Can you believe it, we are entering the third year of the pandemic, THE THIRD YEAR! 22 days into 2022, and it still hasn't sunk in!
Keeping such thoughts at bay, how have the past few weeks been for you? Hope 2022 has been treating you well. This transition from 21 to 22 actually worked out well for me. The holiday season involves me locked in my apartment alone, binge-watching mindless TV shows and feel-good Christmas movies. But December 2021 was different. I was surrounded by family, and what a joy that was. I mean, just look at these adorable faces. Tell me you too wouldn't want to spend your time being surrounded by such cuteness. ❤️
Besides the joyous close to the year, 2021 has been quite eventful: I shifted to Cambridge (making it my second mid-pandemic relocation 😅), finally started living on the same piece of rock as my boyfriend after years of long-distance, learnt authentic Italian cooking from some amazing humans (I now understand why Italians get violent about Italian food-related content online 🤣), met the most laid back cat (y'all gotta believe me when I say he would rake in the big bucks if he were to become a life coach 😂). It has not been all roses and sunshine ofcourse. 2021 brought along a lot more self-doubt, existential dread and procrastination than ever before. There were definitely days when I just could not get myself to even show up for work. The overwhelm in the offline world kept me from actively participating in the things I enjoyed in the online world. Creation, thus, ended up taking a back seat.
So what do I want 2022 to look like? Given the whole global panini of it all and the uncertainty that it brings along, long term planning is out the window. This year I am just setting priorities to help guide my decisions and actions. I want 'creation and connection' (yes, it has been left intentionally vague) to take the front seat this year. My biggest takeaway from 2021 was the need to invest in reducing friction. A long set of complex (and let's be honest, mindlessly boring) steps between me and task completion meant giving up halfway through owing to overwhelm. What systems/tools have I put in place to help deal with this?
- I bought a new MacBook 💻: Was it necessary? Absolutely not. Did I rationalise the purchase anyway? Most definitely! To be fair, I was using a 2015 MacBook Air, which meant even the simplest RL models would take an eternity to train, thus restricting the stuff I could write about. And don’t even get me started on video editing on that machine. Ugh, it used to be physically painful!
- I set up a new website 🌐: I am all for static site generators with Jekyll and Markdown, but the whole workflow can get quite cumbersome. Maybe it's just me, but I cannot think in Markdown. Thus, my workflow involved using a tool like Google Docs or Notion to first write and edit the content. This was then shifted to Markdown and all the formatting idiosyncrasies of the tech stack were handled. This was often followed by an annoying and seemingly endless loop of fixing issues and pushing changes to Git. Additionally, I like having a second pair of eyes (thanks mum and dad, my most loyal readers 🤣) read my writing for fixes before publishing it. However, the previous Jekyll setup provided no straightforward solution for this. Thus, for this year, to reduce the friction involved in writing, I have decided to go with a no-code solution to build and maintain the blog. I am currently experimenting with Super to render pages directly from my Notion workspace. I would eventually like to shift to a website built from scratch, but that moment is not today.
- Accountability in Public 🕵️♀️: Lurking on Twitter the past year, I have swallowed the red pill on Building in Public. Reading about Mek’s experiments with publicly tracking various metrics of his life for 6+ years was the push that I needed. Having struggled with consistency, I believe such a tool might help me keep on top of my priorities. From what I hear, it can even help find a tribe of like-minded people (i.e, a community of weirdos like me 🤪) and make leeway on the 'connections' part of this year's priorities. How would I make this actionable? The first step is to stop being a lurker on Twitter (I can already feel the self-consciousness, anxiety and panic sweats kick in 😅). I will be more open about the papers I read, the research that I do for the blogs/videos and the pieces of content that I am working on. Additionally, I have added a page for the upcoming content schedule that you can expect from me. It can also help you track when I mess up (which I am guessing, knowing me, will be quite often 🤣).
Now you know my plans for 2022. What are your priorities for this year? What actions are you taking to help you stay true to your path?
Wishing you all a lovely year ahead! Hope you spend this year following your curiosities, learning new things, and taking breaks to rejuvenate. ❤️