Year in Review: 2020

Originally published Jan 2nd, 2021

2020 was an extremely unpredictable and tough year. There was a lot of sadness, loss and heartbreak this year for everyone. We were all affected by the pandemic one way or another. In March 2020, I was furloughed.  At first, it wasn’t so bad but over time the stress and anxiety of life, family health, finances and other things began to grow and take it’s toll on me.

By September, I was overwhelmed and was in a pretty dark place for about 6 weeks until mid-October. Thankfully though, with the support of my girlfriend and attending some online events around the Latinx community, helped me regain some sense of pride and self-confidence. It wasn’t to say that my problems were gone but I felt some sort of strength and mental clarity. I’m still learning to adapt, grow and thrive under these new conditions but I feel better now going into 2021. But 2020 did give me some good moments, so it wasn’t all horrible.

This is what I gained in 2020:

  • I got to spend more time with my girlfriend. We got to watch a few shows and movies together.
  • We were able to go to New Orleans in early January before we knew of anything.
  • It was an awesome trip and a city worth revisiting.
  • I got to cook more and try different things.
  • Yes, I even tried sourdough but that was an epic fail. I’m a Foccacia guy now.
  • I started and finished a UX bootcamp.
  • It was a bit rough doing Zoom meetings at first but then we got better with it.
  • I got to work with a 2nd client through the bootcamp and work with new people. I made a good friend from it too.
  • I attended so many events online since it was easier to attend them.
  • I got to meet so many people because of these events.
  • I also got to meet a lot of people because of Twitter, Linkedin, Lunchclub, Design Buddies, ADPList and UX Coffee Hours.
  • These communities and interactions really helped me this year and I really appreciate the folks I’ve spoken to.
  • I read a few more books that before. I missed learning through books, getting lost in a good story or enjoying a graphic novel.
  • I did some cycling, primarily in Queens but it was so nice just riding around a bit.
  • I started drawing again and taking an online course to learn proper technique/theory.
  • It’s been tough but rewarding learning from mistakes. I’ve been working on my consistency with it.
  • My gf got me a drawing tablet for Christmas (it was the only thing I wanted) so I can begin doing digital art.
  • It’s an XP-Pen Deco Pro Small for those looking into getting one.
  • I wrote consistently through out the year and it rekindled my interest in writing.
  • This has even made me consider learning UX Writing and applying that to future projects.
  • I wrote some blog posts that got good traction online and it was mind blowing that people liked what I wrote.
  • I was able to go to the beach and to Upstate NY (safely distanced and protected of course).
  • I finally got to watch Avatar: The Last Air Bender and it was awesome!
  • I want to make some art work inspired by the show.
  • I was able to help my girlfriend during her first semester of grad school (I’m so proud of her!)
  • I got to play some of my PS4 and Nintendo Switch Backlog (still got a lot left to play!)
  • PS4: God of War, Spider-Man
  • Switch: Florence, What Remains of Edith Finch, Heave Ho, Astro Bears, Horizon Chase Turbo, Ape Out, Blossom Tales and a couple of others.
  • I participated in my first game jam and made some cool friends! The majority of us decided to keep moving forward with it and build it up to something more.

I think I may have missed a few things but as much suckiness that I had in 2020, I can’t say I didn’t have some good moments too. I’ve been fortunate to an extent that my family has been okay for the most part. I’m thankful and grateful for that. But I won’t lie and say that I can’t wait to see what better things come out of 2021. I know it falls on me to make it better for myself too.

The main take away that I took from 2020:
Take care of yourself so that you can help take care of others (in whatever way that means to you)

With that said, I wish you all a happy new year. A special thank you to my girlfriend for dealing with the rollercoaster that has been me in 2020, my family and friends (old and new). You’ve made this year much easier for me. Love y’all.

Please stay safe out there, please be kinder to yourself and others and be considerate. What were some of the better things that happened to you in 2020?

Please share.