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2019. The end of an era. |

2019. The end of an era.

And just like that, 2019 is over, and with it, the 2010s (The Tennies? Tens? Tenties?) are also over. Blimey.

What an insane ride it’s been, both this year, and the last decade. So much has happened, so much has changed. So many good things, and also a couple of bad things.

Reflecting on 2019, this one was definitely an extremely tough one for me. Maybe even the toughest.

While most of 2018 was a bit of a write-off since I spent most of it getting set up in Tokyo, starting off 2019 fully set up was amazing. And true to what I was hoping last year, I was definitely able to start doing more of the things I enjoyed, like streaming some gameplay and coding, and slowly making more progress on my side projects.

But the sudden loss of our little girl in February was a huge blow to me. I’m still no where near over it. I spent a lot of time this year questioning if it had been worth me moving to Japan; if any of this had actually been worth it. I certainly went to more dark places than I usually go.

In the process of this, I also completely lost control of my work/balance which just further compounded how I was feeling. It’s very VERY easy to work completely irregular hours in Japan, and it takes a lot of control and discipline not to fall into that trap.

But thankfully, I have amazing friends and family, and they all took care of me. Certain friends made sure I was never alone this year, certain friends related to me their similar experiences, and certain friends always made me call them so they could hear how I was doing.

As much as it sucked and how tough it was, this is all really just how life goes. But I learned just how important not going it alone can be.

Moving beyond 2019, I’ve been reflecting on the whole decade, and trying to realise how transformative it’s been for me.

2010 was when the first iPad came out, and I was absolutely floored by its potential. I was so excited at the possibilities that tablet had, and the giant screen is what inspired me to start working on iComics.

On that note, it made me realise that iComics is coming up on 10 years now. I’m absolutely shell shocked. I’m also somewhat disappointed it didn’t go as far as I had been envisioning.

But on that note, I had to stop and think about what a cascading ripple effect deciding to build that app had. Even though iComics’s progress itself hasn’t been that great (by my own opinion), it’s served me as a sandbox for these past 10 years. It’s been a target and a use-case for all of the things I wanted to learn about iOS development.

Thanks to iComics, I learned how to properly work with the iOS graphics API. I learned how important using threading and concurrency is to a fantastic user experience. And I learned an absolute mountain about technical debt, and how good architectures and testing can help maintain the quality and longevity.

And so it was thanks to iComics that I am where I am now. It played a very direct role in the knowledge and qualifications I gained, and played a massive role in landing every job position I’ve had in this decade.

Thanks to that app, I’ve worked as an iOS engineer for 2 and a half years in Japan, as well as a year in San Francisco. And thanks to the related conferences and conventions, I’ve also traveled around the world and seen so many wonderful sights I never thought I would see. And I also made so many wonderful friends for life in the process.

I’m truly happy how this decade ended up turning out for me.

So I feel like 2019, as well as the last decade was for me to only just start setting the stage. I have so many things I want to do now, and I’m really excited at the possibilities and potentials in 2020.

Like always, I’m going to set a list of the goals I want to aim for in 2020.

  • Kickstart the development of iComics 2. It’s time. 😀
  • Blog more. I only did 3 posts this year. I think I can do better.
  • Lose more weight. I finally started going to a gym in the second half of 2019, so it’s time to ramp that up.
  • Stream more. Both coding and gaming. This helps me stay focused, and also have more value to my time. 😀
  • Record a song cover. I’m working on this slowly but surely. Hopefully this decade is the one. XD
  • Achieve a good work/life balance. I’ll try my best.
  • Remember to stop and unwind from time to time.

I hope you all have a Happy New Year and all have your own amazing goals you’re setting the stage for.

Happy new decade folks! Let’s make it a good one!