a crappy year in review

a crappy year in review
the last sunrise Tam of 2022

To clarify, it was a phenomenal year, this is just a subpar review of it. Someone who has been writing for much longer would have a much better year in review but I waited until the last minute, didn’t start the year with intentional goals so I can’t “measure progress” and the things I’m really proud of are maybe anti-goals for some folks.

Career

I joined Calm with a very explicit intent to practice things I have not previously been good at. I love the term ego-tucking, introduced to me 5 years ago by a wise mentor. This year I got really good at aligning my views and opinions with those of people above me in the organizational hierarchy. I wanted to get promoted, and did so. I have also cemented my commitment to building my career in the mental health space.

Friends at work

I’ve given far more constructive feedback this year than I ever have. Some of the recipients genuinely appreciated me for it, and a number of them probably thought it unwarranted. I learned that it is really hard to communicate areas of improvement to someone whose approval I seek more than I value the output of the team (i.e. friend-first vs colleague-first). Unfortunately as a result, I’ve gone too far in the other direction. For fear of making it harder for myself to act in the interest of the company, I have been minimizing social situations and coming across as quite bitchy. I’ll seek to restore the right balance here.

Writing

I started writing in late 2021. I didn’t really enjoy a lot of the writing I did this year because I worry more and more about saying the wrong thing or in more cases, leaving out nuance for sake of brevity and hoping someone doesn’t spear me for being inconsiderate.

I’ve had two engineering leaders whom I respect tell me this year that my writing will be career-limiting; my vulnerable style of writing is a liability when people are trying to hire for their leadership roles. What I find funny is that I don’t see this as particularly vulnerable. The term implies some degree of susceptibility to harm, but all the thoughts I share are ones I don’t guard. In fact, that comment is perfect because it acknowledges that this is a conventionally different approach to leadership – one that I would like to keep building upon. I shall continue writing.


Overall I had a wonderful 2022. I ran more miles than I biked (1450 vs 1360), jaunted around Italy with my best friend and most importantly achieved homeostasis in Deep Okayness. I’m setting very intentional goals for 2023, in hopes that in a year from now I can share a less crappy year in review.