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A year in review
Some end of year reflections & a thank you
If you comment on these Substack posts or reply to the emails, I’m going to start sharing my favorite one each week. Last week, Steven made me laugh (per usual).
If you ever have books, essays, music, or resources you think would be worth sharing with everyone - feel free to reply in order to send them my way. I want to share more.
Quote of the week
“What day is it?” Asked Pooh.
“Why, it’s today!” Squeaked Piglet.
“Ah, my favorite day.” Said Pooh.
Once again, this is late. I realized recently there was really no concrete reason why I had to schedule this on Sunday night to send out Monday morning. Ever since then, I’ve been doing a terrible job at keeping this on time.
Don’t think about things too much sometimes - trust me.
I wanted to send a special edition this year by looking back on my year. If that sounds boring to you - just archive this and pick back up next week.
I sent the first issue of this newsletter on Feb 17, 2020 to one subscriber (me). That makes this the 46th issue of Thinking Loud which I’m sending to 333 of you.
This year, I’ve published fourteen essays to my website. That means that I’ve published well over 20,000 words in essays alone. If you count the leagues of unpublished writing and this weekly newsletter, I’ve written well over 40,000 words this year.
Earlier this year I also created a YouTube channel. In 2020, those videos got 5,000 views for a total watch time of 156 hours. I no longer upload to it.
Alongside two co-founders, I launched an online writing community that has welcomed over a hundred members and hundreds of followers online. Alongside one other co-founder, I recently launched a digital agency and we are gearing up to start accepting clients at the beginning of the year.
I’ve gained around 2100 followers on Twitter since the beginning of the year. I’ve made life-long friends on that platform. Through that platform and others I’ve spoken on six different podcasts and spend hundreds of hours on Zoom calls with strangers.
I’ve moved three times (largely by myself) and pivoted into a new career. I’ve said goodbye to loved ones. I’ve also gotten help with my anxiety and depression.
I think there’s more but I’m forgetful. It hasn’t been a particularly easy year for me. There have been a few people in my life who really stepped up when I needed someone, and for that I am forever thankful.
Seeing as this is the final transmission until the new year, there’s a few things that I wanted to share after reflecting on this last year. Below, in no particular order, are an assorted bunch of writing on life. Things that I have either read, or wrote, that I hope you will also find thought provoking. If you do end up reading, please let me know!
This essay from Simon Sarris on Familiarity and Belonging. I think it might be my favorite thing I read this year.
This essay I wrote on finding your passion. It’s one of my favorite things I ever wrote and it’s something I need to remind myself to read all the time.
This essay from Paul Graham (legendary Venture Capitalist) on how Life is Short.
This essay from Morgan Housel on The Three Sides of Risk.
This newsletter issue from me on the danger in playing it safe. This is a life philosophy I take very seriously and hope you do too.
The book The Third Door by Alex Banayan.
The essay Learning To See by Dan Shipper.
Lastly, there’s a horde of people I want to offer my deepest gratitude to. Some of these individuals may or may not read this - and that’s OK. You all, and others I surely left off the list by accident, have made this year special. In no particular order, thank you:
My parents, my siblings (Brian, Shane, and Lindsay), my friends back in Michigan, Alexander Hugh Sam, John Vandyke, Amelie W, Nick Vitucci, Christian, Paul LeCrone, Chris Jordan, Chani Krinsky, Kyle Bowe, Jen Vermet, Mustafa Khundmiri, Allie Miller, my cousin Greg, Jamie Russo, Jenn Crimm, Jenny Kim, Imah Aslam, Julian Anderson, Joel Horst & Andrew Tuinenga, James & Sabrina, Steven Kneiser, Brett Carey, Ellen Fishbein & Dr. Jaworski, Josh Verhulst, Chris M, Raphaela Mandel, Mark Zhuk, Tim & Jess & Kennedy, Shelby Smith, Steven Diaz, Ryan Mulholland, Alex Wright, Emily, Logan Hitchcock, my boss, Chad Hostak, Ben Greenman, Joe Ray, David Riggs, Connor Skelly and so so so so many more. Thank you!
My Favorite Moments
I wanted to share some of my favorite moments from this last year.
Wishing you and yours the best in the new year,