Hello 2023!

Guess what?! Another one of those blog posts!

Table of Contents:

Yes. I have also written one of those annual-conclusion posts (thank you for reading <3). As is the case with everything I write here, it serves primarily a documenting function, with the optional bonus of maybe even adding some value to whoever reads it.

Recapping 2022 and projecting the near future feels extra appropriate — even necessary — this time, because 2022 has been a very big year for me personally.

In 2022, I started a new position as a UI Engineer and Product Designer at Lean Coders. This was a somewhat radical shift in many ways for me. I went from continuous development on a single product in a set team to working on a variety of different projects and clients, sometimes in a team, sometimes on my own. Lean Coders is also a remote-first company. We have offices, but I've now adopted a fully remote work-life balance that I am very happy with. I am enjoying the benefits of working from home, which I never thought would happen, but then again, life had different plans.

It was at that time that I also decided to leave behind any aspirations for achievement in design. While I am still a designer, I am not pursuing any goals in that discipline any longer. This specific part of the industry has changed too much for me to feel aligned with any longer, and so have I. Focusing more on development has brought a sense of play and freedom into my professional life that I once felt with design. I am still very, very happy with that decision!

In November, I also assumed a new position at Lean Coders as a technology evangelist. We're still figuring out exactly what that will mean for the company and for myself, but it will inevitably mean that I'll be focusing my efforts on producing content and on becoming more accessible as a public figure. Or, well, becoming a public persona to start with!

Beyond Tellerrand Düsseldorf

Section titled Beyond Tellerrand Düsseldorf

I attended BTConf in Düsseldorf! While this conference is always well organized and filled with fantastic speakers, it was especially special to me because I got to meet the fantastic Stephanie Eckles in person. We were both co-organizers of the Eleventy Meetup at the time and had had some contact over the previous year.So meeting in person for the first time was a great opportunity that I didn't want to miss.

I had some major breakthroughs in my personal life this year. This marked a major paradigm shift in my life. Without going into too much detail, I finally understood all the strange connections between my eating disorder, attachment trauma, and my childhood and how they manifested in my daily life. For the first time in a long time, I felt that a window had opened, that if I were just courageous, I could take advantage of it and manifest some long-awaited changes—and I did, and it worked!

As a psychosocial counsellor (in training, under supervision), I am obviously a big proponent of psychotherapy as a vehicle for personal growth. And for these processes, therapy was an invaluable instrument—a tool that accelerated them. As part of this, my relationship to food changed severely, which had always been a big topic as I had been living with an eating disorder since I was 11. This year, I am happy to report that not only haven't I had any eating disorder-related adverse events, but I also have been able to let go of its compensatory function in my life. As a result, I started to lose weight, and I found great joy in exploring hiking and eventually running.

Yes! This has been a life-changing experience. Not only because I was able to test some of the tools I am using in my work as a psychosocial counsellor but also because it supported me in my weight loss journey, which is truly a journey toward more congruence.

My very first run was on the 7th of August, 2022. It lasted for 18 minutes and 46 seconds. I took many walking breaks, and I lasted for 800 meters. I weighed 145  kg, and I had a resting heart rate of 90 bpm. Since then, I missed a run once because I was having a cold. Ever since, I've been running at least three times a week, slowly increasing volume and intensity.

As of writing this, my longest run is 18,93 km, which happened on the 9th of January, 2023. I ran for 2 hours, 41 minutes, and 32 seconds with no walking breaks needed. I am 117.4 kg heavy now. Meaning that I have lost 27.6 kg in 5 months. My resting heart rate averages around 54 bpm now.

Strava reports that I have run 425 kilometers since I started. I am slow, but that doesn't matter to me yet. I have taken a very, very slow approach to building up my running habit, which I'm going to go into detail in a separate post. My top priority was to run safely and injury-free. So after six weeks of running, I hired a professional trainer, Verena Ullmann. I needed to make sure that as I am learning this sport, I am doing it the right way. I got valuable insights and adjustments for my training plan from her. Just having a professional that you can run your questions by is so valuable. It gives me so much confidence and makes me feel like I am not alone on this fitness journey and that someone has my back.

Next year, I have an interim goal of running a half marathon. But I don't want to stop there. In total, if I just keep my current running volume, it should be easy for me to log 1400 km of running next year. But I'd rather keep it small and achievable. So I am setting a goal of 750 km next year, in total. in hopes of exceeding it! I also want to improve my time for the 5K distance. I attended the Vienna Night Run with Lean Coders in 2022, and it took me 43 minutes and 56 seconds. This year, I would like to run that distance in that race under 40 minutes, again in hopes of exceeding it.

I am also looking to keep losing weight. Though I gotta rephrase that because to me, it's not about reducing something; it's about increasing something—the feeling of congruence between my body and myself. I am planning to get to 95 kg, also here, with the hopes of exceeding it. But even if I get just near that, I'll be very happy.

As part of my new role as technology evangelist, I am going to start speaking at events. I have a lot of stuff to share. I already had the opportunity to speak at the Web Zürich Meetup, which was a lot of fun! But it was my first real public speaking gig, meaning I have lots of potential to improve. And next year, I am planning to do so!

In just a few weeks, I am also having my final exam for my psychosocial counselling studies. It has been two and a half years, and I am really excited to finish it. This has significantly impacted the way that I live my life. And as I am now an aspiring "Systemic"—as in, someone who practices systemic counselling or therapy—that's how they call themselves, I found some really unexpected ways to combine my somewhat superficial but still interesting studies of epistemological systems theory, constructivism, and cybernetics with my experience in design. I've just recently alluded to this specific connection in a [toot])(https://indieweb.social/@nachtfunke/109592074735526394).

This topic has been circling in my mind since 2020, ever since I started diving into systemic counselling. And I want to make 2023 the year that I finally tackle it. And in the end, hopefully, I will have made something to share that maybe someone else gets some value out of.

There is so much else I want to do in 2023. I am looking to redesign helloyes.dev. I've gotten a lot of compliments since the website went live, but I have started to dislike it a lot, though I will keep the branding! There are also some issues that some visitors have luckily made me aware of, but I never got around to fixing them because I never set aside dedicated time to work on this website. I want to change that in 2023.

The most important thing for next year will be to finally write down some of the articles I've been procrastinating on. I am hoping they'll get some traction in the community because all of them are topics that are not often talked about.

So really, that's it! I didn't include some of my personal goals, as they are, well, personal. I'm excitedly tackling 2023!