2023 Retrospective

December 26, 2023

As I was re-reading my 2023 yearly theme post, it became exceedingly clear to me that 2023 wasn’t the year I expected it to be… at all.

A place of my own (kind of)

I moved out! After years of wanting my own space (no offense to my mom, of course), I finally have it. Well, mostly. I live with one of my best friends and while having a roommate always comes with some struggles, I’d say we’re co-existing well. Our space has come a long way since we moved in on April 1st. Not to be too cliched but this house (apartment) is starting to feel like a home. I’m happy with the progress we’ve made and we’re going to extend our lease for another year in 2024. After that, I plan on moving out and living 100% on my own. With the rents in LA, we’ll see if that ends up happening. Nothing against my best friend, but that’s always been the dream and I aim to make it come true sooner rather than later.

Seeing the world

I traveled a few times this year: first, a week-long trip to Hawaii with a close friend to celebrate her birthday. It was an unforgettable experience. I’d been to Hawaii before (to the exact area where we were, actually) but I was a little kid back then. This time I was an adult and had money to spend. And spend I did. On my friend, of course, but also on amazing food and experiences. We tried some fantastic restaurants, got sunburnt paddle-boarding, and spent almost a full day driving around the circumference of Oahu in a fast car with the top down. The island itself is beautiful. Just driving down the main highway was breathtaking.

A picture I took of a beach in Hawaii

I spent that week not thinking about work or anything of importance for that matter. It was remarkable and I’m immensely grateful that I had the chance to go.

Then, in late October, I had the opportunity to fly to Sydney, Australia for work. It was the first time I’d ever traveled for business and I’m certainly glad I went. If for no other reason than because my company paid for the airfare and hotel. The entire trip was about a week and thankfully there were many opportunities to explore and get to know my colleagues better. It’s a funny thing to spend years speaking with people online and then finally meet them in person. From a career perspective, it was a nice addition to my brag sheet. From a personal perspective, it was impactful to see more of the world. Sydney is an interesting city - to my eyes a mixture of Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Diego, coupled with some obvious non-US influence. A friend of mine said she knew she wanted to live there as soon as she arrived. I understand where she was coming from but I don’t think I can rip myself away from the craziness that is LA.

The people in my life

My romantic life this year has been… rocky, to put it mildly. Obviously this public blog isn’t a great place to get into specifics but the bottom line is that I put myself into some precarious situations. Some worked out briefly and others caused rifts. Reflecting now, I did and said some stupid things to people I care about, some of whom aren’t in my life because of it. I had some fun times. Those are what I like to focus on. But the truth is that I don’t like my actions. That’s a hard pill to swallow when you look at yourself in the mirror and reflect.

One thing became even more clear to me: there are things about myself I’d like to change before I start looking for a long-term partner. I often remind myself that I won’t ever be perfect but still, there’s work to be done.

Thankfully, my friends never left my side. To all of them, thank you. This year had towering highs and crushing lows. Without my friends, I don’t know what my life would look like as we enter 2024. And to my mom, the woman that’s dealt with my craziness for longer than anyone: thank you. I love you.

Not saying “no” enough

One of the facets of my 2023 yearly theme was saying “no” more often. I certainly didn’t follow through on that as much as I should’ve. I spent a large portion of this year acting like I was invincible. Thank god the human body is so resilient. I’m sure if my body could talk, it’d tell me to settle down and live a calm life. Maybe it’s time I listen to it.


Another facet of this year’s theme was changing my habits around drinking. I suppose this was partially successful. During 2023, I took two months off from drinking in total. Both of those times were illuminating and empowering. They were important reminders that life carries on even if you abstain from that great social pastime. And it was a funny reminder that drunk people are in fact very annoying to be around if you’re sober.

At this point, I have a lot to say about drinking and my relationship with alcohol. Enough to warrant a separate post, I think.

Looking forward

In all, this year was an insane rollercoaster. Sometimes I felt like I was a passenger, strapped in tight and just along for the ride. That’s not true, of course. I made decisions and they had consequences - positive and negative. I can’t say whether this year was good or bad - it just was. And I’m a very different person compared to this time in 2022. Better in many ways but maybe worse in others. Only time will tell.

One thing can’t be denied: if 2023 was this insane, I can only imagine what 2024 has in store for me.