I have a terrible memory. There is only a few number of past events that I can remember clearly. Surprisingly, some of them are from my early childhood, when I was about 4-5yo. But for the most of it, it’s like things never happened. Sometimes people ask me about things we did together in the past, but I just can’t recall it, no matter how hard I try. Besides that, I have memories like “1994 was a great year”, without really knowing what made it such a good year. In hindsight of that, I decided I’ll try to keep note of worth-to-remember things during the year, and I’ll start by writing about 2017 and why it was a great year. I’ll split it into Personal and Professional life.
2017 was the first New Year’s I celebrated at my own place. Speaking of it, this was definitely a year about learning how to fit all the house chores into my daily routine. Getting a cleaning robot certainly helped a lot, but it can only do so much. Unfortunately, we still don’t have cooking robots available, so I have to do that myself. Please don’t get me wrong. I do love having my own place and all the independence that comes with it; it’s just that house chores are booooring.
A few months after the start of the year, possibly the most important event of the last 12 months happened: I got married! We’ve been planning to do that since we’ve moved together in 2016 and it finally took place on Apr this year. No church, no big reception, no fancy clothes. Only a quick trip to the register office to sign the papers and then a Brazilian bbq for close family and friends.
Health-wise, I had a sudden arrhythmia episode that resulted in me staying at the hospital for three days (including one night in the ICU, for observation). The whole thing was quite scary. I was at home, doing absolutely nothing and then, out of the blue, my heart starts racing so fast that I could feel it pumping in my chest. It reached more than 200 bmp! Right after it, I felt my left arm hurting and the back of my neck. My wife quickly took me to the hospital where we learned that I had an SVT (a type of arrhythmia), which was reverted using the Vagal Maneuver (some sort of medical/Jedi trick). This all happened before the wedding, one week after we settled on the date and we joke that it was all because I was too scared of getting married!
This year I also decided to give formal language education a chance. I’m a self-taught English speaker. Pretty much everything I know about the language I learned from games, movies, tv shows, videos and articles on the Internet. However, given my new responsibilities at work, I felt like this wasn’t enough and that I needed professional assistance to polish my skills and help me avoid the numerous mistakes I make on a daily basis. It turns out that formal education really doesn’t work for me. The huge focus on grades and certification was such a disappointment that, close to the end of the course, I couldn’t bear to hear the words “test” and “CPE” anymore. On the bright side, thanks to this course, I had the awesome experience of participating in their speech competition, “Your Voice.” I went to the finals and took the 3rd place among all the students in my category. Not bad for a first-timer!
If 2016 was the year I finally took the courage to apply and start working for a foreign company, 2017 was the year I decided to change my career a little bit and take some responsibilities I’ve been avoiding since forever: I’ve become a Tech Leader. I’ve been offered this opportunity a couple of times before, in other companies, but I always declined it, as I didn’t think I was the right person for the job. It requires a lot more social/communication skills that I didn’t think I have. Besides, I really don’t feel comfortable telling people what to do. This time, however, I decided it was time to move out of my comfort zone, so I accepted the challenge. Even though I think I’m far from being what I consider a good leader, I would say I’ve been doing a good job and that I’ve been improving since then.
Thanks to the new position, this year I had the chance to attend to my first technical/software conference abroad, the CiviCon US, in St. Louis. It was another “moving-out-of-the-comfort-zone” moment to me. I am a very introverted and shy person. It’s tremendously difficult for me to talk to people I don’t know, and doing that in a foreign language only makes things more difficult, but I think it went well. I was able to participate in a few interesting discussions with the people that develop the software we use. Also, after working for Compucorp a bit more than one year, I finally had the chance meet my boss in person.
After the conference, I took a small vacation and headed to New York for a few days. It was nice to relax a little bit, do some shopping (I’m Brazilian after all, aren’t I?) and visit the One World Trade Center, which was still being built the last time I was there.
What is next?
For 2018, I hope I can find a better balance between professional and personal life, so that I can spend more time with family and doing my hobbies. Something that has been bothering a lot during the past two years is that I’ve read a lot less than I would like, so I wish can fix that in the year which is about to come.
I didn’t give up on improving my English. I only gave up on the course. In 2018, I’ll certainly look into ways to continue on that, probably with a private teacher. Using a foreign language during the most of your day is quite demanding. When I finish working every day, I feel completely drained and, even though I still have a lot of time available to do other things (study, read, work on personal projects), I simply don’t have the necessary energy in me. I believe that getting better with the language will help me not feel this way anymore.
Finally, I wish 2018 to be as good and challenging (or even more!) than 2017 was.