Tapestry

It would be a lie to say I did not write at all in 2017. I got an op-ed published about biking which has lead to some cool developments. I’ve put together a few things for our nascent Grow The Richmond Medium page, and produced a lot of other content related to that. I’m still writing those Suspicious Activity Reports, and to say that Stripe is a document-heavy place would be…an understatement. But I haven’t just written for me, or for this space, or with a somewhat less intentional purpose than getting some thoughts out. And I still pay for the space. And it’s always a good way for me to organize my thoughts. But 2017 was a down year in that regard.

Why? Some of that other writing should explain it. I have a new job which demands and deserves a bit more of my energy. I joined a freaking board (I guess I’m an adult now?). I am running to join the San Francisco Bike Coalition board as well. YIMBY has been a wild ride, and helping to build up Grow The Richmond has been really rewarding. Getting to really know all those folks has been awesome. It’s better doing the work with friends. A lot of 2017 was about being better, and putting that work in to actually do it. If I have some small amount of influence I can exert to make things better, then I should oblige and do just that. In a tough year on the aggregate, I remain hopeful; if good folks keep getting involved, we can ultimately make things better.

Still, none of that is an excuse for not doing this. Which isn’t to say I’m big in New Year’s resolutions and I’m not gonna say I will do x number of posts. I’ve mused about the arbitrary nature of this day before and probably will again some day. But I’d say the same: none of that is an excuse to not try to be better, to not get back to the things you miss and value, or to tear down anyone trying to do that.

I do find myself doing things I value a lot, with new and old friends. But I still experience many occasions where I wonder about all the shows I’ve binged recently or why I got that last drink. Why am I doing the things I am doing? How intentional am I being? It’s a great time to think about some of the things you just do because you started doing them and ask why. Life is giving you this arbitrary moment. So take it.

Me? I’m gonna keep doing what I’ve been doing. Every day is a great occasion to honestly ask yourself who you are, who you want to be, and who you used to be. You can’t control who you were, but you can pick up the good threads of that person and keep lacing them through who you are now and in the future. Maybe you lost hold of a few over the years that you’d like to pick up again. I know I have.

So pick them up. Or let go of the ones you are tired of holding, the ones which are no longer you. My biking was way down last year, my running almost non-existent in the second half of the year. If they are both important things which center me, how do I weave them back in?

Physically taking care of myself is only one aspect, though. How do I have more productive conversations about how to make biking better in San Francisco? Or work to create a more equitable city for current and future residents? Probably not by dunk-tweeting. How do I avoid getting caught up in a statement and turning whatever it makes me feel into something useful instead of something that’s just gonna get a bunch of likes? How do I become that person, or more frequently be that person?

I don’t know. I don’t think there are any secrets, though. There’s no shame in not knowing. In fact I think the opposite. There’s a lot of strength recognizing what you don’t know and figuring out what you want to do to address that. Most of the time, it’s just doing the work. So as I sit on the cusp of a new year, I am working to figure out what threads to keep, which ones to discard, which ones to pick up again.

Who will we be in 2018? Let’s find out.

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