The new year has started rolling. And like everyone else, the holiday-enforced slowdown and social media abstinence allowed me a lot of time to reflect on the year that was and what is to come. 2021 was a significant improvement over the year before.
I got vaccinated and got my booster shots. And that allowed me to travel a bit more. I even undertook a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the edge of the planet. I got quite a few opportunities to pursue my photography.
I bought (too) many books, and to my surprise, I read quite many of them. That said, I did go through another phase of ruthless elimination of physical things. However, the best part of 2021 was something I did for self-improvement: I started taking driving lessons and hope to have a driver’s license before spring rolls around.
I am looking forward to driving around California and going out to take more photographs.
However, now that I reflect on the year, I feel one missing thing was the feeling of creative fulfillment. I have been asking myself the question — why did I feel that way? The answer is straightforward — in 2021, I didn’t do one thing that allows me to thread the needle of life with time — writing down my reflections almost daily. I managed to survive the first lockdown in 2020 by actively blogging and getting everything inside my head out into words, and posting them here.
In 2021, I wrote extensively in a private journal — about private stuff. And that was important to get a better handle on mental health. However, I don’t remember much about the year, especially about technology, art, books, and other ephemera that add up to the texture of time. This documentation is part of how I keep track of my self-development. Even my photography veered away from visual documentation. Instead, I became drawn to the concept of minimal abstraction of landscapes, objects, and even people.
Whatever the reasons, I suppose I cannot “not” blog and maintain a public journal of what’s on my mind. Blogging is my way of documenting and chronicling my life, and if anything, I should not shy away from it. With me transitioning to partner emeritus at True, I have more mental space to read, analyze and analyze in the year ahead. And for the first time in my life, I have the opportunity to be intellectually self-indulgent.
My interests have gotten wider beyond the obvious set of technologies. For example, I am learning about climate change and its impact on everything from the design of the cities, management of resources, and the human costs of change. I have returned to reading and digging deeper into materials (and related topics.) Materials have led me to learn about new printing techniques and hopefully experiment with them in years to come.
So what’s the plan? For starters, I have rearranged the website a tiny bit to make it easier for you to navigate and find things quickly. I want to encourage you to come to the blog more often. The new navigation bar is pretty self-explanatory — journal is where I will journal. Some of my photos will show up in the journal, as will my writing on the art of photography.
Essays are my longer pieces that have taken some deliberation. Interviews are, well, interviews. And there is a small new section: Reads. I hope to share more “longer” articles worth reading and do it more often. Of course, I will give you my reasons why they are worth reading.
If you are signed up for my newsletter, you will continue to get my technology-centric writing. I will try and bundle these longer articles and send them along as well, in case you want to read them later.
January 3, 2021. San Francisco.
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