I was itching to write a blog post and thought a year-in-review post would definitely fit the bill since this has definitely been a whirlwind of a year.

This time last year I was on a break waiting for my visa to come through. I had just quit my very first job out of college and was incredibly burnt out and delusional. I was just trying to stay afloat and not lose whatever little hope I had left. I couldn’t have excepted how this year turned out in the wildest of my dreams. Some highlights:

  • The first thing I did this year was move halfway across the world to the UK to start a new job at Monzo
  • I got the first promotion of my career and grew more as an engineer this year than all my previous year combined 🎉
  • I learnt so much about the kind of work I like to do, what challenges me and what makes me feel bored
  • I also learnt that I really like working outside my comfort zone where I make things up as I go by till I get comfortable
  • I discovered for the first time how much you can enjoy your work when you have colleagues you look upto and enjoy working with and also the importance of having a supportive manager

Last year, I was really struggling to detangle my identity from my career and realised what an unhealthy place it is to be in, so I made a deliberate decision to invest in activities outside of work this year and have some semblence of a work life balance. I think I did a decent job at that. Some personal highlights:

  • I set myself a reading challenge of completing 50 books this year. I ended up reading 69 books ultimately which I’m honestly very proud of. I’ve been struggling to stick to reading for years and I’m glad I made it happen.
  • I was able to focus on my mental health for the first time in my life as I wasn’t operating in crisis mode and putting out fires all the time. I was able to take a step back and actually question things and focus on what’s important to me.
  • I learnt to eat and do things by myself. I don’t know why we make this into such a huge taboo and that makes me really sad. Learning to be okay with yourself is such an important stepping stone to pretty much anything in life, really. It was and is still hard at times because it’s something that can fill us with fear or shame or both but I’ve been learning to get through the hard parts and revel in the good parts slowly and steadily.
  • I built a life in London from scratch — a completely clean state. I met so many amazing people who made me a better person in one way or another. Some chose to leave while others chose to stick by my side. Either way, I’m grateful.
  • I started taking piano lessons — something I really wish I had done back in my childhood
  • I invested more in crochet after picking it up last year on a whim from my mom. I made so many handmade things this year 🥰
  • I was deliberately single all year after at least 5 years in 2019. It was hard at time because of all the stigma attached to it, but it was great. It allowed me to learn so much about myself and what I actually want from life and relationships. You get to know yourself in such a different way when you’re not in a relationship.
  • I actually took vacation this year that wasn’t related to a conference in anyway for the first time since I started working.
  • Most importantly, I think, this year I learnt what I actually want and how I wanna live my life without succumbing to the near-constant pressure we’re subjected to by being part of “a society”, especially as women. Pushing back against it is hard, but I don’t think we have much of a choice, really.

I’ve tried so hard to push myself to do things I’ve always wanted to do but put on a backburner for one reason on another. 2019, in that sense, has been a year of “firsts” for me. I’ve been thinking a lot about this during the holidays and this is what I’ve concluded: I want to make every year a “year of firsts” for me till I run out of things I wanna try. I’ll keep you posted on how that turns out. 😂

2019 has been the best year of my life so far and I sincerely hope everyone gets to experience something like that one time or another. I’m still tired but extremely ready to take on whatever 2020 throws my way. ♥️ Here’s to unapologetically building the kind of life you want. ✌️