2018 Year in Review

I wrote my first official year for 2017 and a fairly brief one for 2016. I hope to keep these years and maybe be more timely with posting. However, this time I have the excuse of having the busiest past two weeks..

Accomplishments

Easiest to note would be my athletic endeavors of 2018 which include my first Olympic distance triathlon in NYC (on the hottest day of the year) and my first sprint distance triathlon in Central Park on an equally hot day. At the same time, I was working on my second NYRR 9+1 which I completed with my new favorite race, the Bronx 10 mile. It was a crisp and perfect October morning that toured me through the Bronx to a very excited crowd. The completion of 9+1 led to me qualifying for the 2019 marathon.

Professionally, I worked on four different projects, made several trips for work, readjusted to weekly work travel, handled obstacles (somewhat) gracefully, and attended trainings. Outside of work, I spent time supplementing what I was learning during the day with deeper dives on different security topics. I also manage to teach swim lessons on the side which is definitely not something I anticipated.

Hack for Venezuela was a road I very intentionally embarked on. I wanted to plan a hackathon where we spent the weekend working on tech projects and products that could directly help with some of the social issues Venezuela is now facing. The result led me to planning the hackathon in July, a happy hour in September, another workshop in October, and a planning forum in November while coordinating efforts at WPI and in SF. Our plans for 2019 is to further expand and define our mission and scope and hopefully plan a couple more hackathons. Additionally, the road also led me to the wider Venezuelan community in NYC with many new and remarkable friends that I am so grateful to have found and be part of.

I also found myself participating in the the latinos in tech NYC community and then further immersed myself with organizing with Techqueria and Latinx in Tech Startup weekend with TechStars. I met incredible people who do nothing short of challenge and inspire me and help to keep me accountable. For that, I feel lucky. Finding communities to be a part of post-grad, hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be.

Surprises / Joy / Inspiration / Challenges / Decisions / Risks / Growth / Pride

This section is also new and and I refer to these questions from this document, Design Your Dream workbook.

Anything especially fun and exciting?: Latinx in Tech Startup Weekend, the Techstars community, people I meet at the gym, weekends with friends. All the spontaneous international trips I took. Reconnecting with my family in Cusco.

Communities that I’m a part of: Techqueria NYC, Latinas in Tech NYC, and Harlem Run.

What is present in your life that I’m grateful for: Further discovering my neighborhood. Summer in Harlem. Access to green space. Trips that allow for laughs and discoveries and more closely connecting with the people I am with. Rides down the west side high way early in the morning and late in the evening listening to podcasts. My own apartment to decorate and take care of. Time to read(!!!!) Fostering my own interest in learning. Creating my own (feasible) metrics to hold myself and my growth accountable.

Where have I grown?: Maybe in adulting? Managing my free time time. Knowing when I need to rest and reset. Prioritizing my health.

What has brought me pride?: H4V, triathlons, scheduling and time management, crossing off my accomplishments for the month, staying consistent with some habits, and the new communities that I am part of.

Habits maintenance

The habit that I was most consistent with was reading, followed by exercise. I don’t have the most comprehensive data due to switching my phone halfway through the year but I tracked a majority of it via HabitBull.

Failings / Room for Improvement

This section is also new and and I refer to these questions from this document, Design Your Dream workbook.

What did I not get to? / What was a big disappointment: Advance my fitness instructor dreams. Earn any certifications.

What limited me?: Indecision. Eating out too much. Not addressing issues in a timely fashion.

What did I waste my time on?: On projects where learning was stagnant. Not noting takeaways and not following up. Frivolous spending on items that I eventually .

Travel

Domestically I went to North Carolina (for the first time), Texas, Chicago (multiple times and really got a grasp of the city), The Bay (multiple times!), Atlantic City, Cape Cod, LA, and Phoenix. Highlights include the Don Quixote Ballet in Chicago, friends weekends, and being able to escape the cold to warmer parts of the country.

Internationally, I went to Lake Atitl├ín in Guatemala, Los Cabos (for the second time) for a girls weekend that was probably one of my favorite trips, Cusco (to visit family and to see Machu Picchu), and spent the New Year in Krakow, Poland. I am almost confused with how I managed to fit it all in but I am grateful. As horribly privileged and self-centered as this sounds, but my life feels so much more full of meaning now that I have the opportunity to travel and see more. However, I really don’t plan on taking it for granted. Some highlights include drinking coffee at volcanoes, being in slightly uncomfortable situations while traveling internationally with my boyfriend but feeling supported and safe as we figured out how to navigate them together, being able to spend an entire weekend with my two friends that I don’t often get to see normally, to reconnect with my family in Cusco and catch up after years apart, to walk to Machu Picchu and then climbing down in pounding rain, and exploring an Eastern European city for the first time.

Notable books and more

Probably, an accomplishment that has really excited me is the fact that I was able to finish reading 15 books plus two entire comic series. I decided to focus on non-fiction this year with an emphasis on science. Overall, enjoyed this experiment of forcing myself to read books that I never normally did growing up. However in 2019, I want to be more intentional the books I select to read.

A decent amount of my early 2018 was really devoted to Jane the Virgin and Blue Planet 2, two shows that completely consumed me. Blue Planet 2 was equal parts thrilling and devastating. It truly reminded me of my genuine wonder of the natural world and how many nature documentaries I really did watch when I was younger. Jane the Virgin ignited an obsession with the relatable and remarkable characters, the whimsical plot, and having a story touch me in a way that I never anticipated.

  • Books
    • The third plate**
    • Being the change**
    • Sapiens*
    • The Argonauts
    • I know why the caged bird sings
  • Movies
    • The incredibles 2
    • Spider Man: Into the spiderverse**
    • Roma
    • To all the boys I loved before**
    • Blackkklansman
    • Love, Simon
    • Crazy Rich Asians
  • Comic Books
    • Y: The Last Man**
    • The Wicked and the Divine*
    • Saga
  • TV Shows
    • Blue Planet 2 **
    • Jane the Virgin**
    • She-Ra
    • The End of the ____ing World *
    • Big Little Lies
    • Salt Fat Acid Heat*
  • Podcasts
    • Let’s talk about myths, baby
    • In the thick
    • Latino USA
    • Cyber Wire
    • Ezra Klein
    • Buenos Dias America
  • Newsletters
    • NYTimes: New York Today
    • Quartz Daily Brief
  • Products
    • Swell water bottle
    • Black all birds
    • Dry brush
    • Bike trainer

Goals for this year

  • Guiding words for 2019, (with these as the guiding words for 2018):
    • Execute–to action, drive, decide, and make moves
    • Simplify–to buy less, have less, get rid of more (physical and emotional) baggage
    • Inward–to pause inwardly, to breathe, to focus

I don’t want to publicly highlight all my goals for 2019 but some I would like to mention are more triathlons, biking, blog posts (political and technical), and creative outlets. And most hopefully, all of this maintained by my ability to be decisive and firm in my decisions.

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