Back in January, I set a list of goals for myself this year.
It may have been a bit lofty, but I am nonetheless proud of what I got done this year. I achieved some of them, and some of them I’m reinstating for next year. But life is about more than just work goals — here are some of the highlights of my 2018. 👍
I opened January with a slew of great projects. I continued writing for Crunchbase News, writing more on Spotify as they approached this April direct listing. My dad then proceeded to make a joke about the direct listing — I’m still laughing. 😂
A week later, I followed that with some interesting editing work on Andy Sparks’ new Holloway project.
January capped with a great talk from Arlan Hamilton here in Atlanta, which of course I enjoyed attending. It was great to see Arlan again and hear her backstory — “inspiring” barely begins to appropriately describe it. 🙌
Though I didn’t publish too many Minimum Viable Network pieces this year, one of the ones I’m most proud of drew heavily on my experience during Arlan’s talk. I begin to think a lot more about the power of ubiquity.
I finally said goodbye to my iPhone 4S. 📱
Remember that time at the Product Hunt party last year that Eric Willis was poking fun at me for still being the only person in tech with one? 😂😱
I snagged an invite to the Atlanta Jewish Film festival — they made me wear a tie. 😱 👔
February & March
February was slow, but in March, I took a break from Atlanta for a few days to fly up to D.C. for the gun reform march — the March for Our Lives speakers were amazing to hear in person.
My college friend and I caught some culture at the Smithsonian.
A week later, March ended on a high note when I had the pleasure of meeting Randi Zuckerberg following her talk at Georgia State. 👏
In April, I started becoming much more vocal about harassment, diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility. I’ve been a huge supporter of Backstage Capital since I learned about their mission, and I believe equally as much in the work being done by AileenLee, Jenny Lefcourt, and others at AllRaise.org. I’m happy to be an ally in whatever way I can and will continue to be loud about changes which need to be made. I’m similarly inspired by and have become an ardent supporter of the work that Melinda Briana Epler &Wayne Sutton are doing with Change Catalysts (plus their partnership with Backstage is fantastic!). 🤔
I saw some of my closest college friends in New Jersey and considered leaving tech for a future in modeling. Then reality set in. 😂
I published my last piece on time & money before taking a long, well-deserved break from writing.
I made a meme.
Right around mid-May, I hit a wall. I was having a hard time fighting past some anxiety and depression. I was having constant conversations with some of my closest friends and supporters, to whom I will always be grateful. But I realized that conversations may not be enough, and perhaps some fresh air was in order. So I took a break from Atlanta and worked on changing my perspective.
I flew out to the Bay Area and got to see Kiki Schirr again (she also hosted me, which means she’s a special kind of saint lol). Day 1, I had lunch with my super-patient editor Alex Wilhelm and he gave me a tour of the Crunchbase offices! 👍
I finally got to meet Ken Yeung in person after many months of snarky Twitter comments. He’s just as snarky in person. 😱
I drank a lot of Philz Coffee. A lot. ☕
Coffee with Barrett Daniels, who’s become a close friend and confidant, and with Rei Wang, someone whom I think is doing fantastic work with new founders. Then got to drop by and finally meet Ruben Harris in person! 🚀
Lunch again with Adam Singer, and got to hit up his album release party! It ended up making my list of new albums this year (see below). There was a lot of snark and even more discussion about music than we normally touch on.
I meandered down to San Jose and had lunch with Poornima Vijayashanker, who’s been both a pivotal influence on my understanding of accessibility in tech, and an amazing friend. 🤗
I hit up Sacramento for some awesome hiking with college friends.
Then came some time in Chicago, where I had some awesome pizza with fellow Crunchbse News writer Jason D. Rowley. He’s got great taste in pizza places. 🍕
I hung out with a college friend I hadn’t seen in years.
I met Cory Warfield, who’s become a close friend and mentor, and has completely turned me on to using LinkedIn in a new way. 🙌
Got back to Atlanta just in time to go meet Emily Best — her company Seed&Spark was putting on a great event here in Atlanta. 📽
I finally met Andrea Hernandez in person at an event here in Atlanta to promote more women in tech and business. 👏
I saw the March for Our Lives speakers at their town hall here in Atlanta.
I snagged tickets to *the FINAL* Warped Tour here in Atlanta. Got to see Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, Simple Plan, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Mayday Parade, August Burns Red, and The Interrupters. 🤘🎸
August & September
In September, I had the super pleasure of meeting Jim Augustine— COO of Zuckerberg Media — when Sue’s Tech Kitchen came to do their event in Atlanta. 👍
I spent a lot of time thinking about anxiety & depression, and talking about how to address these issues in a much more pointed and accepting way. I am more thankful than I could really even articulate to those of my friends — especially those in the startup/tech world — who have supported me through these challenges in my own life. To Kiki Schirr, Alex Wilhelm, Jason D. Rowley, Christina Warren, Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré, Poornima Vijayashanker, Adam Singer, Espree Devora, Nick Abouzeid, Bryan Landers, Cory Warfield, and numerous others who have helped me find a more positive mindset this year, I am eternally grateful. 🤔🤗🙌
I voted early — there are big things coming in the near future for Georgia. 🗳
Halloween encouraged me to wear a tie more often ha. 😉 👔
Hit up New Jersey for Thanksgiving break and Kerry Flynn took me to an awesome bar! We talked tech, music, and going to school in Boston. 🤘
Some family time at Ellis Island. This has inspired my sister to start researching our family history and in the last few weeks, we’ve all learned things we never knew!
Then the siblings and I pretty much froze at the Statue of Liberty. 🗽
I returned from my six-month break from writing, and damn it felt good.
I’ve been exploring new projects with some awesome people — we’ll see what picks up in the new year.
And I capped off this year with my new list of “100 Independent Albums & EP’s” that you all probably missed at some point. 😎🎸
Reflecting on 2018
The second half of 2017 was extremely hard for me for a number of reasons and I tried to enter 2018 with a new mindset. Nothing ever goes 100% according to plan, and I had a couple stumbles this year. But I’ve grown my network, cultivated deeper relationships, tried to create as much value as I could, created new things, and became determined to live my life in a more positive way. None of these things happen overnight, but it’s all about the journey.
Be well all, keep moving forward!
Bring on 2019! 😎🎉