around halfway through the year. The doctor immediately diagnosed me, which was no surprise to me but in many ways a huge relief. It was almost like a burden had been lifted: just having an explanation for why things that “should be” easy for me are often not that easy at all has made life in general a lot easier and more pleasant.

Treatment is not a magic bullet, and it’s still hard work, but it’s given me stronger footing to tackle both my ADHD issues and other mental health struggles. As a result I’ve found myself more flexible, more open, and more honest with my feelings with both myself and the people around me. I can’t say that that’s entirely due to the ADHD treatment, but I think it has definitely helped a lot.

Reconnected With An Old Hobby

When I was in high school, I loved playing the guitar. I never got particularly good – I wasn’t disciplined enough to ever actually sit down and practice – but I enjoyed banging out the easier songs that I could learn from the pop-punk bands I liked at the time. After high school, I stopped playing completely.

New Guitar

Wanting to have more hobbies that didn’t involve sitting in front of a screen, I finally picked up a guitar again after probably ten years. I’m happy to say that I fell right back in love with it almost immediately. I’m still not very good, but I’m determined to stick with it (and to actually practice properly!) It’s nice to revisit old songs, but picking the guitar back up has also helped me broaden my musical tastes, much as it did when I was playing in high school. I think playing in instrument gives you a much better appreciation for what the greats playing that instrument are able to do with it.

Discovered A New One

In the same vein of wanting more non-computer hobbies, my wife bought me a beginner wood carving kit from Amazon. I’ve only sat down for two carving sessions so far, but I’ve loved doing it both times. It’s just the right balance of concentration where it keeps you focused on something but it doesn’t require so much focus that I can’t listen to music or have a chat with my wife while I’m doing it.

Wood Carving

As you can see, I haven’t made much progress yet, but I’ll keep at it, and hopefully this block of wood will look more like a bird soon! I don’t know that I’ll ever get much further than carving around simple patterns, but I think that’s enough for me – I don’t have to be an expert at everything, I just need to be good enough at the things I enjoy to enjoy them and to know when to abandon the things that don’t bring me joy.

Started This Website

I’ll have a future post about why I started (yet another!) blog this year, but the short version is that I wanted to do more long-form writing and I don’t really get to do any in my day job. I’m not committing to any particular writing cadence right now, but I do think it would be nice to write at least one post a month.

Well, That’s About It

All told, it was an often challenging but ultimately rewarding year for me and my family. A lot of highlights, as mentioned here, and some struggles too, but struggles from which I think I’ve learned and grown as a person. I could go into a lot more detail about these and other things, but I wanted to keep this relatively short.

Happy New Year! Hoping that 2023 can be, for all of us, a year full of continued learning, growing, and connecting with family, friends, hobbies, and ourselves.