Hey fam! It’s that time of year, AKA the end of it ;)

Last year I wrote my first year in review and I wanted to continue the tradition this year. The goals I had stated last year were follows:

In 2018, I hope to:

Speak more, hopefully at at least one international conference

Blog more

Focus on my health more (and social life maybe? anyone wanna be friends lol)

Improve my communication skills

and do some more hobby work (psst…you can see my handmade jewelry at https://sarah.jewelry/)

and of course keep improving my technical skills (thank you Front End Masters and Treehouse!)

You know, I really think I hit almost all of those! That’s kind of a first if I’m being honest.

My first goal was:

Speak more, hopefully at at least one international conference

I did this! I keynoted two conferences, including an amazing experience at Web Directions in Australia and my SF local favorite ForwardJS. I also spoke in London at Design Systems London which was likewise awesome, and at a few others like Fluent Conf, plus a few panels and meetups. I’m winding down my speaking at the moment in favor of writing which I feel I’m better at and can reach a bigger audience with, but you can spot me at the next ForwardJS in February.

Blog more

This one was hit and miss. I was super lucky to be able to participate in The Pastry Box, which was great and held me accountable, but unfortunately the project ended prematurely. I’d love to blog more in 2019. I guess I’ve tweeted a lot, but I don’t think that counts. I’ve also contributed tips to a few publications.

Focus on my health more (and social life maybe? anyone wanna be friends lol)

I made some progress on this but maybe not as much as I’d like. I started working out a couple times a week with ClassPass and discovered I really like yoga trapeze. Through that, I discovered that I find aerial silks amazingly intriguing and want to work up to trying that. I really enjoyed gymnastics as a kid, and aerial seems like the most adult-friendly version of that, plus I find it incredibly beautiful.

I’ve lost some weight, but not a ton. I’m focusing on not focusing on food, actually. I played with the idea of keto and several “30 day challenge” like things, but I discovered that what I want more than anything is not to worry about my diet and let food rule me. So I’m learning to eat more mindfully instead of restricting myself so much. I’m sure more weight will come off as I learn to eat only when hungry, but I’m not in a huge rush. Just want to live my life :)

As far as social life goes, it’s complicated. My best friend from college moved to San Francisco which is amazing and I am so glad she is here. I ended my first long term relationship and discovered I didn’t really keep up with my friendships as much as I should have. But I have held back from pursuing new ones because I’ve been busy and I’m moving to Australia next year.

I’m also learning to reclaim my social independence in a way that I’m really loving. I tried traveling alone for the first time this year, starting with Hawaii. I’m an introvert and usually avoid small talk, especially if it’s someone I won’t see again, but traveling alone really brings out the extrovert in me. I’ve learned to appreciate temporary connection and the lessons strangers can teach me. In fact, someone who dared me to dance in a drum circle on a beach in Hawaii is now in Australia and I’m hoping to reconnect with them. I did the same in Venice and it was really wonderful.

Traveling solo is helping me learn to be ok with putting myself out there and try new things alone. This past weekend I rented a car and went to wine country for glamping and an all-women’s woodworking workshop alone, where I connected with the other women and made new friends. These were women from different cities (even countries) and stages of life that I would never have been able to connect with otherwise. I’ve also challenged myself to try things like workout classes that make me nervous and go to restaurants I want to try alone. Before I would only do these kinds of things with a friend. These kind of experiences have inspired me to take more risks, like move to Australia! Honestly, I feel good and more enthusiastic about my future than I have felt in a really long time and I am enjoying reconnecting with my authentic self.

Phew, that was a long one!

Improve my communication skills

I guess I’ve done better with this. It’s hit and miss. I feel like there was a period where I was really accepting of tone policing and I’m kind of over that now. I will continue to be direct, constructive, and also be kind whilst maintaining the former qualities. “Direct but kind” is my communication motto. Transparency and accountability are important to me and I will continue to bring those qualities to work.

and do some more hobby work (psst…you can see my handmade jewelry at https://sarah.jewelry/)

Yes! I wish I could dedicate more time to this, but I have taken on way more facets to my hobbies and I love them. I’ve been learning glass beadmaking and traditional metalsmithing and I really love those processes. I’ve also been exploring woodworking and music. Usually I would think of my hobbies in a business context and not want to spend a lot of money on them, but I’ve decided to just spend on the things that make me happy, like fancy tools and workshops that maybe I don’t need or can’t profit from a lot but really enjoy.

and of course keep improving my technical skills (thank you Front End Masters and Treehouse!)

I guess I did okay at this because I just got a new position as a senior dev at Atlassian in Sydney ;) So excited! I am also extremely nervous though and I really hope I am up to the challenge. Imposter syndrome is rearing its head.

Wow, what a year! It’s been bittersweet though. I’m sad to say goodbye to Adobe and my colleagues there. I’m also struggling because my cat is sick and I’m dreading when she passes. The current events are always dragging me down and I’ve not taken as many social media detoxes as I should. Moving is going to be hard and stressful and I’m just praying my kitty can make the trip with me. I may have gone through my quarter life crisis or something. This post is definitely more personal than last year’s. It’s fine, it’s just the internet. On to 2019!

In 2019, I want to:

  • Continue to travel more. Traveling has been the absolute greatest and I can’t wait to do it again.
  • Continue to embrace my emotional independence and take risks. I like who I am when I am traveling alone and I want to strive to bring that back to my everyday life.
  • Continue to focus on my health. And do better.
  • Make new friends and connections!
  • Read more non-fiction.
  • Grow technically and as a leader.
  • Cultivate a positive attitude in my personal and professional life.

But mostly I just want to embark on my next adventure and see where life takes me! Cheers, folks ❤

Design Ops Lead @ Lendi. Designer/Dev. Design systems + a11y. Prev @Atlassian @Adobe @LinkedIn . Very millennial, with a side of ADHD.

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