This is the first time I have taken the time to review the year in this format. I have observed such summaries from professionals I follow and respect for several years. Reading about their achievements and challenges reminds me that, beyond their talent, we are all human and experience both positive and negative moments. I find this exercise highly valuable for reflecting on our strengths and areas for improvement.
2023 was a challenging year full of emotions, failures, and opportunities, but primarily impactful on my mental health. Emotional instability was a constant battle that I had to face from the first day to the last of the year.
Despite this, I managed to:
- Fulfill the promise to take my son on vacation.
- Travel to seven destinations in two countries:
- 🇺🇸 U.S.: Houston, Portland, Washington DC, Allentown, Lakeland, and St. Cloud
- 🇨🇦 Canada: Toronto.
- Complete the Young Leaders of the Americas Program (YLAI Alumni 2023).
- Start a new job at an excellent company, surpassing even my previous expectations.
- Attend VueConf Toronto 2023.
- Improve my relationship with my younger sister.
- Take care of my health by reducing my weight through exercise and a healthy diet.
- Start the habit of building Legos with my son.
However, all the positives have their counterpart. This year, I also experienced significant losses, such as:
- Losing my best contract with the main client of my company.
- Losing what I considered my best job in the last three years.
- Facing challenges in my emotional stability while dealing with depression and family issues.
Reflecting on 2021 and 2022: The Pandemic Years
It is essential to remember these years as many current successes are the result of preceding efforts. Many extraordinary experiences this year resulted from the efforts made during the most challenging pandemic years. I am eternally grateful for my past self, as their actions and efforts were so extraordinary that their results resonated until mid-2023.
From these years, I draw the following lessons to remember in 2024:
- Dream big.
- Set goals and create a plan to achieve them.
- Execute! Dreaming and planning are useless without the action that makes them a reality.
Goals and Projects
Unlike 2022, 2023 was a year of setbacks. None of the defined goals were achieved: no certifications, no books read, no projects completed... only a minor task was started but not finished.
In the realm of personal development, education has always been crucial for my professional growth. I regret not starting any new courses last year. Although the knowledge gained in previous years has kept me updated, it serves as a reminder of the importance of continuous learning to avoid becoming obsolete.
Among the projects I planned to conclude are:
- Contable v.2.0
None saw the light in 2023, although I can proudly say that after overcoming my block, I have started and am already progressing on one of them. I hope to exert enough effort to complete it in record time and showcase it in early 2024.
Since my mind continues to generate ideas, I believe it will be necessary to create a public space on my website to present these projects in an organized manner, with a timeline reflecting their current status. This will not only simplify my decision-making but also serve as motivation to complete them.
At this point, I have noticed that I need to improve the organization and systematization of how I approach and follow up on my issues and projects. Currently, I use many platforms to organize the same thing in different ways. I must decide on one platform, commit to it, and systematize my routines. Adopting a framework in all my activities will minimize my effort and maximize results.
I think a key goal for 2024 will be to systematize all aspects of my life to simplify decision-making.
One of the outstanding projects to complete this year was the PHP and Laravel package for LemonSqueeze. Despite being an encouraging challenge for my professional career, it was affected during moments of mental imbalance.
In 2024, my goal is to contribute more actively to the communities where I am actively collaborating, giving back some of what I have received throughout my career.
Personal Life and Mental Health
My mental health was a recurring theme throughout the year. I dealt with numerous personal issues that affected my concentration. Unlike previous situations, I overcame my toughest moments by effectively communicating with the people involved.
And this, I believe, is my greatest lesson from the past year: In difficult times, shield yourself from self-destruction by communicating effectively with all possible affected parties. I appreciate having recognized the importance of this in time.
Recognizing that you face a problem is crucial. By understanding how I acted in similar situations in the past, I could be honest with myself and understand the importance of surrounding myself with good people in tough times.
An example of this was communicating with my superiors about my situation and requesting their help to provide closer supervision of my work. This protected my job and helped me maintain my commitment to assigned responsibilities even when I wanted to give up everything due to my depression.
I greatly appreciate the people who supported me during this time. Especially for not seeing this as a weakness to use against me but as real support in my toughest moments.
I close 2023 with the following reflections:
- We are changing beings; we evolve. Maintaining a constant learning attitude prevents us from being the same person as yesterday.
- Surround yourself with people who motivate you to be better. Our environment defines our habits.
- Communicate effectively. Communication is key in all human relationships.
- Ensure that your actions support your words. Wishing for something is useless if you are not willing to fight for it.
Soon, I will be sharing my goals for the new year. More than simple resolutions, they are commitments I propose to fulfill. I hope they serve as motivation for reflection and effort throughout 2024.
May this be a reminder that we can always build a better future.