Halftime 2017.

Welcome to halftime 2017 folks. In some ways, this year has felt like a breezy sprint, in other ways it feels like it has been a sloppy stumble (with a couple of fumbles and interceptions) till the stop clock hit 00:00.

Alright. You get the point. I'm so pumped for (college) football season to start.

Let's start off with some highlights:

  • Winter wilderness camp with Susan. Went spear fishing/ice fishing for the first time!
  • Saw King Lear at the Guthrie
  • Saw STRFKR in concert for the 2nd time in Madison WI. Also went to New Glarus (home of the famous Spotted Cow)
  • Turned 25, and dyed my hair for the first time
  • Gave 2 talks at the last SWE Region H Conference
  • Started heavily considering going back for grad school (MBA + Public Policy?)
  • Moved to an open office space
  • Started to redesign my personal website
  • Took on a freelance branding project
  • Got elected to be SWE Minnesota Treasurer

And of course, no semester at IBM would be complete without a re-org...

Sigh.

Looking back at my 2017 mind map, I can say that I've attempted at least 65% of the relevant goals listed. Most notably:

  • improved sleeping habits
  • personal investments
  • cleaning/organizational hacks
  • improved skincare routine (100% weaned off acne specific products)
  • better website
  • read more
  • cook good tofu

TBH the cleaning/organizing is a continual WIP, and the brutal Minnesotan summer is derailing my sleep habits, but hey, it's been an improvement overall.

It's also worthwhile to mention that there are a lot of irrelevant goals listed on the mind map. The one that stands out to me the most is the Podcast idea. I don't think it's ever going to happen at this point, but I think I have an interesting alternative project that might be good if I brush up on some skills that I abandoned in middle school.

Glaringly absent in the mind map was any mention of SWE, which seems odd now that I look back on it. For the next few months in particular, SWE and WNET are going to be higher priority. Running for treasurer was really ballsy. In college, SWE section treasurer was considered one of the worst positions to run for (which was why the position has been uncontested for years). But attending a University of Chicago MBA dinner event gave me the chutzpah to run for SWE Minnesota treasurer rather than for comfortable/safe positions like webmaster or social media chair. I'm going into this with very little experience in finance and nonprofit organizations - I'm feeling better about it after the initial transition meeting, but I know it's going to be a steep learning curve, and a decent time commitment (sidebar - holy shit that's a lot of moneydollars). WNET (IBM Rochester Women's Network) is in shambles. All the reliable board members have left IBM, and all I'm left with are noncommittal board members and a pretty apathetic membership base. An intern reached out to me before the holiday break and wants me to resuscitate the group (damn meddling kids). I'll give it one last shot. But I'm also preparing myself for disappointment.

Which brings me to the rather large elephant in the room. Since my sophomore year of college, I've steadily become more and more cynical and jaded. It's getting unhealthy. I'm in the murky waters that ranges from the comedic-ly dark to full-fledged anger. I think it's manifesting in recurring tension headaches that are becoming debilitating. Not to mention, it's totally not charming, and the aforementioned Minnesota hellhole called "summer" isn't helping (can you tell I'm a winter baby?). I know this is an area that I need to improve in, but I also know that it's going to be an uphill battle. I'm hoping that writing will help, so I guess stay tuned or something.

In closing, it's been an interesting first half. I'm hoping to make some major strides in the next half in terms of attitude, grad school/future planning, and creative endeavors. I know it's going to be an uphill battle for more things than I'd like, but such is life. I know there is fun and excitement in store for me, but I don't even care because HELL YEAH ONLY 61 MORE DAYS TILL MICHIGAN FOOTBALL IS BACK.

HarbaughNation2017