I started this blog on my 30th birthday. Nearly a year later, I thought an update is in order. Unfortunately, I’m busy moving, so I’m making this post early. I know I could schedule this post to go up on July 30, but I think this way is easier for me.

I’ve had a busy year. My blog posts, like all my old blogs, have been infrequent. Still, I’ll keep it up. Some highlights of this past year:

  • I had an unusual amount of travel over the year (Japan, U.S., Brazil, and Australia). My travel map has extended to Asia and South America, although there are plenty of places I have yet to go.
  • I was on the academic job market, which is always a barrel of fun. I had some low points in that process, but I ended up landing an awesome job back in the U.S.
  • I had a first-author JPSP publication accepted and published in the last year.
  • I ran my first race ever (5.7 km) a few weeks ago, which is something that I would not have ever expected a year ago. I might write about this in more detail later, but ultimately that particular achievement was part of a long process throughout this year, which is still ongoing.
    • Side note: For those wondering about my music selection for the race, I ended up listening to selected tracks from the musicial, Hamilton (Ham4Run playlist on Spotify). Warning: “Guns and Ships” might throw you off your pace, but it is awesome to have toward the end of a race.

race pic

  • I’ve met some amazing people from all over the world this year. I met some cool people at work conferences this year, as well as made friends from vacation or at the gym.
  • I made sure to set aside some time to read and relax, mostly with audiobooks. Not sure about my actual total…I know I read around a dozen or so books over the year, which isn’t too bad considering how busy this year was. I also listen to a lot of podcasts and some Great Courses on Audible, which have been nice outside-of-work learning stuff.

Since July 2016, world events and politics have not been the best. On a personal level, I’ve had a challenging, but ultimately a good year. And to cap it off, I’ll end my 7 years as an expat and return back to the U.S.

Like previous birthdays (see this post from last year), I made a new music mix for my birthday: Just Make a Wish: 31 Flavors Edition. It is an odd and short mix, but it reflects my mood. The first half highlights my travels over the year, starting with the New Zealand Topdeck tour song from last July (shortly before my birthday), and ending with the Australia Topdeck tour song from May. The rest is a  combination of anticipation and melancholy, which I think is just all my mixed feelings about moving. While I’m thrilled to be going back to the U.S., I am sad about leaving Australia, too. It is natural to be a mix of emotions. Toss a birthday into the mix, and you might be able to get my weird mood. I know without a doubt that I’ll be back to Australia in the  future, but I definitely will miss it here.

Anyways, feel free to check out the new birthday playlist below:

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