2016 has mostly been a nightmare of a year. So many things have gone wrong, right from the beginning. Along the way I’ve lost idols, lost friends, and lost hope. But to walk away from this year without having learned something, without striving for improvement, would be a waste. It’s easy to lose sight of the positive when you are constantly bombarded with the negative. Instead of dwelling on all of the shit that’s gone wrong, let’s talk about some shit that went right.
At Swash, I’ve been accruing new skills, such as mastery of all the new features for Facebook and Instagram advertising, strategic buying, and placement of Snapchat geofilters and I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to fathom all of Google AdWords. Beyond this, I have been increasing my knowledge of SQL and to balance that, I have been studying some Tufte to better be able to translate what’s in my brain for people that don’t love staring at spreadsheets and playing with data all day.
In my personal life, I’ve pulled off some things that I’m proud of and picked up some knowledge along the way.
When booking a music festival, it never hurts to ask. If it seems dumb, or like a long shot, go for it. That’s how you get Christmas gifts from Biz Markie and Fat Tony to DJ your staff afterparty in exchange for free beer.
When raising money for charity, you often get to see the best in people. If the world has you feeling down, if your neighbors are being awful to each other, throw a fundraiser for disadvantaged youth or an animal shelter. The outpour of community support can restore your faith in humanity while helping out others.
There is no such thing as too many tacos.
There is such a thing as cheese-sweats.
Traveling is obviously a good thing, no lesson in that. But road tripping to Chicago and back with your partner can teach you a lot about your relationship and its strengths and weaknesses.
- Strengths: We get along better than I thought possible. Number of arguments in ~2500 miles: zero.
- Weaknesses: Neither of us know how to make the Thai Chili Wings that they serve at The Chicago Diner.
Meeting your idols can be awesome. Just always remember to treat them like people.
So what did I really learn this year and what of it can I pass on to you to help make the world a better place?
Believe in yourself.
And don’t be a dick.