This blog started with the motivation to share my learnings in tech but stayed for a much larger purpose. If you would ask about it two years ago, I would call the theme is “being a better version of yourself” or something of that sort. But I opened up this phrase to a few people (especially during the times of pandemic) and realized that this way of thinking might also carry a toxic meaning, possibly leading people to get burned out.
Instead, I nowadays call it “staying curious”. Curiosity, here, refers to being open to change and new ideas while respecting others’ boundaries. It means being curious about the world around you or curious about learning (be it topics in tech, in academia or in personal development). Basically, being curious about your own existence. It does not hurt you or others. Curiosity is only driven by the motivation inside you (or by your dopamine levels which is basically the main driver of your motivation in neuroscientific-sense).
Due to this reason, I categorized all posts in 6 main categories which I call spaces. This was an on-going discussion for me and I believe I finally managed to categorize stuff the way I needed them to be. I also made a few updates on the style of the blog which I really like. Starting from this year, it will be easier to back-link to previous discussions in other posts and keep them updated. This is something I do on the journals that I keep analogue. There, I tend to go back to things that I had written months or years ago and leave additional notes.
The name will stay of course as coding, computer science and tech-related topics are still the main motivators behind this blog. But I realized that life is more about balance rather than concentrating on one special thing.
Keeping this in mind, I realized I also haven’t done any of these success + failure posts for a long time, so I thought this would be a good time to get back to it.
Successes of 2022
Every year, we make promises to ourselves but how many of those are we actually able to keep? With these posts, I try to reflect on those right- and false-promises.
I started a consistency challenge in the midst of 2022 which involves 4 main categories: Being active, Eating clean / taking vitamins, Reading books, Work + Study. The idea was basically to take a step (either large or small) on each of these categories everyday.
This is the first item that I’ll start with because it is one of the topics that somewhat requires the most effort especially for those of us in the tech domain. Everyday, we sit and hustle for long periods of time without realizing how much time we spend in-doors looking at bright screens, missing the beauty of outdoors.
“Being active” involves being active in any sense. It can either be an activity that requires effort like hiking or cycling, as well as a quick yoga activity, a chill walk, going out to dance or travel. Anything to keep you outdoors, really.
Luckily, in 2022, I re-discovered my love for nature & outdoor sports and had the chance to take action on it.
- I bought a new bike! Not a very fancy one, but always wanted some kind of road bike for its lightness and aesthetic. I managed to ride it for 600 kms in 2 months! 🚴♀️
- This led to a few discussions with friends and also led me to meet new people. In one of these discussions, we got really motivated and actually realized that a cross-alpine bike tour would be a quite doable thing from Munich to Italy. Perhaps, I can do this one day?
- Traveled a lot & even did a few times road trippin’ with my boyfriend (from Italy to Germany & Germany to Belgium), met with new people on the road 🚗
- Went to a big music festival in Belgium!
- Also did lots of train rides, which I very much enjoy. Trains 🚅 >> planes
- Went to concerts (finally after all my tickets getting either postponed or cancelled during pandemic) 🎫
- Joined a voluntary initiative at uni called Women in CS @ TUM and met lovely people there.
Eating clean / taking vitamins
To be more active of course requires more attention on how clean your diet is. This year, I also learned how to count my calorie in take which is something I had no idea how to do before.
- I started to eat less junk food (though I still do from time to time).
- Got an oven and learned how to bake stuff. This one is also a sad one, because I can now bake really delicious cakes which means more calories 🥲
- I cooked a lot (especially veggies). 🥦
I’m really proud of this one, because I see that very few people can keep their attention on reading a book without getting easily distracted nowadays. No need to get mad, we live in the age of distractions. But in 2022, I finally found the way to hack my way into reading which turns out to be (as most Germans do) reading during commute.
- I finished my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 20 books. 📚
- Even passed the challenge by one book!
- Also shared a blog post on reading habits.
Working + Studying + Coding
As this is a consistency challenge, the last item of it of course involves work & study.
- Moved to Berlin and lived there for 6 months for an internship. It was really nice to experience a new city which is more cosmopolitan and larger than Munich 🗺
- Successfully finished an SDE internship.
- Contributed to open-source projects 🤗
- Went with a few style and content changes on my blog.
- Re-implemented parts of my personal website for academic stuff, switched to a new template
- Started taking B1.2 level courses in German.
Let’s come to my favorite part because everyone likes bragging about things, but let’s see the reality, right?
- I failed to finish my 12 week fitness challenge. It requires you to ride 40kms or walk 60.000 steps at least 10 weeks out of 12. Unfortunately, I got hit by a severe flu (twice) and could not finish it.
- Still cannot speak German (at least to the extent I want). Yes, articles are hard and all, but I came to the realization that learning a new language very much depends on the effort you spend and the time you invest in, both of which were not possible for me throughout the year.
- I failed a math course. I still love math but I regret to say that I did not have enough time to invest in this lecture. Maybe in 2023?
- I only wrote one blog post.
- Burned a hard disk???
This is mostly it from the overview of 2022!
Have a great start to 2023! 🥳
— Coding Woman
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