Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013. Hello 2014

My dear brother

Happy New Year 2014!

What a year it has been for both of us! Looking back, I can't help but be proud of both you and me. Here are the things I have got, and the things I want to do in the next year. Most of all, I just want us to talk more, write more, and eventually reunite as the awesome band of brothers in Canada!


2013 was a rather exciting and challenging year for me. It might have been the second best year of my life (the best is 2006 of course, with the NOC experience). It was very difficult as I am again back on my own, in a new country, starting a new school, with a new career start. If 2006 was the year of awakening. 2013 was the year of a reminder of the guy that I have become since. It has been an awesome year. Here are the things I've got.

- In January, I officially started my Master in Software Engineering, this time with scholarship.
- In Feb, I celebrated my birthday at Rimrock hotel (a 4 star luxury hotel), in the middle of the Canadian Rockies Mountains. I was in the room with a view, (and I had my birthday sex :p)
- In March, I won second prize in 2 categories of the UCalgary International photography competition
- In April, I got my first A+ (and I was really concerned that after 5 years I'm not academic anymore)
- In May, I got my first paper published, and attended a conference in San Francisco with the likes of Likned In, Mozilla, Microsoft, Googles, etc. authors
- In June, I got news that I was awarded Graduate Award Scholaship, to be awarded in installment over 12 months (I shall not reveal the amount to avoid jealousy)
- In July, I attended 5 different Canadian Festivals, and was the official photographer for 3.
- In August, I got my photography displayed in an independent coffee shop. An ad exec saw it and bought 1 piece for ATB bank commercial.
- In September, I finally got work permit and started working (almost) full time.
- In September, I rode a horse, through the breath taking valleys of Canadian Rockies, with the full colors of the fall
- In October, my second paper got published, and I got to go to Baltimore and Washington DC
- In November, I went to Hawaii, with my best friend for 10 years, @Kelly Chan. Amazing trip.
- In November, my joint business proposal with my prof got government funded. It's a Finland project. So Europe, here I come...
- In December, I got another A. I really think I got this study thing in order.
- In December, I re-visited Philadelphia, and NYC, and my god family in WV. A time for reflection and rest and love
- In December, I got to see "Peter and the Star Catcher", a fantastic Broadway prequel of Peter Pan

And here are the 14 action items I will do in 2014. 

1. Graduate. My 2-year-Master program. I need to get good GPA, graduate :)
2. Forgive. "Not because someone deserves forgiveness, but because I deserve peace".
3. Read. More like find time to read. But you get the picture.
4. Travel. 4a. Europe. 4b. Japan. 4c. South America. Either one of them or all. We'll see.
5. Play. I need to remember to take a break now and then, play an awesome PS3 or NDS3D game. 
6. Communicate. Say hi to an old friend once in a while. Life is short and relationships are precious. God knows how many of us will still be here tomorrow. Not that I believe in God :p
7. Meditate. I get too worked up too easily. I need to breathe and remember not to try too hard. Things will fall into place, maynot be the place I want them to be, but they will.
8. Quit. I need to learn to quit and let go. I sometimes hang on to pain as if it means something. Nothing is false about hope, but hope without ground is just stupidity.
9. Shut-up. I need to stop giving advices to others (job hazards of working with consultant firms). a) no one listens to my advice. b) when something blows up in their face I will have to help clean it up, even without the basic right of a smartass comment in place of "i told you so"
10. Go. Go offline, go hiking, go skiiing, go swimming, etc. anything that involves movements and not FB. 
11. Hug. Give more hugs to people and get more hugs from people. Because sometimes, all you need is a hug.
12. Smile.
13. Date. Continue my 2013 slutty phase and widen my date profile. LOL. (Guess who just has a date scheduled with a dancer?)
14. Love. Stop dating. LOL. I'm kinda sick of the whole thing and going through with the motion now. Would be nice to fall in love again. Other than that, loving my family, friends, and animals will do too!