So here we are, at the end of 2021. I always get a little sentimental around the new year, and since I now have an outlet for whatever the hell happens in my brain I figured I’d have a look back at the past year (and a look forward at the coming year while I’m at it).

Part 1: Progress

I was drawn to the idea of a Yearly Theme since I learned about it from Cortex. I’ve tried year after year to stick to a set of resolutions, but I’d always fail relatively quickly. So I spent a year or two trying to make a Yearly Theme fit in my life, but I feel that this year was the first time that it actually felt right. At the turn of 2021, we were in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the year prior had been… something, to say the least. In light of this, I wanted to go into 2021 with an optimistic view.

I knew that this was going to be a big year for me, specifically as I was set to graduate from college in 2021, so I designated this year as the Year of Progress. I wanted to make both personal and professional progress to help solidify things as I stepped into the post-grad chapter of my life. Now, as a college graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree, I confidently say that I have emerged on the positive side of progress.

In the past year, the two most important things I accomplished are:

  1. Graduate college (with two Dean’s List semesters in a row), and
  2. Launch Affirmations, my most successful app yet.

Now, the pessimist in me wants to say “but Justin, you dumb-dumb, that’s only 2 things. That’s not impressive.” And I would like to just indulge myself and say that these are two of the most intensive things I’ve ever done, and I am so goddamn proud of myself. I have never felt more optimistic about the future, which is something I never thought I’d say. I can confidently say that I have made a name for myself now, and there are people who know who I am solely from Affirmations. This has already opened up some opportunities that I will further explore in 2022.

So in terms of setting myself up for my post-grad life, I think I have sufficiently achieved that.

Part 2: Stability

If 2021 was mixing the concrete, my plan for 2022 is to lay the foundation. A lot of things are currently in flux, and I’d like to spend this year working on getting my life in order. You know, standard post-grad stuff like getting a job and becoming a full-fledged adult. I guess another part of this theme will be figuring out what that entails.

So I’m officially designating 2022 as the Year of Stability. I can’t really speak on how this will go, but I’m optimistic. In addition to having leads on jobs, not having to worry about classes anymore means I can spend the majority of my time on my apps. I understand that I’ve been neglecting them, and now is the time to fall into a more regular development schedule.

So here are the things I want to work toward in 2022:

  1. Find a full-time software development job,
  2. Get into a regular development schedule, and
  3. Reduce the number of uncertainties about my future.

(That last point is very vague, but that’s kind of the point.)

An added benefit of this theme is that I have a fantastic Death Cab for Cutie song to go along with it. I’d like to point out the first few lyrics of this song:

Time for the final bout,
Rows of deserted houses,
All our stable mates are highway bound.

I feel these also suit the theme really well. The feeling of moving on from a period of comfort and constants to embark on new adventures, as I plan to this year, comes through in them.

So that’s my theme for 2022, I’ll check in about this time next year. See you then.