Looking Back Before Looking Forward

I guess this is going to be my last blog post of 2021. It’s been a rough and busy year, and this blog has honestly been consistently something that I’ve looked forward to writing on every single week. Although it originally started – and was intended – as primarily technical in nature, it eventually shifted to reveal more and more of me. It became less and less of a tech blog and more and more of my blog, and of course tech and hacking is an important aspect of my identity and who I am so of course it would still take up a large share of total content, but I became warmer to the idea of talking about my personal life and personal identity as opposed to maintaining a purely cold and robotic facade. I suppose that’s opening up in a way.

I appreciate you for having stayed with me this year. I appreciate the emails I receive from my readers who offer me empathy and concern. I’ll never forget the reader, and I know you’re reading this, who emailed me out of concern after noticing that I had missed a Thursday deadline; I had felt down around that time and that message was very heartwarming. I know that you might sometimes notice that my Thursday posts come a few days after, and that’s usually because I’d been struggling to finish. Sometimes my inconsistency may come off as deceptive when I publish a post with the original intended date as opposed to the date I had actually published the post on, and for that, I apologize. I’m going to try to be more consistent this upcoming year, because that’s a trait that I want to improve: persistence, pushing on and pushing forward even when I’m knocked down.

To you, reader, you might think I don’t notice you, but I do. As a hacktivist, I respect your privacy and I don’t track you. This site has never contained trackers or analytic JavaScripts, and it never will – you can audit it for yourself if you don’t believe me! I do, admittedly, have my own log analysis scripts on my server that give me a digest of viewer counts and popular pages by going through nginx logs. I don’t mean to imply that you’re reduced to just a number, as I’m just now realizing that that seems to imply – I merely just want to express that I find happiness in your involvement with my life in such a way that both respects your privacy and lets you remain completely anonymous.

There’s been a lot that’s happened this year for me. Obviously as a college student, I had my spring semester. As a board member of the Solar Energy Association, I taught some more Python workshops in the spring and returned to do another round in the fall. I personally went through a heartbreak that left me a bit depressed and lost for a period of my life. As a hacker at IrisSec, we participated in another season of the National Cyber League and won. I finished the spring semester with a bang and got started on some summer projects, many of which unfortunately stopped short primarily since I had to deal with potential homelessness which was obviously a much greater priority. I spent my summer teaching at Brown Youth Academy which was an amazing experience that I’ll always be grateful for. I got a multi-disciplinary team together to host “Hack the Power!” in which participants hacked a real miniature solar panel array that we created specifically just for the event, which was awesome.

There are a million more things that happened all in-between but I’m afraid that I’d be typing for hours upon hours if I tried to list them all. It’s been a good year. I’ll always have fond memories of spending time with my housemates, my friends, on a late spring day as the summer approached, picking up food from Burger Time and watching “Rick and Morty” together. I’ll always have fond memories of hacking with my awesome team Iris. I’ll always have fond memories of 2021.

There’s a lot that I’d like to do in 2022. What, exactly? I don’t know, and only time will tell. Maybe I’ll focus more on my education, or maybe I’ll focus more on relationships, and perhaps I’ll dabble with undergraduate research or hell – why not start a company? I don’t know what I’m going to do in 2022 just yet, just like how one year ago, I didn’t know what I was going to do in 2021. I know one thing for certain though: that I want to do it.

I guess I’ll start with one goal: I want to learn how to play the piano. Music is an art that I have so little experience with, and I’d like to rectify that. How about you? What do you have planned for 2022?

This is the last post of 2021, so I’ll end it as I usually do: by wishing you

Happy trails!