2020 Year in Review

It's been... a year.

I’ve been writing this kind of year-in-review post for the past three years (2017, 2018, 2019). This is the first time I’m really dreading writing one. I guess you can tell by the fact that this is written very late, & I think I’ll save you from the explanation of how unprecedented 2020 has been for all of us.

But alas, I’ll try my best to review how 2020 has been for me.

🌐 Community

  • We produced 9 episodes of Kartini Teknologi this year. Lots of interesting topics, from high performance computing, building a startup from scratch, managing tech communities, & so much more! I learned a lot & I hope our listeners (hopefully one of them is you!) learns as much as I did. I’m also grateful to have Kiki doing this with me for the second year, woohoo.

Kartini Teknologi, 2020 episodes

  • A few weeks before the pandemic, Kiki & I also co-organized the second Global Diversity CFP Day in Jakarta. Shoutout to the awesome speakers and mentors who were involved, & to all the awesome participants. Global Diversity CFP Day is going virtual this year so why not get your free ticket?
  • I organized pandas documentation sprints in Jakarta & Universitas Indonesia. This wouldn’t have happened without Marc Garcia who came to mentor the sprint in Jakarta, Python Indonesia, DSC UI, & Mozilla Space Jakarta folks who helped in organizing, hosting, & spreading the words about the event. And of course shoutout to all participants! Thank you so much.

🎤 Speaking etc.

This year I keynoted one conference, moderated one talk, & gave talks at nine different conferences/meetups. Although I do miss in-person conferences, it’s exciting to physically be in my home and have participants from all over Indonesia (& other countries!) joining me. Plus it’s nice to immediately say yes when friends asked me to speak at a conference miles away from where I live without having to think about flights & accommodations, ha.

I also appeared as a podcast guest in Datapods & a judge at KataHack.

For my talks, you can check out the slides on my Speaker Deck page & the code on my GitHub, or my other previous talks here. One of these talks is not free (though ticket sales were donated) but if you couldn’t afford to pay & you want to access the materials, please get in touch with me via Twitter. I’ll be happy to send you the materials!

🎤 Writing

Pre-pandemic I had a goal of writing one blog post each month. That didn’t really pan out, but I’d cut myself some slack here because sighs it’s been a year.

The posts I wrote this year:

👩 Life Things

  • My father passed away recently. I probably should write more about this but honestly I’m still processing this, & I think I will be for a long time.
  • 🎨 I made a couple of new sketches and reorganized my sketches (10 years worth of sketches!) in a Notion page. Most of the time I sketch during my travels & since I didn’t go anywhere at all this year I didn’t sketch much this year (or maybe I’m just lazy & is looking for an excuse, heh).
  • 📚 I read 53 books (I said 52 books on my Twitter thread but I managed to finish one more book right after that, lol). For reference, I read 6 books, 30-ish books, 40-ish books in 2017, 2018, & 2019 respectively. I’m pretty happy with the books I picked, as also confirmed by my Goodreads stats: my average rating for 2020 is 4.3. The reason why I’m quite generous with my rating is probably because I quickly drop books I’m not interested enough to continue. I also learn more about the reason why I read & stick with it: I read mainly for pleasure, not “productivity” whatever that means, so I feel less guilty about picking books that don’t have anything to do with work/self-development/hustle porn. If a book about dictionaries makes me happy (it does), then so be it.
  • 🎵 I managed to catch Bon Iver live before the pandemic. I was supposed to see The National in Tokyo this March sobs but I guess the surprise Taylor Swift x Aaron Dessner collaborations, also known as folklore and evermore sort of make up for it. I’m still bummed that Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters doesn’t get AOTY nomination; it is my AOTY no doubt.
  • I feel like I got in touch with a lot of old friends for some unknown reason. I like this! I’m bad at maintaining relationships but would like to do better.
  • After 10 years I started writing fiction again & I hit 50,000 words! Still a long way to go & even when finished it’s probably never going to see the light of day, but I don’t care. ¯\(ツ)/¯ LMK if you want to be my beta reader. :P
  • Because of quarantine, not surprisingly I spend a lot of my time on Netflix & Viu. I’m watching a lot of K-dramas & some variety shows. The last time I religiously watched K-dramas was back in high school so it’s nice to catch up. Some of my favorites I watched this year are Search: WWW (badass women! Ending that tied everything up very nicely!) & Hospital Playlist (which feels like a warm hug, & I still randomly rewatch some episodes just because it feels so nice). The Penthouse is a whole new level of makjang which is just chef’s kiss. Variety-wise I started watching 2 Days 1 Night. K-dramas & variety shows really helped me cope with grief.

⏪ Looking back

If you scroll down all this way looking for my wise reflection on 2020: I hate to disappoint you but I don’t really have one. Despite the fact that I managed to accomplish a few things & without dismissing the fact that I’m very, very lucky to still be here with what I have now, at the same time personally it’s been a difficult year because of a few reasons I didn’t really elaborate here. I’m still processing a lot of things & I’m not sure when I can say “okay, yeah, I understand now”.

I just want to say, if you’re like me—still needing to process what happened/what’s happening—you’re not alone, & I think it’s okay to take your time.

I’m mostly grateful for the people who helped me get through this dumpster fire of a year. I don’t open up very easily, so knowing that I have many people around that are just a text message/call away already provides a great comfort & means a lot to me. Thank you!

⏭️ Next year

Kind of hoping that regression towards the mean is in the works and next year will be better, but I’d be lying to myself if I say I have a lot of expectations. (Also what if 2020 is the mean? Heh…)

Fingers crossed for the vaccine, for staying safe, for staying sane, for making it through.

January 03, 2021

Year in Review