Sometimes you gotta celebrate the wins
Sometimes you got to think about what's been good in life.
I've been in an emotional rut recently. One big thing I know I'm bad at is celebrating wins. I thought I'd celebrate the things I'm happy I've done the last few years.
I've spent a year learning Japanese with interesting students from European travelers to gaijin husbands with Japanese wives.
I've practiced Chinese with sushi chefs and international students. Got friend discounts at restaurants and bars.
I've taken Korean lessons with a tutor and have somehow managed to still be able to read every menu I see years later (but not always understand what I'm reading).
I've traveled to 25+ countries. I've gone to every country I've ever had a strong urge to see and some multiple times.
I've earned over a million miles and still have enough for a two person around-the-world ticket.
I've taken a four day layover in Milan and booked a hostel for the wrong month, only to have a group of models help me get to a new hostel and tell me that it was Fashion week + World Expo. Went to the World Expo where a journalist helped out a lost tourist to skip the line. Got into a cooking show at the World Expo where I watched a whole cooking show live and got kicked out when they asked only media to stay for the credits (but I didn't understand so I went up and ate the food with the media people)
I've made random friends traveling solo, who've taken me to karaoke, walked me home, shown me a window into their life story.
Met guys who'd fight others with two times the numbers for my dignity 8 hours after we met.
Went to a ex-Soviet bunker in Budapest and shot old Hungarian AK-47s, Glocks and other old-era guns. Also went with a friend and a hostelmate to my favorite Escape Room ever (also my first).
Had the chance to join in my friends' happiest moments at weddings across the world in Mumbai, Shanghai, Taipei, Napa, Stephenville and more and had a chance to be a groomsman in three.
Taken cooking classes all over Asia, Europe, and the US.
Made friends with a Korean rapper in SF while he was traveling for inspiration, who rapped his new single for me in a noraebang and drove me around Banpo.
Met the staff of a fashion show in Bali who proceeded to take me into their group for a night out.
I've been in countries where I spent days to weeks with locals who I could only communicate with in Google Translate.
Got lucky to meet a group of guys in Japan who showed me around and treated me out for breakfast. Then had an English teacher show me cool local spots around town.
I was the fourth employee at a company that hit 9 figure valuations and blitzscaled from 0-100+ employees in under three years.
I was the 2nd employee and first engineering hire at a company with the coolest mission in the world. I've grown a team of engineers from 1 to 16 teammates and helped get from $100k to many millions in ARR.
Learned knife-skills and traditional cooking techniques by being an early backer for a cooking startup.
Sat on a beach and watched a pirate ship kite float during golden hour as the sun slowly set.
I've written and launched an open source Python library in a week. Gotten to the #2 spot on Hackers News with 10,000+ visitors and discussions on Twitter in Japanese and other languages.
I've gotten a lot closer with family. Especially my dad who I could barely be in the same room with in high school. And my brothers who are now some of my best friends.
I've seen a Warriors quarterfinal and finals game in person.
I've made friends who are loyal, made friends who are doing amazing things with their life. People I'm honored to have the chance to know. (Apologies for those who deal with me being introverted!) Learned what makes a true friend and what makes a wine-meat friend (lookup 酒肉朋友).
I've lost a lot of money and made a little selling digital nomad oriented ecommerce products, signing a contract with a Korean clothing brand with over 130 stores and 6+ labels, launched a product on Amazon that was the #1 new product in a category.
I've felt well off on paper assets but felt broke based on my bank account. Felt rich out of college but felt poor with more money later. Depressed and happy at the same time.
I've fallen in love. I've had my heart broken.
I've changed so fast that every two years I was a completely different person.
Yep. I'm lucky to have had the life I have lived. May my next reflection reveal an even better one.