Into the New Year Shenanigans

In 2014, I scored an engineering internship, graduated with two degrees, and conquered an entire marathon. Pretty good if you ask me.

This year makes those previous amazing feats look like nothing. Here’s what happened this year, in chronological order (with lots of Smash, haha):

  • Self-prepared for software interviews and had it all pay off in merely the first month of the year as I landed my current job in San Diego,
  • Met and became great friends (and rivals) in person with my biggest Smash inspiration,
  • Became truly grateful for all the friends and family I have in my life, as I was treated with such candor and even a big fat Wii U as a farewell gift as I left for the mainland,
  • Traveled alone for the first time as I explored San Francisco without much of a plan but with so many spontaneously exciting decisions,
  • Started my software engineering career in Carlsbad, having learned a LOT about the industry, the processes, the mindsets, and pretty much everything a new grad engineer could ever learn (while still being able to help coworkers who have been in the industry for over a decade, or two!),
  • Made friends outside of work in San Diego through none other than Smash,
  • Constantly explored and am still exploring the indefinite depths of San Diego and Los Angeles while living on my own for the first time,
  • Started my Smash career throughout the US in none other than Las Vegas, ranking 65th out of almost 2000 players,
  • Made a T-shirt design specifically for me to wear for that tournament in Vegas and having it sold nationwide,
  • Soaked in the summer festivities of the mainland with Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions, Idina Menzel, Lindsey Stirling, Pentatonix, and Kelly Clarkson,
  • Made a name for myself as a Smasher in New Orleans as I made third in my pool while exploring the Big Easy; getting fat upon beignets, oysters, gumbo, and po-boys; and experiencing the world of Jazz and Mardi Gras,
  • Booked a spontaneous solo trip to Chicago for no reason during the Thanksgiving weekend, suffering through 30-mph winds, fell in awe with the McDonald’s parade and its enormous floats with mixed cultures, checking out the amazing architecture and parks, again making a name for myself as a Smasher at a weekly local tournament, and even sharing a deep-dish pizza meal with the hopeful homeless,
  • Rode upon the Amtrak for an entire 42 hours across the entire United States through eight states, making connections with people from literally all over the country, dining in with strangers, and viewing amazing scenery for hours from the winter wonderland of Colorado to the dry deserts and sculpturesque valleys of New Mexico,
  • Was welcomed back to Hawaii for the holidays with the most amazing reactions from family and friends,
  • Conquered by the end of the year exactly 25 non-fiction books (while slacking on these book-of-the-weeks that I intended on this blog, whoops) that helped me grow so much as an engineer, a designer, an investor, and especially as an individual,
  • Formed a steady habit of going to the gym at least 4 times a week with running and cycling, dropping about 15 pounds and for the first time ever growing some kind of ab definition,
  • And after a year from traveling and meeting people from around the world to living on my own and away from family, I’ve come to truly appreciate everything that I have and don’t have, to be able to befriend anyone and everyone that comes my way, to treasure and admire every story I hear from every individual I meet.

Not bad at all. What I’m expecting out of 2016 at the minimum:

  • Attend more out-of-state Smash tournaments, aiming for at least once every two months? Become nationally known through my improving skill,
  • Constantly learn in my software engineering career, questioning everything and never losing my curiosity on how to improve as a programmer,
  • Conquer a total of 50 books this year and keep that habit going,
  • Prepare myself for another marathon in June,
  • Keep the habit of going to the gym at least four times a week,
  • And make lasting connections in San Diego outside of work and Smash.

Let’s make it happen, folks. This year is ours to win.


Author: Kevin Who

Developer. Designer. Smasher. Reader. Creator.

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