2019 year in review

My previous year ends include 20162017 and 2018


The most time consuming accomplishments would definitely be my athletic endeavors of 2019 which include my #2 place finish for my age group in the Central Park Sprint Triathlon and completing my second NYC Marathon in November. Both ended up being PRs and being truly beautiful days.

Professionally, I worked on four different projects, made a few trips for work, and readjusted to commuting locally. Most notably, I restarted my formal education by starting a masters program in Cyber Security ended my first semester strong.

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

I refer to these questions from this document, Design Your Dream workbook.

Anything especially fun and exciting?: Exploring new neighborhoods, the energy of the NY Marathon, going to Europe with my family for the first time, fully feeling and being present, Julian Castro’s presidential campaign, USA Women’s Soccer dominating!, and hitting a quarter century with nothing but gratitude.

Surprises: Being able to finally see Hamilton–a real joy! Shivers at Hadestown. Going to a PennState football game for the first time. Riding through Venice for the first time. Running around Milan and Lake Como while marathon training early in the mornings. Sunrises in the park during training.

What is present in your life that I’m grateful for: My desire to challenge myself. Time spent outside. Reading new books. Feeling myself growing stronger. New places to explore. Time spent on creative endeavors like teaching myself how to play the cuatro. Evenings in the park reading and writing after work. Playing in an adult water polo league and running/biking with new groups.

Where have I grown?: I focused on my mental and physical health this past year. I think (I hope!) I grew as a person..

What has brought me pride?: Consistent early morning workouts, triathlon training, recovering from some hardships and learning valuable lessons and planning for a new execution, my first semester of graduate school, learning new areas in cyber, my second marathon!!!

Habits maintenance

The habit that I was most consistent with was exercised, followed by reading. 

Failings / Room for Improvement

For this section, I also refer to these questions from this document, Design Your Dream workbook.

What did I not get to? / What was a big disappointment: Where do I begin? Career rejection. Physical problems that included dislocations, tendonitis, and a strained hip-flexor. Travelled significantly less. Communication issues.

What limited me?: Complacency. 

What did I waste my time on?: Inaction. Feeling bad for myself.




Compared to the last few years, I did not get to travel as much in 2019 which was definitely a bit of a bummer. But, I did get to start the year in Phoenix, AZ and avoid a bit of January cold but then mostly stayed local aside from a few trips to San Diego, Cape Cod, and Happy Valley to see my first PennState football game. Internationally, I went to to Havana, Cuba for a girls trip and then went on a family trip to Lake Como-Venice-Milan-Lake Lugano.

‘Notable books and more

I ended the year with reading 24 different books. I think I was in a weird reading rut where I read several books in a row that were a strong meh and then read several that were incredible (see below). The emphasis on my reading this year was science, history, and social justice. Code Girls was a huge delight, Becoming gave such a fascinating view in the life of such a fascinating woman, Countdown to Zeroday was riveting, and Know my Name simply broke my heart and is a book that deserves multiple rereads.

A few of my favorite shows ended in 2019 including Jane the Virgin, Game of Thrones, and Mr. Robot. I struggle with closure when such incredible and nuanced shows end but with some confidence, I can assert that GOT was nothing but unsatisfactory. Switching to movies, after reviewing my watch list, I quickly realized that I missed many great movies and I have a back-log of movies that I’m currently working through.

A new section that I’m including is a list of best restaurants. I included several places in my local area and a few from some of my travels. Indulging in great restaurants is one of my favorite activities and it is a thrill to get the opportunity to eat at a place that I’ve been eyeing for awhile or gets popular after you visit (like Llama San which was later named one of the best restaurants in 2019 by the NYT). I would say that a majority of the year was focused on Vietnamese cuisine. All summer, I explored newly opened Vietnamese restaurants in NYC and then ended the year visiting more authentic Vietnamese restaurants in the Bay Area and I can now say that I definitely have a better grasp and genuine love/appreciation for Viet food.

Lastly, I want to stress that newsletters and podcasts are my favorite ways to get the news and stumble upon fun and interesting reads. Highlights for newsletters include Quartz Obsession for random facts, Please Like Me for underscoring influencer nonsense, The GIST for giving me more comprehensive sports news for professional/collegiate mens/womens sports, and Vox Sentences. Highlights for podcasts include my boyfriends new Dungeons and Dragons podcast called Nat 1. and Run!, Drilled for giving a history of climate change denial and propaganda, and one of my favorite topics ethics in tech from Reset.



  • Code girls**
  • If beale street could talk**
  • Becoming**
  • Good and mad
  • Countdown to Zeroday*
  • American Moonshot
  • Trick Mirror
  • Know my name**
  • Tools of Titans
  • Spying on Whales


  • Us**
  • Booksmart**
  • Little Women

TV Shows

  • Game of Thrones
  • Jane the Virgin*
  • Watchmen
  • Mr. Robot**
  • The Mandalorian**


Reflecting on 2019 as a whole

I learned a lot, felt bad for myself a lot, challenged myself, struggled, cried, re-evaluated, ate a lot of amazing food, accomplished very little initially, got very comfortable, and (hopefully) grew. As I mentioned in my last post, I spent a decent amount of the year complacent and struggling but I ended the year with a pivot that included graduate school, deepening my professional skillset, and with a stronger action plan for 2020. I am proud of myself for overcoming the challenges of 2019 and I feel softer/kinder as a person and physically stronger for it. Ideally, the only way from here is up.


Goals for 2020

  • Guiding words for 2020, (words for 2019 and for 2018):
    • Design–to plan, to keep structure, to be intentional and thoughtful
    • Dream–to rest, to relax, to imagine, create, pause, recover, and meditate
    • Drive–to execute, to decide, to move forward, and to practice

I don’t want to publicly highlight all my goals for 2020 but it’s going to be a big year, when I started manifesting my 2020 goals back in December I honestly started to get nervous abut some I would like to mention are more triathlons, graduation, starting nw chapters in my life, faster biking/running splits, and specific creative and recharge time.

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