This year was… hard. There have been some great things, definitely, but this was the year I was mistaken by a weirdo for the inflight entertainment. The year where I burned out so hard I wanted to leave the tech industry. The year I gave up on expat life and returned to the UK. The year I lost my passport. And my wallet. Heartbreak. Misogyny. So many tears.
I confess, I’m glad that it’s over.
There were good things. In any trauma the friends who are there all the way through and out the other end are the truly special ones. I visited new places, had adventures – this will also always be the year I went to North Korea. I finally made it to super elite status. I had two things that I wrote on Lifehacker! I actually wrote code for fun. I learned a lot about myself – what I will, and will not put up with. What I have, and should not have put up with.
For 2014, these are the things I hope for.
Keep The Culture.
Whilst living in Sydney, I maintained the tourist attitude I had visiting, and did something cultural pretty much every week (except when travelling, or whilst ill) – going to the theatre, art galleries, museums, walks etc. London is also an amazing place for culture, so I want to keep that up.
My goal destination for 2014 is Tuvalu. But as I’m in Europe again I want to take advantage of short trips to the continent. I’m also sure there are plenty of adventures to be had in London. Really, I want to keep being open to opportunities. Keep saying yes.
Be an Independent Entity.
I was completely wrapped up in my job until the middle of this year, until I realised that meant that when my job sucked, my life sucked. And so I started carving out time for personal projects, and started writing more, and it has been so, so beneficial.
How do I take this further? I look for more ways to separate my identity from my job. I have some ideas.
Build Things For Humans.
I’m actually cautiously optimistic about work right now. I went looking for a situation where someone would sponsor me – where I would get meaningful things to build, and lead, and was very picky about finding a manager who I liked, and who came highly recommended. I found a place where as someone kindly put it “there’s a you shaped hole”. So far, I feel like there’s a lot of potential to create things that humans will find useful, that I provide some needed expertise, and that that expertise is appreciated.
I know what I want career-wise in 2014, I’m cautiously hopeful that I’ve found a place where I can create that, and be supported in creating that.
I can’t believe this website – blog – had over 20,000 unique visitors this year, and about a quarter of visitors returning. I’m just a girl who writes about my life, really. Thanks for stopping by.
Interviewing @ Google – From over three years ago, containing my interview prep list. Good luck, y’all!
Unfriending on Facebook – Also from long ago, but I guess people are still worrying about being unfriended/how to unfriend.
Prague, March 2013 – Linked from my popular Medium post, and from Lifehacker. Was a great trip! Although I didn’t expect quite so many people to discover I went to the Sex Machines Museum.
Getting On Top of Email – The second post that made it to Lifehacker.
Jawbone Up Vs Nike Fuelband – The culmination of 18 months of activity tracking. I destroy things so you don’t have to.
Ottawa, A Love Letter – Wow, it seems so long ago that I left O-town. I wrote this just after I left, reflecting on all the things I learned there and the amazing people I met.
Women In Tech: A Primer – I wrote this with the very basics of the problem, because I’m tired of explaining them.
Stories We Don’t Tell – On the miserable experiences of women in the tech industry, the things we don’t talk about.
Fear and Safety – On that plane journey, and being afraid.
Art, Life and Programming – Programming – Slides and commentary for a section of a talk I gave at the Holiday Science lecture at OttawaU.
Confidence – A piece of advice from one of my mentors, which I thought was the kind of remedial advice only needed by me… but this got such a great response that made it one of my favourite posts this year.
GGD Ottawa: Art, Life and Programming – Slides and commentary from my Ottawa Girl Geek Dinner talk.
Hong Kong, July 2013 – Pictures and reminiscences from my trip to HK.
Sunflower Layout in Processing – Code for the layout I wanted to use for my dominant colour in an image project, which turned out not to be a good option for that project – but I guess people are still finding it useful.
How I Learned to Love Solo-Travel – the first post that made it to LifeHacker, because it was picked up by an editor for Medium (thanks John!) I’m actually surprised that this didn’t rank higher, but I guess people read it elsewhere.