Year in Review: 2015

About a year ago, I wrote a pretty negative post that I never published… a year in review for 2014. So, I spent all of 2015 accomplishing the goals and items I wanted to do the year prior. 2015 was full of traveling, new experiences and experiments, self growth, professional development and exploration. So, here is “2015: A Year in Review.”

  1. Travel. In 2015, as documented in some of my other posts, I traveled all over the place. I traveled to Stamford, Conn. and New York City with Andrew Baker. I spent more time in the Adirondacks than years past, and hiked two of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks. I reconnected with Alex Nye, Johann and David Kwan in Toronto. I traveled to the Outer Banks, N.C., for a week with family. I then met up with Nye again in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Calif. I traveled to Philadelphia and Atlantic City, N.J. to reconnect with Derek and Bailea Hoetmer and visit my uncle.

  2. Experiments. In 2015, I tried a lot of new things. I started a brokerage account and started monitoring the stock market. It was going alright, until around August when the market turned, but I know a lot more about investing now. I started an experimental project with friends Alex Fedrizzi and Matt Damiano, a live video streaming company called Tributary. We met periodically physically and spoke electronically to get all of the pieces in line to service small businesses with live video via social media. The project is on a small hiatus until all of our personal lives calm down in the new year. I started a second experimental project with my brother Charlie and Fedrizzi, called 100MPH. It started with the simple goal of obtaining the license to produce distilled spirits, and has since grown into a full scale service including Palate Accessories, a custom libation accessory company. We even made an offer on a church in Lyons, N.Y., with the intent to convert it into a production facility.

  3. Self Growth. In 2015, I’ve narrowed down a lot of what it is I want to do, what I’m good at, and “who I am.” After some discussion with family and friends, I’ve refocused my goals to line up with “creative marketing communications.” It has been difficult for me to articulate what it is that I actually do and excel at, but neither broadcasting or video production encapsulate my skills or personal strengths and goals. I created a logo, revamped my website and identified some areas of emphasis and growth areas for 2016. I even took a new headshot for my site and social media platforms, using the pink and blue colors of my logo, creating an innate cohesion between my personal and professional “brands.”

  4. Professional Development. In 2015, I’ve struggled at work. There’s no way to talk around that. It wasn’t always that way either. I’ve done a lot of reflection and self analysis about why I’ve had difficulty staying on task, staying motivated and meeting goals at work. I’m not supposed to be just good at my job, I’m supposed to be THE BEST! What I’ve realized is that it’s partly my fault, partly the fault of my employers, and partly the fault of my upbringing. On my behalf, organization and time management have always been areas of struggle for me. Mostly because I enjoy juggling multiple tasks and strive under the pressure of deadlines. I hit my deadlines, but sometimes with little time for review or even at the last second. I’m working on that. I’ve realized that allowing time for review will instill trust from my employers. But it’s difficult for me to play the game by the rules. On behalf of my employers, I was hired straight out of college with no training or clear cut description of my role or responsibilities. In the three years that have followed, many tasks have been added without removing old ones. I think I’ve done a decent job at all of my various tasks–updating the website, posting strategically on social media, writing for the magazine, editing emails and e-newsletters, photography and video production– but I haven’t done a GREAT job at any one of those things. My boss and I have discussed this, and we’ve worked on taking some tasks off my plate to focus on others. We’re getting there I think. On behalf of my upbringing, my ambition has been both blessing and curse. It could be my mom’s insistent encouragement that I can do anything I set my mind to, or my dad’s tendency to be a workaholic entrepreneur, or my status as a student loan-laden millennial; complacency seems off-putting. I’m driven to do more, to work harder to get ahead, to rebel against the norms of my generation; my desire to be the antithesis of a typical millennial is something... pretty typical of millennials. When I’m told I can’t do something, all I can think is “the hell I can’t!” I realize this mindset may be discouraging for employers. I’m willing to take the risk of publishing this because I ultimately want to work for a company that encourages forward thinking and self expression. Or, for myself.

  5. Exploration. In 2015, the year I turned 25, I’ve tried to push the envelope mentally. I’ve attempted to think and talk more openly about how the world works. Being in the social media verse most of the time, I’ve been challenged to think differently. I’ve attempted to be empathetic to various races, religions, identities, political beliefs and personalities. It’s draining, but it’s important in 2015. I like the term I’ve read: “media fatigue.” It’s helped me realize a lot about who I am and my beliefs, and why my being and voice is important; and adds to the collective. I realize that this thought process may not make sense to some people; it may even sound like I’m rambling. That’s okay. I’m not talking about anything “spiritual,” no “vibes” or “chakras” here. Just listening closely to my inner dialogue. Some people will know exactly what I mean. That’s okay too. No one is the better for it.

I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about the goals I hope to accomplish in 2016. Some of my goals are very specific, and others are particularly ambiguous. All are ambitious. So, here are my top goals of 2016:

  • Finish renovating my house and apartment.
  • Secure my financial budget and wellness regimen.
  • Spend more time connecting with my family, friends and those I love.
  • Identify my next career step in continued education, employment or entrepreneurship.
  • Produce more independent projects including writing, music, photographs and video.
  • Film my first full skateboarding part.