Happy New Year 2021!

My Dearest Mad-Readers,

I hope you all spent a merry Christmas with your family. The year 2020 has probably been the most peculiar one has ever known, with the pandemic of covid 19, the several lockdowns people have had to withstand, the many terrorist attacks which interspersed the year, and countless other events I must have forgotten or which simply could not take place.

Yet, it is no time to lose faith!

Our future depends on your vision of it. The vision that each one of you has of it. It does not yet exist, but every one of us is creating it in our mind at this very moment. It is our mission to make it as joyful as we can. It is our mission to build something for future generations, instead of always destroying with our negative thoughts or bad habits inherited from consumerism.

Think positive people, and create what you will!

My Year In Review

So many things have happened for me this year, it sounds difficult (if not impossible) to write it all in one single blog post. I would not be able to list out all the books I read or re-read; all the movies I discovered, loved, or hated; all the experiences I have enjoyed through traveling on my own or accompanied; all that I have learned, for I still am so ignorant

Achievements I Am The Most Proud Of

  1. I got my bachelor’s degree as a software engineer. The choice of studying computer-science is the one I am the proudest in my life, because it was the toughest to see through. Thank God I was helped and supported along the way!
  2. I purchased my first domain name and started a blog which has ended up much more time-consuming than expected. I also started a YouTube channel. Shooting videos is one of the biggest and most exciting challenges I have ever faced. I may proudly say that I published 100 articles this year and 15 videos.
  3. If 2019 was the year I timidly began learning Italian with bits and pieces of Duolingo and YouTube, 2020 is the year I pushed myself to study it seriously and become fluent.
  4. In 2019, after purchasing my first personal computer, I switched from Linux Mint to Manjaro. In 2020, I turned my back on it to go back to Arch Linux and i3wm. I then lived a few happy months in qtile, but I decided to move to a more efficient program in October: dwm. Written in C, it is a perfect match. That same month of October has seen yet another major change: I switched over to Gentoo.

Some Honorable Mentions

  1. I reflected a lot on new technologies and what I should use or not. I am thinking more and more about removing or replacing some things from my life: I do not want a smartphone anymore, just a normal phone will do. I would also like to keep reducing my use of Google services.
  2. I read and re-read many books, among which:
    • The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Fire and Blood, By George R. R. Martin
    • Mistborn (2 trilogies), by Brandon Sanderson
    • Since the Layoffs, Iain Levison
    • The King killer Chronicles (first 2 books), by Patrick Rothfuss
    • The Jumper saga, by Stephen Gould
  3. I watched too many movies to count or cite them all here and signed up on Netflix to maintain this terrible behavior of mine and benefit from it, since I can actually learn a language with this almost-healthy addiction.
  4. I wrote the draft for my second book which will probably take me the next 10 years to finish.
  5. I recently purchased a Raspberry Pi 4B. I want to have my own home lab and this implies have several machines…

Failures?

Striving to live life to its fullest necessarily involves making a lot of mistakes. Only the man who does naught never fails. I believe it is only right to add to my list some facts about me which I evidently cannot see as successes. I have no regrets regarding them, nor do I consider them mistakes or failures. I merely did what I deemed necessary at those particular moment.

  • My trip to Italy did not last as long as I expected.
  • I have not been as physically active as the years which preceded. I went running from time to time and did some mountain biking and walking, but not as much as before.
  • I have not started riding horses again. It would rather be a dream I have given up on, for the time being, having other priorities which make more sense to me at the moment. You see, after believing for such a long time that riding was my life’s purpose, I did not quite expect that blogging would take so much space in its stead.
  • I have not yet found a stable job. I see it both as a success and a mistake, for it is a mistake I needed to make. After what I lived in 2019, I was not ready to commit to an employer again in September. Being an au-pair was the perfect situation and I hope I will be able to go back to Italy soon. I love that place and the people I have met there are truly amazing. I miss them.
  • I met a lot of people and lost touch with as many others.
  • I unpublished my first French book: A collection of short stories named Les arcanes obscures de l’imaginaire.

Conclusion

This is the new year, hence not a time for an uninspired sign-off. I might be the only one saying it, yet I will find comfort in the fact that the majority is always wrong:

2020 was an amazing year!

Despite everything that happened, I sincerely believe that this statement is true. It was a messy year, I can concede this much. It was quite as messy as any other year, however. The only difference that, this time, you are not living these events through the telling of a history teacher. I cannot wait and see what 2021 holds in store for all of us!

Finally, I have a tiny favor to ask of you:

Liberty | Curiosity | Generosity

Try and apply these words in your daily lives. Also, follow your heart. This way you cannot go wrong. This world is capable of great good. It only needs to realize it!

Cheers,

Phil.

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