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2018: A Look Back

Last year, I wrote a post to try to hold myself accountable for self-improvement goals in 2018. I thought 2018 might be a better year, and in a lot of ways it was, but I was perhaps not prepared for how hard it would be. I did a lot of great things this year, and I missed some goals, too. So, to prepare for next year, let's have a look back at what 2018 held for me, and then in a later post I'll look ahead for what goals I want to set for myself.

2018 Brags

Hey, I've got a lot of brags here in the 2018, so let's go through some of them! In no particular order...

  • I launched First Vigil, a resource for tracking white supremacist crime;
  • I was named to Bitch Magazine's Bitch 50;
  • I co-wrote a book chapter in Seeking SRE with my good friend Liz Fong-Jones;
  • Liz and I also keynoted SRECon EMEA;
  • I published an opinion piece in Refinery29;
  • I appeared in a documentary on PBS Frontline called Documenting Hate: Charlottesville;
  • My assailant pleaded guilty and the nonsensical lawsuit was settled for a mutual release of claims;
  • I started a new job as a Lead Consultant Data Scientist;
  • I moved to Germany and got a Blue Card;
  • I traveled to Asia for the first time when worked in Bangkok for a while for a work project;
  • I saw new cities: Köln, Aachen, Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, Paris, กรุงเทพมหานคร (Bangkok);
  • Most importantly, I made many friendships and shared many stories.

The Eiffel Tower in late summer, Paris

2018 Misses

There were a lot of things I wanted to do in 2018 but fell short. Let's take a look.

Working on the house

Moving to Berlin did not facilitate progress on this goal in any way... These projects need to get done so this will carry forward.

Working on coding and math

One thing I learned was not to set vague goals like this anymore. I did do a bit of coding for fun, but I didn't dive into math studies the way I wanted to. So for 2019 I'll be more clear.

Study Language

I set a goal for myself here to be at least A1 in German by year's end. Honestly, I probably am, but my confidence is not there. It's been a source of frustration that I've been unable to dedicate study time to this, so I'm going to work on that in 2019. I did pick up some Thai this year, though!

Read more

Big fail here. I did get through one book, The Turmoil, which is a prequel to the starting point of the Modern Library project I want to undertake.

A year in review

All things considered, 2018 was a damn hard year. Healing in the months since the terror attack in Charlottesville was not easy. It is still not easy. 2018 felt a lot like picking up the pieces. But I still managed to do some amazing work amidst the trauma and the terror and the chaos, and if I can do that much good in 2018, it actually leaves me hope for 2019.

Next up, I'll be writing my 2019 plan.

The Tegeler See in summer, Berlin

Author

EG

Emily is a data scientist and activist. The opinions shared herein are her own.