It’s the beginning of 2022! I think most folks do their yearly reflection in December but I have a small superstition about it, like isn’t it a little presumptuous until the year officially ends?

anyway whew! 2021 has officially ended and a lot happened! here are some notes so I can try to remember a little of what it was like ⛅️

– – – – – –

✂️ excerpts from 2021

  1. goodbye glitch, hello 2 months off!
  2. 50 days of studying ✅
  3. study clubs & happy routines & an unexpected condo
  4. hello browser co! hello vaccine!!!
  5. hello blonde!
  6. annual new york family montauk trip 🏖
  7. goodbye wisdom teeth; 3 weeks with a dear friend; pierogis with a skater boy 💕
  8. a post-vacc, post-teeth, friendship catchup marathon: ft rooftop dinners, croquettes on a rainy night, a train to delaware
  9. marathon con’t: ft multiple courses, beautiful toasts, many tacos and brunches
  10. 🛹 fancy homemade dinner, botanical gardens and bday cakes
  11. hello 🏡 🔑
  12. a move, a few parties, then omicron 😵‍💫 then covid tests, then a cute and cozy holidays w my skater boy

– – – – – –

🌟 2021 favorites

song: happier than ever – billie eilish

  • I love billie eilish!!! loved her first album, love this album, love this track
  • I walked around my neighborhood early in the morning listening to this on repeat for days
  • also great: halley’s comet

other stuff I had on repeat at some point in 2021:

music video: cellophane – fka twigs

  • I remember I gave magdalene like a half-listen when it came out, maybe heard the first track or two, then passed on the album…
  • …there was a youtube comment I read probably 8-10 years ago from a kanye stan that said something like “if you hate kanye’s music, it’s just that your brain needs to evolve to understand his level of genius. try coming back to it in 4-5 years and see if you’ve caught up”
  • — I think about this all the time. I’ve found this applicable to me with so much art and music and it applies here as well. in 2019 my brain had not yet evolved to fka twigs’ level, and luckily by 2021 my brain had leveled up because how did I pass on this (see also home with you, mirrored heart)
  • anyway I watched cellophane this year because of some controversy about montero’s similarities, and it took my breath away

podcast: sibling rivalry

  • I have one patreon membership and it is to sibling rivalry! I LOVE these queens
  • this podcast is a joy, comforting and engaging and funny! I’ve listened to every episode, almost every episode multiple times
  • I love bob, I love monet, I love this podcast and every spinoff

youtube: jessi’s showterview

  • 제시의 쇼터뷰!!!!!!!
  • I have never been a fan of “celebrity interview” type shows, thought I just didn’t care for the genre… until jessi’s show came out
  • jessi gives the most entertaining interviews I have ever seen, ever
  • jessi is sooo charismatic and knows how to make the atmosphere fun and comfortable, like this one with hwasa is one of my favorites of the year
  • and for jessi to thrive in korea while being sooo far from the “typically” accepted korean woman is like actually boundary-breaking, I love to see it 🥲
  • honorable mentions: purse first impressions with bob & thorgy and kieun choi – for all three of these channels I will watch EVERY video as soon as they come out

movie: your name

  • didn’t watch hardly any movies this year but fiiinally watched this one and loved it!
  • gorgeous animation and a sweet story with really good pacing, fun and big and moving and memorable
  • honorable mention: genius loci

thing I bought: canon selphy qx10 portable square photo printer

  • SO MUCH BETTER THAN INSTAX omg the colors are so vibrant!!! 😍
  • this has been a game-changer for journaling!! I’ve tried several instax/zink cameras and the qx10 totally blows them out of the water, like way way WAY better quality and for around the same price
  • I love printing out my favorite photos and putting them in my journal! it’s a nice way to remember things and celebrate private moments without putting them on the internet
  • honorable mention: these beauties

thing I made: this essay on browsers

  • I like writing but it’s so hard
  • rather, I like having written, in past tense
  • I feel proud of this because I had something kind of subtle I wanted to express and I think I was able to express it
  • so grateful for ryan’s impeccable editing and for josh’s support with a very unconventional announcement

– – – – – –

🪴 looking back

theme of 2021: healthy personal goal-setting

Like many/most? people, I find it incredibly difficult to pick up new routines, hobbies, and habits and stick to them. But this year felt like a turning point. I think I’m starting to figure out how to actually stick to things in my personal life.

I’m getting much better at knowing what motivates me and what type of motivation I need in a given moment. Before when I wasn’t feeling motivated to do what I set out to do, I’d be harsh on myself, like “ugh just do it, why can’t you do it” “you’re so lazy” – which was not only not helpful, but it gave me an excuse to give up, like giving up was the wise thing to do. “I’m lazy so this is futile” “I’m going to fail so why try”

Sometimes I need an “ehh c’mon just go do it,” a self-kick in the pants, but I realized that used to be my only motivational hammer, and it’s not what I need most of the time.

Instead I’ve practiced neutral, curious introspection“I haven’t been studying Korean this week. Why is that? Am I bored? Have I not made the time? Is my bar for what I’m considering ‘studying’ too high?” Analyzing the situation with the same neutral curiosity I apply toward a piece of code that’s not working the way I thought it would.

I’ve also done much more research on how to stick to goals, what tools and processes and systems may help me. I remember for years people told me that I need to “just do the thing” and that thinking about the tools, process, and method is procrastination. Boy that was wrong.

In 2021 I think I went through 5 different ways of learning Korean vocabulary — Quizlet, then physical paper cards, then “what if I don’t study vocabulary and instead read everyday,” then Anki, then Mochi Cards, and FINALLY mochi cards worked for me.

This was not procrastination, this was experimentation. My methods of learning vocabulary weren’t working for me, so I could have concluded “it’s me, I’m the problem, and then… give up I guess? but instead I was like hmm what if I try something else? Which kept me motivated, conversely kept me doing the thing, and then also led me to a tool that actually works for me.

There’s inertia in changing tools but there’s also a spark of renewed energy. Like even if you are changing tools & learning methods only for the sake of changing things up… that’s… fine?? Or if you’re changing the tool purely for the aesthetics, like buying a pretty new notebook or switching from Anki to Mochi because you find Anki is hideous… that’s not only completely valid, I’ve found it to be really effective.

Of course there’s a balance to be had, I’ve recently put a moratorium on myself for buying new Korean textbooks until I finish just one that I already have, but embracing experimentation and changing a routine, within keeping that routine, has been a breakthrough for me.

Some fruits of my personal goal-setting:

  • I have never in my life used a planner for more than a day or two — in 2021, I used my muji planner for the whole year (and bought the 2022 edition!)
  • I have never in my life finished a journal — in 2021, I completed a journal!
  • I have never in my life finished a habit tracker — in 2021, I completed multiple Korean study trackers! and perhaps more importantly, my Korean is at a level I never dreamed I’d be able to achieve without living in Korea

There are plenty of things I didn’t do in 2021 as well, like I haven’t been great about diet and exercise, I read almost nothing, didn’t write as much as I’d like, I am embarrassed by all the texts and emails and DMs from people I adore I haven’t replied to… but I’m getting better at viewing these facts neutrally. What if I could look at this information without shame? It’s a thought I’m carrying with me in 2022.

🔮 2022 preview

  • cooking!
  • riding the bus
  • a library regular
  • 계속 계속
  • planning & journaling
  • reading & writing
  • balance & peace
  • priorities
  • more beaches
  • cherishing my special humans

– – – – – –

goodbye 2021