Just like the one that I did in the last decade, here’s a list!
Obviously, as I observed, the big NEWS events across the world didn’t quite directly impact me. But unlike the last decade, when they happened, I did take stock and make decisions that I wouldn’t have without them.
10. Joining a writing group
This was a long time in making because I had failed in making my own. Not once, but twice. Not that I wasn’t committed, but I couldn’t find fellow committed writers. Also at that time, I wasn’t quite a good group leader. After so many stumbles, I finally found one and stuck with them for five years until I quit earlier this year. The writing group held me accountable in reviewing work regularly and invited me to question what good writing is. I learned that it was subjective—which irked me, but I appreciated how my fellow writers supported each other. It was every week on Wednesday at 6 pm. I went to nearly every single meeting no matter how tired I was. But toward the end, I told myself that I needed something else for my writing journey. Five years changed my life and my writing got better because of it.
9. Getting an acceptance to speak at IxDA
I always wanted to be on stage. There’s absolutely no question about it. But I am no musician. I am no dancer. But what I do have are ideas. It created this desire for me to tell people my ideas. The idea had first occurred as a way to build my expertise and I decided to just go for it, even without experience in giving talks. I spent weeks rehearsing and made it happen. I don’t think that it was my best performance. But it was my first. And it was this proof that despite my years of fearing public speaking, I overcame it. Of course, the main issue is that I haven’t done much talks to that level. One day, TED TALKS.
8. Writing stories based on Gong Gong’s life story
Simply put, this led to my novel. Although I interviewed him circa 2008, I didn’t actually write the book until 2014/2015 during nanowrimo. But also, it led to me thinking about different generations and exploring the depth of my family. About immigration, about assimilation, about couplehood.
7. Joining the very special women’s Facebook writing group
I always say that it changed my life, because before this, I wondered why I wasn’t improving. I attempted so many times to be part of the writing world, but I was constantly rejected. When this invitation came, I learned about other writers. Soon, I was invited to other groups and it blossomed from there. I don’t know how I could have gotten to be a better writer without it. It helped me understand, most of all, the world of where I participated as a woman and a person of color.
6. Deciding to “sell” design sprints although I had never done them before!
Thanks for woman power books! In the great world of “lean in”, I just went for it. It was kind of ridiculous really when I look back on it. Especially when I sold not just one, not two, but three early-stage startups on this idea of a design sprint. A classmate was one of the original authors and I trusted him. And so I made it happen!
5. Deciding to separate
Hard to discuss but I wasn’t satisfied at the beginning of the decade. But in making a significant decision, I also learned a lot about myself.
4. Agreeing to go to couples counseling
Of course, that also meant that in the process of learning, I learned that it was mostly about me! For most people, couples counseling is about the communication between the couple. For us though, what turned out to be more successful was the individual counseling in understanding ourselves so that we knew exactly what we each wanted.
3. Deciding not to find full-time work after Palm
For most of my life, I didn’t want to be like most people. Be different, I often told myself. After hearing that a former coworker worked only 3-4 days a week, I decided the same. And it worked. I eventually decided that I would do something else with that free time…
2. Deciding to write ICE CREAM TRAVEL GUIDE and all the submoments with it
You know how most people in the midst of an identity crisis often go on some crazy travel thingie around the world? Well, as I often say, I decided to go on a world trip to explore ice cream…and write about it. The whole thing forced me to learn about how to promote myself (marketing), ask for help, talk to people I didn’t know, “beg” for those talks, travel alone, etc. No other experience has taught me so much about myself than that. Of course, was the result exactly what I wanted? Almost, sorta, kinda. But I wouldn’t change anything at all!
1. Purpose -> Proposal