December 31, 2019

2019 Retrospective


One of the most common trends at the end of each year is to capture all of the highlights from the year. After all, it only makes sense to celebrate what one has accomplished. However, since the end of 2019 represents the end of both an entire year but also an entire decade, I wanted to change things up a bit.


  • 🦊 Joined MozTechSpeakers
  • πŸ“Ή Created my first video courses w/ @VueMastery & @OpenClassrooms
  • ✈️ Travelled to over 14 cities within 5 countries
  • 🎀 Emceed my first conference
  • πŸ‘¨β€πŸ« Taught 3 all day workshops
  • πŸŽ™οΈ Recorded 40+ podcast episodes
  • πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Joined VuePress core team
  • πŸ—ΊοΈ Joined Google Maps Platform experts team
  • πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘¦β€πŸ‘¦ Met many more incredible people in the community and made new friends

However, while this list may seem impressive, I think it would be inauthentic to ignore the obstacles that came along the way and what it cost.


  • πŸ›‘ Rejected from more CFPs than I care to count
  • ⚠️ Tried to pursue ventures like blogging, streaming, and maintaining open source projects only to fall short time after time again
  • πŸ™ˆ Countless times I wanted to give up out of fear and doubt
  • πŸ’” Realized my previous strategies for approaching life didn't scale as my infrastructure began to crumble under the weight of all of my commitments
  • πŸ”₯ In the midst of putting out fires for everyone else, my creative spirit was completely burnt out

To be clear though, I don't regret any time or energy spent on the people and projects I participated in. It's just that I approached 2019 as a sprint rather than a marathon with a proper rest and recovery strategy. And as I reflect on this year, it is clear my infrastructure needs a severe upgrade.

Lessons Learned

Rather than list out a bunch of things I aspire to accomplish in the next year, I felt it was more appropriate to list out the top three lessons learned from this year.

  1. Trust your instincts
  2. Failing is essential to growth
  3. In times of weakness, remember you are not alone

More on this in future posts where I break this down more and the reasons behind each lesson. However, as mentioned earlier, I realized that to continue growing at the pace I want, a major change was required.

Final Thoughts

While I would typically prefer to write about everything in more depth, the release of this post is progress for me after the many failures of 2019. It's not perfect, but it is something and I can always elaborate more in the future.

As I prepare to step into the next decade, that is perhaps the sole thing I need to remember:

Don't focus on creating the perfect outcome. Instead, jump headfirst and enjoy the messy and imperfect process of creation.

And as I look back, while I will always be grateful for the system I built that brought me to where I am today, I know it's time to tear it down and get back to the basics.

Iron Man 2 scene where Tony Stark breaks down his lab to upgrade the hardware

Initiating Phoenix Protocol...

See you in 2020.