2012 was an exceptional year. For oh so many reasons it has turned out to be one of my favorites so far. The short of it is that I feel that I have finally gotten a grasp on what it means to be me in the context of a relatively high functioning adult. I have vaulted into a career that I’m exceptionally happy with. I’m in a preposterously amazing relationship that continues to grow and amaze me with the wonderful Nicole Zuckerman. I have finally stepped up and taken responsibility for adult things, e.g. the dreaded realm of finances. 2012 was a year when things worked out amazingly, when Obama got re-elected, and when I was stupid and broke my middle finger finger-wrestling.
I started at Salesforce as a Senior UI Designer in April 2012. They reached out to me, which felt amazing, and I couldn’t be happier to be with them this year. I’ve learned an exceptional amount as a designer, a communicator, and a person working within a large company alongside exceptionally talented designers and researchers. The work is challenging in both complexity and scope, yet I have the time and support to pursue deepening my knowledge taking classes and going to conferences. My process is richer for the time I have spent here so far and I can’t wait for another year.
Speaking & Teaching
This year I was asked to speak on a panel at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference down in San Jose. In doing so I had a blast evangelizing design and cracking some carapaces at The Boiling Crab with other designers. Design is going to be a strong field within enterprise as users become more savvy with technology and their expectations increase. I also taught four Skillshare this year. Two on my own on UX Flows and two with Rob Surrency and Jonathan Hung on Guiding UX Principles. I’ve always found teaching to be a way to learn more about a craft and I love sharing the knowledge I have with others.
Love & Friendship
This year I spent so much wonderful time deepening my relationship with Nicole. We’ve danced a lot more together. We’ve planned more together. We support each other through and through while encouraging each other to grow in the ways we want to see ourselves. We continue to love each other more and more. We’re tackling a life together. This photo says it all. Additionally, I’ve tried to make an effort to spend more time connecting with my parents and sister including skype calls and more time in person. I didn’t do as good of a job staying connected with some of my good friends who are elsewhere this year, despite managing the occasional visit or Skype call, and hope to make a better stab at that next year.
I spent less time dancing overall this year than I have in years past. Part of this was confronting the realization that I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of dancing. I crossed into eleven years of dancing and my goals and priorities have changed considerably over the last couple of years. I’m no longer interested in traveling, teaching and competing all of the time. I enjoy those activities but it wasn’t fruitful for me, I wasn’t as engaged with the dance as I tried those things I had been doing. A lot of the year was spent with some frustration around dance. Even with the great advice from peers whose advice I value, it took me most of the year to start finding delight in the dance again. Part of it comes back to exploring new parts of the dance that I haven’t, such as balboa, and the other part comes back to digging into a part of the dance I haven’t done in a while. Choreography. I started choregraphing a group piece in the fall, and also helped choreograph two other pieces this year.
I’ve never been a big fan of dealing with money, but this year I got a hold of my shit and started making sure of my financial life was in order. I made sure my credit card debt was all gone and paid off large portions of some personal debt. I took over some student loan payments from my parents. I got a 401k plan and started making sure part of my paycheck went into a savings account (it helps that I have a nice job at Salesforce now). I have health insurance and made use of it (particularly for that broken finger). All in all, a good year for my financial responsibilities.
Health & Movement
I joined a gym that I think is awesome this year. It’s a great space where I feel not only comfortable to go and work out in, but also to go and hang out in the cafe. I know the staff well and I appreciate their attitude of a physical culture. I’ve also started worked with two trainers this year. Kirk has improved my skills with kettlebells and reconnected me with pilates. Vincent has helped me with gymnastic training and I’ve had massive progress on the rings, in my floor work and my handstand. I’m very excited that I’ve seen so much progress with not only my strength and mental mindset but also in the development of a physical skillset that I’ve always wanted to work more on.
When it comes to the health side of things, I’ve notably drank less this year than in prior years and am generally trying to make a mental effort to not drink as much alcohol. I’m also trying to imbibe less coffee (and in turn more tea and water) during the day at work, although depending on the day it’s a battle I’m willing to lose once in a while. I haven’t been as vigilant about what I’m eating and I feel that I could use more vegetables in my diet.
This year I spent time investing in some other various skills I wasn’t anticipating learning more about. I got CPR and Emergency Response certified through a program at work. It’s the second time I’ve been certified and it feels good to know I can help someone in need. I also spent a lot of time learning more about bike repair and maintenance as I purchase a less-than-complete bicycle off of Craigslist and it has become an occasionally tedious but educational experience. Lastly, I purchased a Sony NEX-7. One of the prosumer mirrorless DSLRs and have been taking pictures incessantly with it. In the six or so months I’ve had it, I can see a visible improvement in my ability to see and frame a shot, although I’m still not always getting the shot I want. I even printed one of my photos in large format for my mother for Christmas.
Lastly, I’ve been shit at writing this year. It just hasn’t been on my priority list and I have felt hampered by not having a good workspace to sit and write when I’m at home. I think writing really helps change the way I look at the world, it changes my perspective when I might write about what I’m doing or seeing. The bit of writing that I’ve been decent at this year was responding to my OhLife emails which come in daily and remind me to journal just a little bit.