I wrote one version of year in review and I put it down to let it marinate, and that was about two weeks ago. So I’m going to pull out things by category rather than chronology. My friend Nat split his post into “pre-pandemic” and “during pandemic” and I like that, so I’ll use some of that dash of chronology.
Before things went to shit
[“The day things went to shit” is March 16th, or the first day of what became an extended lockdown in Philadelphia. I think we’ve lost this nomenclature as time went on, and I insist it remain]
From January to March a few cool highlights:
- Participated in Synchrony, a demoscene party on a train from NYC to Montreal. My track used samples recorded on the train to make the final song. Saw friends in Montreal and continue to love Montreal
- Went to Atlanta for work’s all-hands meeting (and a nice friends & family visit too), my team begins the concrete steps towards Terraform 1.0
- Met my baby niece who is the CUTEST, after much hand-wringing about whether to cancel the trip or not. I went on the trip, and I flew back into Philadelphia on March 16th
After/Things I did the rest of the year
- Attended the Hope Intervention series and learned about time travel meditation, which had a really positive impact on my life
- Attended !!con remote, which was sooooo well done
- Attended Never Graduate Week, and made the digital experience for an art project I’d worked on for 2+ years
- Finished the body positivity course I started last year in the spring, which was very transformative in my relationship to other bodies, impacting my relationship with my own
- Did The Artist’s Way again (seriously, really recommend this book)
Performances & Art:
I performed as a musician multiple times, and gave one conference talk.
- I played a set on the Euler Room Equinox stream, which was conveniently already booked to happen online in March
- Secret Synth Society Twitch stream in June
- Made a film for a cyberpunk film festival, collaborating over email (I did the coordination, score, and some editing)
- Released an EP of my livecoded music and also have tracks on a compilation album with artists across the Americas.
- Spoke at All Things Open [online] with a source code tour of Terraform
- Show @ BarCamp Philly [online] with the PhillyAV digital media collective in December
And my music played at a couple online conferences, including Women of React and Oxidize Global.
- Volunteering with the inaugural Code for Philly fellowship, including helping to develop the application system and coordinating the career development track of the fellowship
- Started participating in a Giving Project through Bread & Roses, to learn about antiracist and anticlassist organizing and fundraising. Every GP brings together a group of people from varied backgrounds to raise a fund and give out grants for community organizing (in this case, focused on environmental justice). You are invited to donate, or reach out to me if you’d like to learn more!
Some of the sparks of joy I feel these days are being with my girlfriend; finishing reading another cute queer YA novel; ‘going’ to my virtual dance studio; making music and art. The few months of 2020 I got to workout/train with people in-person. Walking with people or seeing literally any person in-person. Lots of cooking, then lots of phoning it in when I get tired.
The stable foundation this all sits on that I have somewhere to live, have access to food, and continue to have income (things completely taken for granted in all other previous year-in-reviews I’ve written).
Something I’m proud of is that I’m working towards (and am very close now!) giving away 10% of my gross income monthly (mostly charitable, some political).
Going into 2021, I logged out of social media and I thought it would be for a little but it might be for an extended while (it’s been feeling good!). I’ve got a rhythm of sorts currently and I have nooooo idea what’s going to happen this year. Last year’s review talked about how I was recovering from burnout, and well, this year burnt a lot of people out for very different reasons. I spent a hefty portion of 2020 deeply depressed and not sure if I’d make it. And yet, at this moment, I don’t feel so bad? And I want to appreciate it for what it is.
So uh, rather than signing “Wish you all the best in 2021” I’m going with … “What works for you, with what works for us.” I want to see more connection. More community involvement. I hate social media for many reasons, but one biiiig one is the illusion of connection it perpetuates. I’m going to text people and call them and exchange email missives with people for this moment 🐔.
 Highlight: when I introduced my girlfriend to the beanie weenies “recipe”