On New Years Eve, from the comfort of my couch, I watched the “Good Riddance 2020” Pink Martini streaming event on OPB. 2021 had felt as though it was taking its own sweet time to arrive, and you could feel the anticipatory energy of people waiting to countdown to midnight. While watching Thomas Lauderdale play barefoot from his downtown Portland loft, I thought about my husband, a drummer. He spent New Years Eve at one of his only gigs of the year, masked, encased in two layers of plexiglass, and everyone on stage spaced ten feet apart. His passion for playing made the risk ‘worth it’ for him.
In that moment, I reflected on how privileged I have been this year. 2020 was the year I started working full time at Metal Toad and was able to contribute to a variety of interesting projects and collaborate with talented and fun people from the safety of my home. It was the year I began teaching the UX/UI Bootcamp at my alma mater, virtually preparing people who are about to begin their UX careers in a virtual, remote world. I was given the opportunity to earn certifications through the Interaction Design Foundation and gained the confidence to reach out to industry leaders like Frank Spillers.
Although this year had its challenges, it’s important to remember that the year did indeed still balance accomplishments and learning opportunities. On to 2021 we go.