It was a hell of a year frankly. It was widely different from my previous two or three years for sure, but each one of them was different in their unique way. I thought that it might be helpful to look back on what has happened in last year, what made me happy, what made me sad and what I should perhaps do in the future to increase the first and reduce the latter. Kind of retrospective if you will.
The biggest thing — at least the one that could be called external — was moving to another country. I thought initially that it will be all like playing on easy mode because people in Ireland speak English in Ireland but little did I know what pains an alien has to go through. At first, I thought I understand the language well enough to communicate with people on slack and whatever else on the internet so assimilation shouldn't be that hard but I was wrong. I don't feel in the correct place even now. To be clear, I don't think moving here was a mistake since I got a whole new perspective. I understood a little that my own home country perhaps isn't that bad as I thought. It helped me realise that other countries, such as Ireland have their own set of problems.
I also started a new job in this new, for me at least, country. I joined one of the most hyped startups in the customer support area, and it gave me a chance to see how creating products look like in a bigger league. I had a chance also to see a different style of management, one that's widely different from my previous gigs in Poland. I work with people who are way older than me, and it gave me insight into the particular work culture. One where people have kids and other responsibilities, not only work and getting drunk as they used to at university. It's also the first place where I work in an office — something that's funny to me since I believe the office-based environment is still a standard. I didn't think I will like working in the office and this experience verified that even more.
On a more personal note, I did go to therapy to unpack some things and help me understand my feelings and to find help with expressing my own emotions. I grew in a house where the practice of expressing emotions was more of forgotten wisdom that was lost in the chain of parenting. I was afraid to go at first since it was unknown territory for me, and there was always some stigma about mental health issues. No one should talk about their problems as a man and even more, not with someone outside their friends or family. I'm happy that I did go, it gave me a lot of insights into myself and helped me understood some schemes that I was taught. If there is anything, I can recommend anyone is to go on therapy, even if they don't think they need it.
I got a little bit into photography. For the last couple of years, I was centred on my career and programming. I wanted to learn new stuff all the time, and because of that, my work was my hobby. I like programming, but I felt I could perhaps tackle some other subject that would allow me to be creative in different ways. I didn't spend as much time as I wanted on taking pictures, but I started, and I get a lot of fun from the shutter sound — even though I have a mirrorless camera, so the sound is fake. I want to take a little bit more pictures next year for sure, and the next point I write about will help me with this.
Trips. I was travelling a little bit this year but not as much as I would like to as well. Funny enough, I didn't see much in Ireland even though I currently live here. I was in Poland in May for my friends' wedding. In August we travelled to Italy to get some sun in Naples and Positano — the vertical city. Those holidays in Positano were my first holidays where I just sat on my ass, drank wine and read books or watched series. I didn't try to be more hardcore and see every single ancient thing that there is in Italy and I'm glad that I didn't. It helped me understand that just chilling during holidays is crucial, even if you paid quite a sum for them. I also took some beautiful shots which currently I post on my instagram, but I hope to take even more in next year. The plan is to travel somewhere every single month.
Another quite important thing, especially in the last two weeks is something that came up when I talked with my wife. Self-allowance to change the mind is essential to feel happy. One may try to feel strongly about life decisions at first, but in the end, results of that decisions may not be as expected. This is the moment when self-allowance to change mind comes in. Some people may feel a failure when it's not as expected and may feel fear to change that. I guess we can talk about the sunken cost fallacy.
The last thing I want to mention is my relationship with my wife, which I believe got even stronger this year. We got quite fast with getting married and moving to another country at the end of last year, so there was a lot to unpack this year. Finding ourself in a different country, being in a different point in the relationship even if we are still the same people. She helped me a lot, and I believe I was a better partner to her this year than to anyone else in any other relationship. There is still work to be done, but I don't think work is ever ending.