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First Quarter 2021 Review

7 min
Essays  ✺  Reflection

I shared my monthly review of March 2022 last week and made a promise to share some reflections from the first quarter of this year. I get oddly sad yet excited while doing that. Thankfully my past self wrote out some coordinates for this first quarter in my 2021 Annual Review. So instead of recreating the wheel, I’m going off of those

Landing a job that supports my lifestyle in Hawaii. According to James’ Clear’s article on the Four burner theory, I lived much of the last quarter of 2021 committing to my mental, physical and social health. All of my burners felt full apart from my work burner. I would now like to move that one forward to full-frontal the front to focus now that I have decided I love my life in Hawai’i. The cost of living here is far from cheap so time to buckle down.
I’m so excited that I’ve hit this. Phew.  I’m so excited to be onboarding the House of Pure Aloha team. I had some pretty sad days when I was thinking about the possibility of leaving this island. Those journal entries make my heartbreak.

Publishing 26 essays in 2022. This means shipping every other week on my website with 2 essays per month and 8 per quarter, which adds up to 26 essays in 2022.  If I know anything about my failed attempt last year of consistent critically thought out pieces is that they don’t come linearly for me. They come in spurts. This means that I want to try out writing even more this first quarter given I am committing time to my job search and that isn’t always stress relieving, so this can be my escape to carve out time for me to write.

Wow I surprised myself here. I actually published 8 blogs on my website. I’m on target! Here are my favoite pieces from my first quarter
My most personal essay: 26 Lessons from 26 Years
My most observational essay: 15 Lessons from 100 Weeks of Writing Online
My most playful essay: Friendzone Your Phone

Prioritizing reading newer genres. Similar to how I failed at becoming a Youtuber last year after realizing I didn’t consume much YouTube content, in order to become better at writing I need to read more. For the first two months of me living in Waikiki, I was too stressed out to read. Then I got my library card and things changed.  Now, I’m convinced they’re sick of seeing me. I like the creative constraint that book expirations force me to decide whether to let it go or overcome the friction to renew it. I’m pretty burnt out from self development. The few times I’ve tried to get into philosophy or history, I get bored easily. I want to allow myself to read whatever I’m excited about. The limit doesn’t exist.

I read my first romance fiction novel recommended by my sister and couldn’t put it down. It was too juicy. For now I’ve started to stock my shelves with poetry from Yung Pueblo and Rumi and I’d love to get back into some playful adventurous books like_ A Walk in the Woods_ by Bill Bryson or Cheryl Strayed.
I started reading City of Girls by Liz Gilbert. I’m moving at a glacial speed in it but speed is not why I am reading it. It’s for entertainment. It was also a great escape when my reality didn’t feel promising with all my rejections.

I did take a dip back into self-help too. Which one? Courage to be Disliked by TK. The recommendation was too good from Matt Tillotson for helping me learn more about

Weekly Surfing road trips with friends to new surf spots to challenge myself further with less people at Waikiki Canoes break.

I went to a few new surf spots in White Plains, Diamond Head, Tonggs, Keawaloes, and Old Man’s though I barely surfed. I felt like I was getting worse. The traveling was a bunch of fun though I’m cognizant of the weddings coming up this spring and summer so I want to make surfing a priority as much as I can despite sitting in the sea of despair where I’m not progressing at the sport.

Travel.  Visiting my high school best friend in San Diego in January, Florida in February, a wedding in Denver in August, a Michigan wedding in September. I’d love to also potentially do some other west coast or east coast trips. This all is contingent on job stability.  Camper van trip in Kauai with Emily. We both follow a handful of folks who live out of vans and cross-country travel like that. I’ve been intrigued and would love an experiment with driving around.

This brings me to skills

To ‘steer’ on my surfboard. Only twice this past year did I feel like I confidently steered right as the wave curled behind me. That goes without saying I’ve done it a handful more times as a mechanism to avoid others that were more ‘on accident’.

Given I have this new job and weather is spotty with the waves and wind, I am setting a goal to surf twice a week. At least once and if I’m really feeling it, three surf sessions a week.

Typing speed and accuracy. I broke my keyboard last year and it made me realize how much I relied on Grammarly to correct my spelling. I have felt insecure about typos in my writing for too long. Due to my lack of finances, I don’t foresee hiring an official editor of my writing for the foreseeable future, so this means I need to get better at my own mechanics. I’ve found reading aloud is helpful though if I had not only faster but more accurate typing, everything I do as a knowledge worker will improve.

I’ve gotten my speed up a little bit from around 30 wpm to 50. Though I must say it dips for certain keys. I need to unlearn past techniques that were leading me astray. It’s an odd thing to trust that my fingers can code what my mind is thinking fast enough. I know that once I get enough reps in, being more effective and efficient at this skill will help me exponentially. I want to pretend as if my goal is to buy a typewriter where I cannot backspace or rely on autocorrect.

Systemization. When I can create a system for my creativity and my output everything moves much more effortlessly and it is joyous to create. I will start to befriend more folks who I see as experts in this field to show me where I have leaks.
For my new role I will be working in Notion. I’ve worked in it in the past but I was never a “pro” at creating systems within it.

My memory. I have a fear of early-onset Alzheimers after being a witness of the disease to my grandma. I’m still figuring out which project would help me improve my recall. Each night I journal top 3 learnings from the day, though I’d like to further this with using Readwise’s function to quiz myself on what I read in articles and books.

While practicing Zen at the Diamond Sangha, I am away from my phone and journal during the one to two hour sessions. Even during Doksan where I hear dharma about the Buddha, I am not allowed to take notes. It is all up to be being actively engaged to remember later rather than capture in the moment. This has been scary.

Overall confidence growth playing beach volleyball. This means (1) mastering my overhand serve/ spike and (2) playing setter without being afraid of blocking.  in beach volleyball. Currently I just bump around a bit before games and then jump right into games. I need more practice. I got a slight concussion in December while playing setter and one of my teammates accidentally elbowed my right temple.

My friends are great coaches. I just need to ask for feedback more intentionally and they will give it out. Like stepping on the right foot while I serve overhand. To set with a firmer hand rather than a squid. To move my feet to the volleyball before I bump with my arms. To start the play on my toes to be more nimble.

Understanding the context of where education came from. I will be taking this History of Education three-month course starting February 1st.
I still have these course videos. I quickly realized the teaching style wasn’t my thing and that I disengaged.
Teaching people. An opportunity where this might come into play is to become a walking tour guide in Honolulu. I’m currently on the waitlist though this is all contingent that a new starting of Covid doesn’t kill the walking tour company.
I’ve sought out paid work instead of this opportunity, though it is still a thought in my mind of something that I would love to do maybe on the weekends. I could make some tourist friends, get better at history, get my steps in AND learn about where I am living.
Oration. Start an in-person writing group. Speak out loud in my writing.
This has been done during the past WOP C8. Moving forward with growing the HOPA Community I can still practice at being better at this.

Am I living out my three words or do I need to change them?

Consonance: this opportunity to get paid to do something that I love doing is a great representation of this.
Patience: In my job search I had much patience with myself. I’ve found taht with patience comes persistence as well.
Meraki: During my job search I did put something of myself into the quality of the applications that I submitted with personalized videos, cover letters and recommendations. Furthermore, with this month of muting I am excited to put more love into my life with creatively being assertive


My 2022 Annual Review

My 2022 Annual Review

My 12 Hour Walk

My 12 Hour Walk

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