Yifeng Wang

New Year, 2017 Edition

Can't believe it's 2017 already. I only felt how the past years flew by when I stopped and looked back occasionally. The last time I had a new year post I was still in college. Now I'm older and, well, probably not any wiser.

The last new year post was a retrospect. As much fun as I had to look back and reflect, I want to do something different this time. I want to look ahead, as how I like my 2017 to be like.1

In 2017, I want to write more. Considering that's exactly what I'm doing right this moment, I think I'm having a good start. I always like writing, but writing in English intimidates me for various reasons. Writing in a second language is hard. I feel my thoughts are constraint. I feel I don't know much about anything (I probably really don't anyway). I feel the lack of confidence. Fortunately, new year is the best time to step out of the comfort zone. I've made some good progress in the past year regarding stepping out of my comfort zone—more on this later in another post. I've, obviously, not done so well regarding writing. My goal for 2017 is to publish at least 5 posts on this blog. It's a very small goal—certainly not a 50,000 words NaNoWriMo challenge—and I very much intend to accomplish it. I've incorporated Ulysses (a Godsend) into my writing toolbox, hoping a writing app I enjoy will encourage me to write more. I tweaked this blog's style sheet for better code snippets displaying, so expect some technical posts to come as well. The game is afoot.

Similar to writing, I want to watch more movies and read more books. In the recent years, I didn't watch nearly enough movies or read nearly enough books as I'd like to. I ended up many shows and news articles. Shows can be great, but they are not movies to me. Movies bring me so much more emotions. I watch shows and I let myself immersed in movies. A few days ago, I watched What's Eating Gilbert Grape, which had probably stayed on my watchlist for the longest time. When the screen went dark and the credits started rolling, I couldn't stop thinking that I hope they never stop making movies like this. The same goes for books and news articles.

I would also want to play guitar regularly. I played guitar on and off (mostly off—especially the last two years when I didn't have one with me) since 2009, but all I can do are still songs with extremely simple chords. The silver lining? I love music too much and I want to play the guitar. I finally got another guitar not long before the holidays, and I want to play it patiently and constantly this time around. I plan to practice 5 to 10 minutes of scale exercise daily if possible. Learn more chords one at a time, making sure I find them quickly and press with just the right amount of pressure. Ultimately, learn to play 5 (hopefully many more) songs.

There are a few more items on my list ranging from making faster decisions when shopping online to resisting the urgent of doing something when I can clearly do better the next day when I'm rested and when it's not 2 am in the morning. They are in general a little trickier to track, but hard, I will try. As for everything mentioned here, I look forward to reporting back in December. Happy 2017.

  1. One thing I have to mention about 2016 is that Hamilton was my most surprising and amazing finding of the year.