Turning twenty-three

Last year, I wrote a post ‘Turning Twenty Two’ to document my state of mind. Thought I’d continue the tradition as I recently turned twenty three. 

It’s been said that, “comparison is the thief of joy.” I find it true when you’re comparing yourself against others but less so when you compare with yourself. 

This past year has been the most uncomfortable year of my life, both psychologically and physically. 

To give you some perspective I:

  • Stopped out of university.
  • Decided to leave a lucrative job and moved out of NYC.
  • Started a project I thought would turn into a company.
    • Stopped working on it after learning that I wasn’t the right person for it.
  • Moved to SF on January 1st with two suit cases and a dream.
  • Couch-surfed for the first 3 months in SF.
  • Once CoVID hit, I temporarily moved in with some friends to live and work together. Downgraded from a couch to a sleeping bag on the floor.
  • About a month ago, I finally moved into an airBnB while searching for more permanent housing. (Fortunately the prices are the lowest they’ll ever be.)

I’ve only highlighted the physical transitions above. I didn’t mention the emotional toil of moving to a new city, feeling alone, and learning new skills.

I’ve done things that I never thought were possible. This past year, I let go of my fear of math. Instead, I began to appreciate the creativity and art in it. I revisited my weaknesses to rebuild much of the missing foundation.

Although I’m still a novice, I started learning the intricacies of product design. Not just about creating pretty user interfaces and seamless user experiences but also about speaking to machines, structuring data, and presenting information in a useful manner. 

I’ve learned the steps involved in building a business from nothing: legal, brand, design, marketing, technology, manufacturing, and finance. Enough to know what I don’t understand and how to speak to an expert when necessary.

I didn’t just learn about it by reading books or listening to people who’ve done it. I learned by throwing myself into the unknown and by doing.

Most of all, I’ve been quiet, learning to listen more and speak less. It’s easy to do when you’re around people who know more and are kind enough to teach.

Twenty three is starting with a much needed sense of stability. I signed a lease for a nice space in downtown SF. I look forward to moving in on Aug. 15th.

For the first time in the past year, I’ll have a place to call “home” again.

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