2019 was a transformative year, a sliver of which I would have predicted a year earlier. I started off the year at FiscalNote, edging towards the 6-year mark having joined the team in July 2013 while still in school. After a send-off filled with more Smirnoff Ice than I drank in all of the past 6 years, I ventured off to having zero real responsibilities for a month—signed off Slack for the last time, moved in with my dad, made coffee, and read books. It was jarring at first. Work withdrawal is real. Then the bliss settled in, waking up at 10 A.M. with nothing to stress about and traveling to places new and familiar—Paris, Rome, and New York.
I found an opportunity to work at the Seed/Series A firm Costanoa Ventures so shipped off to the Bay Area. To say it was nothing short of perfect would be the truth. I got to meet and work with some of the smartest and most humble professionals of my career. I deepened my knowledge of B2B SaaS and started to understand the business of venture in a way that escapes just reading about it on TechCrunch or talking to practitioners.
Then came August as quickly as it seemed a distant future during the turn of the year. I met a sociable group of engineers-turned-managers in the MS/MBA program and an inspiring group of diverse students in my business school section. Time, since then, has passed by in a blur, but I imagine it was what college might have been had I taken more Political Science than Computer Science classes and joined a social club. I may or may not have drunk more Ice during a weekend retreat than I did on my last day at FiscalNote.
As I reflect on this year, I can't help but describe it as moving on from one pasture into a fall-tinted forest—excited wonder for what I'll discover inside and respect for the arduous journey of creating a path through. There will be detours and dead ends along the way, but at the turn of this decade, I'm reminded that the days are long while the decades are short. Every new day is an opportunity for progress or stagnation. I hope to consistently make the former in 2020 and focus on producing more than consuming value. Either way, the decade will fly by. Cheers to making this our breakout decade.
Total 200kg in weightlifting
Consume 18 books
Instead of rigidly setting goals once at the beginning of the year, I plan to add to this list—but not remove.
Limit social media usage to < 1 hour day.
Eat a more plant-based diet.
Build a spaced repetition habit.
Track macronutrients, bodyweight, and body fat percentage.
Spend more time with people.
Some interesting content I read on New Year's Day—except the book which I read earlier this summer and has probably become one of my all-time favorites.