Holy shitballs! This year has flown by so fast; it’s crazy just how fast everything happened this year! So much has happened, changed, evolved and <insert other verbs here>. I worked at De Persgroep and really grew as a developer, I lost weight, bought a badass car, met new people, rediscovered myself, went racing karts, went to New York City, got a new hobby, worked hard on my relationship with lovely girlfriend, had a brilliant birthday party, jumped out of an airplane, laughed more, bitched less, pissed a few people off, grew my company, went to Disneyland,…
So what did I make of the todo-2015-list, I wrote in early 2015? Let’s go over that list:
Be more positive
Yes! I did it and I absolutely love it! I have found it hard on many occasions but it gets easier every time. By no longer hating, being negative and frustrated, I got rid of so much baggage. It freed up so much energy in my mind; it opened me up and allowed me to grow as a person, get more confident and be more fun to be around for others. Nobody likes having a frustrated asshole around who’s constantly bitching.
I did have some off-days where I just hated everything or just stared sadly into the distance…. I really noticed them and they felt very much like I wasted them. I’m going to fix that next year. Big time. I’m not even kidding.
Rock the shiznit at De Persgroep
I did! At least I think I did. I strongly believe that I had a positive impact on the products I worked on all year; I’m fairly sure I had a good impact on our team and the way we approach our work. Personally speaking, I expect myself as a developer to always write the best code I can. I think it’s a sign of professional integrity. Push your coding excellence to the limit. Let’s not forget that somebody is paying good money for us to show up and do what we do. So I expect my work to be the best effort I can possible make.
And I expect no less of my team-mates. And sometimes this leads to lengthy conversations and even to frustration but I feel like some of my eccentric pursuit of passionate coding is rubbing off on my colleagues. It feels really cool to be part of a team where everybody’s vision is aligned and everybody is going the extra mile to deliver beyond expectation. Considering the results of the last few months, I think our team has improved a lot.
We took a 7 year old codebase and made it faster, more manageable, less buggy, more understandable and maintainable. We are now nearing a point where we could bring this project into a continuous delivery realm. If you had seen the code, you’d understand just how huge that is. And we managed to do all that in less than a year while working on new stories, developing new features and fixing live-production-bugs.
I’m really proud to be part of this team and I hope our work next year will be just as fulfilling as this year.
Set an official world record
Well, there was bound to be a failure in this list and this is it. I was so busy doing all the stuff I was doing, I actually forgot about this. Honestly, I don’t really care either. It was an ego-thing. I just wanted to be able to say ‘I set a world record’. But right now, I have more important things to worry about. One day, I might reconsider this.
Lose weight, get back in shape
OH HELL YEA! Back in February when I wrote this, I thought I weighed 105kg. In fact I weighed 113kg. I wanted to reach 95 or less. I got to 88kg within less than 5 months after starting my diet. That’s 25kg gone. This was hands down the single biggest thing I have ever done for myself in my life.
Not only from a health- and fitness point of view but also from a confidence- and self-improvement point of view. I unlocked this tool in my mind that enables me to focus more than ever on getting where I want to go. The self-discipline and self-respect that allows me to be confident that I can make things happen.
This boost in self-confidence and mental change helped me to grow as person and also boosted my positive-mentality (1st point on this list). None of that would have been possible without the support of my beloved girlfriend, my dietitian, my colleagues at work (yes, they played their part) and my beloved friends. Thank you, all so much. This means the world to me.
Blog more, share knowledge
Here’s another failure. But not to worry: I did so much important/fun stuff this year, something was bound to give and this was it. I just didn’t find the time… Sorry, that’s a load of bullcrap right there.
The truth is: I (read: my girlfriend and I) found myself spending a lot of time at home in the couch and just watching TV shows. Having a nice freelance contract locked in allowed me to slack off a bit and I think I did need that. Considering this year was the first year in a very long time when I didn’t worry about tomorrow, I did enjoy taking it a bit slower… But the end of this slack-year is near and I’m fully stoked to pick up some projects and spend some more time blogging and sharing my findings.
Build more stuff
This relates a lot with the previous item: I just slacked off a bit and enjoyed my time away from the computer screen. However, in recent weeks I have started to pick up the pace again and I have spent some time working on some new stuff.
I did work on a few personal projects: I built a geofence experiment, I built some apps using Parse.com, I made a few vlogs (about 3 weeks worth of vlogging time) but I shared none of this with anybody because it was pure exploration and experimentation without any real sense of goal. I was just messing around and trying to answer some questions I had. But none of that will ever see the light of day.
Next year, though… Maybe 😉
Yes. I did. I enjoyed the hell out of this year! Just check out the intro. No, let me list all of the fun things (I can remember) I did this year below.
- enjoyed work at De Persgroep
- lost weight and started feeling so energetic
- bought a badass car (and drove it like an idiot on several occasions)
- met new fun/cool/smart/interesting people
- rediscovered my inner child
- went racing karts with Joris, Thomas, Hannes and Wouter
- went to New York City with Lyntje
- rode my BoostedBoard across NYC (video coming soon)
- had great sex (she knows why I mention this here)(and yes: I find that important! Sue me!)
- had a brilliant 29th birthday party (thank you Lyntje and friends!)
- jumped out of an airplane together with my friend Ward
- laughed more
- bitched less
- pissed a few people off (rightfully so: if you slack off, I’ll point that out)
- grew my company
- got more courageous
- went to Disneyland
- spent a brilliant weekend at the beach with my best friends
- took chances
- inspired a friend to start his freelance business (and watched him totally rock it)
- hooked my girlfriend up with a gig at a national newspaper which she totally loves
- realized how important the work I do actually is
- went skateboarding a lot (electric longboards in NYC or actual skateboards with the girlfriend: check & check!)
- had tons of Nerf-fights with my colleagues at work
- stood on the Empire state building
- visited Liberty Island
- drove a bike around the island of Manhattan
- watched the sunset over the Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn
- bought a bigass trampoline and spent hours and hours doing frontflips and backflips
- had great pizza-nights with my best friends
- went for nice walks during the hot-summer evenings
- wrote a few poems
- lots of wonderful moments ful of laughter and enjoyment
Yes, there’s a lot of NYC in this list. NYC was a massive bucket-list-item ticked off and is definitely one of my 2015 highlights.
Go racing more
Done! I went racing with so many people, on so many occasions this year. It was crazy! And best of all: I didn’t get beaten once! Even when the track was wet and it felt like ice-skating. My competitive self is really happy with this performance. I’ll keep doing this as often as I can!
Yes, 2015 was a fucking epic year. It was so fucking amazing, that I have just decided that using the F-word is perfectly fine and it now refers to a new level of greatness based on my feelings about this year. I loved it. But none of it would have been possible if it hadn’t been for all the great people in my life. I’m very lucky to have such great friends and family around. And I’m very grateful for the way things panned out.
Thank you to all of you. So. Much.