Reflections on My 26th Year

It's my birthday, so this is a short post

On my birthday I tend to take the day off and reflect on the past year. This year, because I started a new job so recently and I’m having a good time with it, I won’t be taking the day off. But I’ll still reflect publicly on things.

2020 was terrible in all the ways everyone knows already, but on a personal level it went well for me. Since my last birthday I changed jobs twice, mostly emerged from lockdown, paid off tens of thousands of dollars of debt, built a stronger relationship with my girlfriend, and—just yesterday—bought a new car.1

Some general thoughts on how things went this year:

  • I’m very grateful to live in a red state. As I mentioned last week, I’m glad that getting my COVID vaccine was sufficient to return to a more normal social existence in my city. I don’t think that’s nearly as much the case in many blue states. In general I’ve adopted a much more libertarian attitude in the last year, largely in response to the many failings of the various COVID responses in the western world. At the same time I’m very grateful that unemployment benefits were expanded so much and the government greatly dampened what would’ve been an economic catastrophe. Overall, I’m glad I didn’t leave Texas.

  • I unsubscribed from the New York Times, The Economist and others. In the past I’ve been an inconsistent but loyal reader of The Economist, and generally relied on the New York Times to inform me about major events. I no longer do this and have replaced these with Twitter and various other Substack publications. I broadly explain why in this post. It’s gone well.

  • I’m excited about this Substack project. Although one of my first posts about my vaccination experience remains the most popular, I’ve gained enough subscribers to be consistently read and get some email feedback. I’m grateful to all of you! I’m excited to keep writing on epistemology and increasingly get into crypto-economics.

  • My personal life has completely changed. More on this after another year of hindsight, but being unable to see much of anyone for a year damaged my social life. I’m sure I’m not remotely alone in this. I’m eager to fly around and see everyone I wish I could’ve seen this past year—especially my family.

This week my primary project is to finish a reread of Ramit Sethi’s book. I think it’s time for me to reassess my financial planning in the face of a different world, an improved crypto-economy, and a different housing market. I’m interested to write that up.

Next week my project will be writing and releasing a list of predictions here as mentioned last week.

A note: I’ll be taking this Friday off from writing—and today almost counts considering how short and simple this post is, so I’m basically taking the week off. I’ll resume normal content next Wednesday, April 28.

Have a good week, everyone!

1

A digression: for several weeks I was looking at more expensive cars (as the hedonic treadmill dictates), but ultimately settled on a comparatively modest Hyundai Venue. It’s the fourth Hyundai I’ve driven and they’ve really stepped their game up. I also had a great time at the dealership, and I know I have at least one new reader who works there—thanks for the car, Paul!