2011 has come and gone, but it won’t be forgotten. It was a year filled with many firsts, excitement, and emotions.
Professionally, I went through a lot of growth. I went from freelance consulting to joining Twilio, a truly disruptive company challenging the status quo in an industry that hasn’t seen much innovation over the last century. I found myself surrounded by incredibly talented and passionate people, and best of all, I was challenged.
In 2011 I watched a lot of friends move away to chase dreams and take the next step in their lives, but in the wake of it all, I also made a lot of new friends. Some say that friends will come and go, but I consider myself blessed to have so many close friends that I know will always be there for me, whether they are down the street or across the country.
When I was happy, I raged. When I was sad, I raged. When I was bored, I raged. And when I just felt like getting wasted and making bad decisions, I raged. If I could pick one standout moment that sums up The Year of the Rager, it would be my One Night Only in Las Vegas – flew to Las Vegas, no hotel or luggage, partied all night long (literally) at Marquee with an epic 6 hour set by Kaskade, then flew back in the morning and slept for 13 hours straight.
I saw a lot of amazing acts in 2011: Kaskade, Classixx, Fake Blood, Bag Raiders, Jessica 6, T.E.E.D., Holy Ghost!, M83, Shiny Toy Guns, Little Boots, A-Trak, The Tenderlions, Laidback Luke, Dizzee Rascal, Cut Copy, Chromeo, and Empire of the Sun, among others. Some of my favorite albums that got released: Kaskade – Fire & Ice, M83 – Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, The Roots – Undun, Jessie J – Who You Are, Little Dragon – Ritual Union, Young the Giant (self titled), Washed Out – Within and Without, Toro Y Moi – Underneath the Pine, Cults (self titled), Nero – Welcome Reality, and Bon Iver (self titled).
I read more in 2011 than ever before, and it was 100% due to having a Kindle and Twilio giving us a monthly allowance to spend on books. My favorite reads:
- Fiction: A Song of Ice and Fire series (A Game of Thrones), The Magicians and its sequel The Magician King, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, The Hunger Games trilogy, World War Z, and Snow Crash
- Non-fiction: The Design of Everyday Things, Influence, Rework, The Lean Startup, Poke the Box, Made to Stick, The Lost City of Z, and The Zombie Survival Guide (yes I consider it non-fiction)
In 2011 I was lucky enough to do a lot of traveling, for both business and pleasure, and oftentimes it was hard to distinguish between the two. The regular visits were all there, like New York City, Las Vegas, and San Diego, but I also visited some American cities for the first time, like Austin, Chicago, and Des Moines. The main travel highlight, though, was my summer vacation in Thailand. It was an incredible experience, both stimulating and eye opening. It’s a beautiful country with breathtaking locales and warm smiles. I look forward to the day I can go back and do it all over again.
The most important people in my life were brought even closer, forever changed by a turn of events. Life will never be the same for us, but one thing will never change, and that’s the strength of our family bond.
I can only describe 2011 with one word: polarizing. A year filled with many positives for me personally, all rendered insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
If there is anything I learned in 2011, it’s to never take anything for granted. Not even the tiniest of things, nothing. From something as simple as the food on your plate to the most important gift of all – the gift of health.
Here’s to remembering 2011 and making 2012 a year to never forget.