2015 is nearly over. The winter solstice has passed, the days are getting longer, and the New Year according to the Gregorian calendar is nigh. And what would the New Year be without some reflection on the past 52 weeks?
This was an interesting year for me in that it was filled with some pretty remarkable failures, yet looking back, the year feels like anything but a failure. I had excellent times with friends (old and new) and family, learned and grew an incredible amount, saw interesting parts of the world I'd never been to, and accomplished at least a few things I'm proud of.
The year started off inauspiciously as progress with Levate, mine and Ethan's young startup, was at a standstill. In the meantime I went on a disastrous three month trip across Europe. After that, I took a job in Bangladesh with a local company there that, to put it briefly, went horridly.
Yet eventually the startup got funded, I turned the disastrous Euro-adventure into a new creative project, and travelling to Bangladesh allowed me to meet and get to know people and places I'd not have had the opportunity to see otherwise. Call it New Year's optimism, but what seemed like failure was really just part learning experience, part waiting game, and all entertainment (if only to be able to laugh at my mistakes in hindsight).
And there was plenty more for me to be thankful for. So in no particular order, here are some of my favorite things about this past year.
Thanks also to all the friends and family who have vastly enriched my life. Ana, Jessie, Madison, Mom, Dad, Lisa, Katsuya, Justin, Zach, Ethan, Michael, Ryan, Matt, Andrew, Blanca, Tristan, Eva, Elena, Nail, Su, Milad, Adrien, Pierre, Maha, Susan, Margherita, Laura, Leonardo, Saideed, Rhiday, and all the rest I'm leaving off without meaning to.
It's saddening to see both how so many college friendships have faded since I graduated in 2013 and how difficult it is to find truly meaningful friendships when one no longer has social institutions like universities or work environments to help. One of my goals in 2016 is to show my appreciation more often and more meaningfully to the friends in my life and to more consciously seek out new friendships.
Beyond that, I want to really dive deep into my writing and make that a regular, central part of my day-to-day life and work. I'm hoping to go on one big adventure early next year, then come back to Oklahoma to move our startup forward with Ethan right around the time our product, the wheelchair lift, will be ready to bring to market.
I'm excited about 2016. I feel focused and motivated to see my current projects and plans through in a way that I've never felt before, as I've typically been one to bounce around from idea to idea without ever finishing much. It took a lot of experimenting, trial and error, and exploration but I've found inspiring work that I enjoy and, hopefully, the maturity and experience necessary to make the most of those opportunities.
To a most excellent New Year,
Dillon Dakota Carroll
...sees much and knows much