2017: All’s Well That Ends

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“The weight of the world doesn’t hurt my back like it used to. You could say the pain reminds me I’m alive.”
– Sun in My Eyes by Lucky Boys Confusion

What. A. Year. It seemed that almost everyday the headlines were less than ideal. Stories ranged from our man-child President’s tweeting us to the brink of war, talks of treason at the highest level of our government, the largest mass shooting in US history, multiple hurricanes that devastated our states and territories, not to mention wildfires that won’t stop burning. The news was “bad” almost every day, many days I woke up wanting to simply go back to sleep after reading the news.

Outside the daily news my personal struggles were not great either, and bad news always seemed to come when I hit a new high. I had a job that was no longer creatively fulfilling, almost lost my cats to a poison, plus I suffered from a broken heart and back. My back injury was so serious I lived and worked from floor of my living room for almost a month while healing. All of the above is why I felt that the quote above was so fitting and it is easily my favorite song of 2017.

Despite the negatives, the more I think about this past year the more I feel that I’ll look back on this year and only see the points of bright light in the sea of darkness.

For instance, this year of politics has been fairly disappointing and even scary at times. But now I see people everywhere banding together and volunteering to resist some things our government is trying to do by giving the people a louder voice. I got the itch to do the same and earlier this year I helped out the 5 Calls project by assisting in the development of their iOS app. Personally I never have felt more proud of a tool I worked on because it gives people a louder voice. The team has a lot of great plans for 2018 and I can’t wait to dive in and help out more.

This fall I also found a new job that I love, making iOS apps for ParkWhiz. Just before the holiday we shipped a massive new redesign of the app that I am very proud of. It was remarkable given our team size how much we got done in a short amount of time. Plus now our customers have an even better experience to make parking easier. This project also sets us up for a great starting place for 2018 and I can’t wait to get back to work after the holiday break.

I can’t forget to mention the brightest moment of 2017, which also simultaneously was the darkest moment for about 2.5 minutes. Of course I’m speaking about the August 2017 total solar eclipse. My friend and I ventured down to Carbondale’s Southern Illinois University to witness this first in my lifetime opportunity and I don’t regret it one bit. Seeing the glistening totality, even though a bit of a cloud, while the entire 360 degrees of horizon around was a sunset was an irreplaceable experience. I am already charting out plans for the next North American total solar eclipse in 2024.

So all in all I feel I am closing the book on 2017 on an optimistic note and thusly believe I will look back on this year positively. I have already laid out some big goals for myself in 2018. Those goals include writing and building more things in my spare time as a way to exercise my creativity as I explained in my earlier post yesterday. My first big project for 2018 is to finish updating an old iOS game of mine.

… but I am sure glad this year is over.

Lets try this writing thing again…

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I used to love writing but don’t do it often anymore, and am now way out of practice. There was an itch that I had most of this year about sharing my thoughts and feelings, but I just could not scratch it.

Recently inspiration hit in the form of a quote I read from Dave Grohl in Rolling Stone on the creation of Concrete and Gold (one of my favorite albums of 2017):

“I don’t think I was inspired at first, I just felt like I was creatively atrophied and had to start to exercise in order to wake the muscle up.”

Dave said he was “creatively atrophied” and that explained so well what I was feeling. Unsure of my writing skills being rusty, I started writing more privately, and I enjoyed it. So after a lot of reflection on myself and my desires I have decided to start again for 2018. My rule will be to post at least one blog post a month.

I wanted to get up and running fast so I moved over to a hosted WordPress blog for its flexibility over my old Tumblr blog, of which you can find here in the archive.

So what will I be writing about? I think the best answer is: anything. I wanted to be able to talk about anything that fascinates me without having to stick to a theme. So you could see posts about software development, cooking, technology, history of Chicago, video games, cats or even some random works of fiction.

In addition to writing more, I am trying to build some new personal habits in my personal life, and may write about them if I find anything useful as well.

So stay tuned, as there will be more to come.