It's that time of the year again. The time when you make yourself a cup of coffee, and go through the events of the past years, searching for a sign that it has been worth it. And judging by the numbers alone, it seems like a very eventful year:

In 2018, I:

  • Got engaged
  • Changed my job
  • Started new new side projects
  • Attended 4 conferences and countless meetups
  • Had my own chance to present in front of an audience (twice)
  • Visited 5 countries and met many new people
  • Read 15 books
  • Wrote nearly 30 blog posts
  • Ran 626 km, and finished 4 half-marathons
  • Made between 5,500 and 6,000 push-ups

Wow, quite a year, heh?
In reality, these numbers would mean nothing, if it weren't for the things I learned in between. I am one of the people who believe that goals are not destinations, but guiding posts. To me it's the journey that matters. For instance, the fact that I finished 15 books this year wouldn't matter, if I cannot remember even a single quote to keep in my mind for the rest of my life. Same with running. It's not the number of half marathons I ran throughout this year, but about the transformation my body and mind underwent every time - anxiety, exhaustion, acceptance, relief, exhilaration.

So let's see what I learned this year:

I learned to embrace the unknown, get out of my comfort zone, and jump into unknown waters. I was reluctant to leave the safety of my old job, but in retrospect, it seems like I have really missed a gulp of fresh air.

I learned that patience and persistence matter. When you look at the numbers above, every single one of them alone, would seem insurmountable, if you push yourself to achieve it once. But I did everything stepwise, one tiny bit at a time, day after day. Doing things this way is harder, because it requires a lot of motivation, but it certainly has a more long-lasting effect at the end.

learned that people are different, and what worked for me, may not work for others. In fact, it will most probably not work for others. You cannot take people by the hand and show them the right way, because you don't know the right way for others. What you can and definitely should do, is encourage them to find it for themselves.

As a direct consequence of the above, I learned to listen more. Normally, I am the type of person who won't start a conversation, but once I feel comfortable enough, I won't stop talking. Sometimes too much. Talking is good, but being a good listener is a way more appreciated.

I learned that being having an introverted personality is unlike what society tells us, but a hidden gem in disguise. Previously, I thought that it is some kind of a disadvantage that I need to cure myself from. So, I thought that becoming a sports person and an active community persona, would help me "get cured". In fact, I had to try everything to come to the realization that this is not something people need to cure themselves from, but a unique gift that they should embrace. The ability to observe the surrounding environment with the focus of an introvert, or be able to go deep in the flow when solving a problem or mastering a skill, is something you shouldn't be ashamed of, but actively go after. If I could do something for the community in 2019, it would be to meet more and more introverted people, and share my discoveries with them.

Last but not least, I realized how much I really, really love writing.

When I look back, it seems like 2018 was a great year indeed. Looking forward to an amazing 2019! My best wishes for a wonderful new year!