366 days. (2016 was a leap year).

The calendar year is foreign to me. As a child, a teenager, and a college student, my years began in September and ended in May, with a magic box of whimsy in the middle known as the summer. My calendar was not the Gregorian, but rather, the Academic. My seasons dictated by the school year, the New Year was merely another thing that happened during the winter recess.

In 2016 that changed. I no longer live and die by the Academic Calendar (well, not exactly, but I’ll get to that in a moment). 2016 was the year where I joined hands with the rest of the world, in the

In 2016, I…
  • Graduated from college.
  • Decided I wanted a math minor, and worked for it.
  • Ran NJIT’s CCS Capstone as a member of the executive team.
  • Started a job at Google with two of my best friends and made our university’s front page.
  • Made dozens of new friends there.
  • Rented an apartment.
  • Lost 45 pounds.
  • Bought a car.
  • Became an Adjunct Professor at my alma mater, taught introductory programming, and didn’t suck at it.
  • Got my first passport and went to Mexico for a company offsite.
  • Finally used that camera of mine for the urban photography I bought it for.
  • Attended three hackathons, but presented at none of them (unlike 2015, where ShortView actually won two awards).
  • Kept my resolutions from last year to read, write, meditate, and hit the gym.
  • Accidentally got a shorter haircut and rolled with it.
  • Filled three moleskines with thoughts, dreams, and frustrations.
  • Read 16 books, which is exactly half of my goal and more than I expected.
  • Let go of a lot, let in a lot more.
  • Learned how to make a latte, although I still burn the milk most of the time.
  • Quite possibly ate more vegetables than the previous 22 years of my life combined.

… and some other stuff too.

What’s next

Isn’t that the question. I don’t know, really. I have some ideas though. I want to relearn the piano. I want to do more photography. I want to sleep more. I’ve got various lists of goals and resolutions and somehow they all seem so hopeful and so foolish.

If 2016 taught me anything, it’s that I have very little knowledge about what’s coming, who I’ll meet, where I’ll go, how I’ll feel, what I’ll learn, what music I’ll find along the way, which books will change my life, and who I’ll be by the end of the year.

So, no promises for 2017. Only high hopes and great expectations.