Happy new year Pubski! Figured last year's idea to write myself a letter begged for a followup.
---LEAVE IT IN 2018---
There's a beautiful painting someone posted here about a year ago (that I can't find right now), depicting someone facing a vast empty plain after ascending many carved out stairs. 2018 was the year for me that I finally broke free from the predefined life that is college, out into the open. In more than a few ways, I've realized that I am not the same person anymore as I was when I was a student. My priorities and context have slowly but steadily shifted away into something else, something better, and 2018 was when I realized this slow process is almost complete and that I don't feel the urge to go back.
It's also a year in which I have felt less like an individual and much more like one person at the intersection of a a dozen or so social circles. No man is an island - I tried for many years, but I'm so much happier embedded in a community, in a relationship, in the company of friends and family where I can simply be myself and feel welcome and appreciated. After almost two decades of struggling with feelings of loneliness, I think I've been able to leave a significant part of that behind.
---BRING IT IN 2019---
Considering that I started my real first jobbyjob out of college, I feel like there's a long list of things I learned this first year that I want to bring along. Some things that stood out were that I realized that I'm a very goal-oriented person in the workplace. I genuinely expected others to be on the same level as myself and was surprised to learn this was not the case. It probably helped that I read the book Essentialism earlier this year, which crystallized a bunch of ideas I've had about my work ethos.
This year I was also confronted with my own loyalty. I want to be the person other people can depend on. If I commit to something, I will make sure I deliver come hell or high water. At the same time, my work requires me to shift priorities on a daily and sometimes hourly basis, so it's quite the balancing act. Sometimes that means I can't deliver and I have to disappoint the very people I committed to not disappointing. 2018 was the year I dropped the ball a handful of times, and I've started to learn not to resort to shame but to show tenacity instead.
On a personal level I have found someone in 2018 that I grew to adore. I've rarely felt more appreciated, valued and understood than I've felt with her this year, and I dearly hope to stuff the box of 2019 so full of moments like that that it'll be hard to put a lid on it.