tarot cards, tech comedy, tourist conundrum
In 2023, I had the fortune to visit the beautiful city of New Orleans. There I decided to test my skepticism of fortune tellers and visited not one, but two psychics in the same afternoon. Both psychics told me that I needed to sleep more, the second psychic emphatically pointing to the bed she spotted in my tea leaves.
Needless to say, I’ve failed my annual resolution of fixing my sleeping schedule multiple years in a row. (I didn’t need two fortune tellers to tell me that.) However, a cool moment was when the first psychic flipped over her glittery purple tarot cards and told me that I'm currently in a transitional period of my life.
From graduating, to starting a new job in a new city, to achieving the adult milestone of learning how expensive physical therapy is even after health insurance, 2023 was a monumental year of transitions for me. Here’s a review of my year:
Senior Spring Shenanigans
Book x boba: In February, I had a blast giving a book talk at UPenn’s Venture Lab. What made this talk way more fun than any other talks I’ve given is that it was also accompanied by free boba for everyone! Thank you UPenn and Bobaface for making this happen.
Tech comedy show: In April, I produced and performed at a tech comedy show named “GPT-4 Made Me Do It” featuring terrific student comics from Harvard and MIT. Thank you to everyone who performed, supported, and the 200+ of you who came and gave this very odd show a shot. (Maybe I should do this again in NYC?)
Graduation: I (finally) graduated! I find myself unable to truly encapsulate the profound depth of experiences and emotions of my time at Harvard — I loved my four years there and am immeasurably grateful to every person, every conversation, and every moment shared on campus. (Special thank you to the School of Engineering for doing a great job recapping my college years.)
Adult Girl Fall
Building at Warp speed: In August, I joined Warp (then a 30-person startup) as a software engineer. Warp is building a modern and collaborative command-line terminal, which I was especially excited to work on given that I had used Warp for a long time prior to joining the (incredible!) team.
New York: I also moved to Brooklyn, where outside of work I spend my time being a tourist in my own city (👋 CLRS cover at the Whitney), lotterying for Broadway shows (I’ve won 9 lottery/rush tickets this fall!), playing tennis, and continuing to perform standup comedy.
Unfortunately, this year I wasn’t as diligent as I was in 2021 and 2022 tracking random analytics of my life (sorry!). However, there is ONE stat I didn’t forget 🧋... Here’s a year-to-year comparison at the one stat you all have historically been the most invested in:
Instead, I thought I’d share an incomplete list of things that I enjoyed in 2023:
Books that will stay with me for a long time:
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
Babel by R.F. Kuang
How Do You Live? by Genzaburo Yoshino (which inspired the recent Studio Ghibli film The Boy and the Heron)
Books I really enjoyed reading:
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith (scifi poetry collection)
Calypso by David Sedaris (essay collection)
The Truman Show (1998) - this movie walked so Barbie (2023) could run
Little Women (2019) - I still think about Florence Pugh’s “I want to be great or nothing”
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023) - my only regret is watching this movie on an 11-inch iPad rather than a screen of literally any larger size
Elemental (2023) - the best Pixar movie in a long time
Get Out (2017) - pure writing brilliance
Bottoms (2023) - also writing brilliance, in a completely different way
Modern Family (2009-2020)
Poker Face (2023-)
Only Murders in the Building (2021-)
Here We Are (Off-Broadway: The Shed)
Hadestown (Broadway: Walter Kerr Theatre)
I Can Get It For You Wholesale (Off-Broadway: Lynn F. Angelson Theater)
Merrily We Roll Along (Broadway: Hudson Theatre)
White House Princess (Harvard: Agassiz Theatre)
Bonus: Musical about Star Wars (Off-Broadway: AMT Theater) - please listen to this incredible 6-minute prequels recap x Hamilton parody
Rectangle - window managing app
Obsidian - connection-based notetaking software I use for everything (it has entirely replaced Notion, Google Keep, etc for me), including writing my standup sets and syncing all my Kindle highlights
(… shameful but truthful plug for Warp? it’s free for any of you engineers/devs/CS students out there! and now you know who to report bugs to )
If 2023’s theme was transition, 2024’s will be intention. I want to be more intentional with how I use my time. I want to be more intentional in maintaining and growing friendships, relationships, and connections. I want to be more intentional in my learning and mastery journey, both as an engineer and an artist. (As a preview, I’ll be performing standup at Gotham Comedy Club in early 2024, which is truly crazy to fathom!)
I’m excited to see how 2024 unfolds. As per tradition, I leave you with this parting note:
If you have 30 seconds to spare, I’d love if you could reply this email (or in the comments) with a quick note about where you are in the world and how you’re doing.
Happy new year everyone, and may the Force be with you in 2024!
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