After seeing another wave of "Your Year in Review" posts across the internet this last month and seeing a few personal blogs post similar items, I realized this would actually be a great way to summarize and track my year-over-year progress, learning, and achievements.
So, here it is, my first annual new year's post. Yes, it's about 3 weeks late. Perhaps I like arriving fashionably late.
The most obvious change this last year was my change in employers. I previously worked for a life insurance company as a Senior IT Internal Auditor and focused on a large number of items (this was definitely a jack-of-all-trades role): audits, consulting projects, teaching and advising on risk, data analysis/visualization/reporting, managing our team's security, and enabling the team to innovate through data, process improvement, and technology upgrades.
As of September 2021, I started working for one of the Big 4 accounting firms and one of the largest professional services networks in the world. I am working as a Senior Technology Risk Consultant and focusing on providing audit, consulting, and internal audit services to various clients (mostly in the financial services and insurance industries). This includes things like SOX and SOC 1-3 audits, supporting internal audit department projects, and consulting on things like IAM, SAP, cloud, etc.
I can't mention my career without mentioning that I finally passed the CISA exam. I won't go into much detail here, since I wrote a post about it already. However, this was probably my biggest achievements of the year outside of work since my hobbies have taken a back seat in the last year.
If you're familiar with me or my blog, you know that my life revolves around technology. Almost all of my hobbies involve technology, my career involves it, my media is focused on technology, etc.
First, I tested out macOS and ended up purchasing a Macbook Pro 2019 (16") as my main machine. I still own my custom desktop that dual-boots Windows for gaming and Linux for everything else, but I find myself mostly swtiching Windows/Xbox for gaming and macOS for everything else.
I also purchased a Sony α7 III and have been enjoying it immensely. While the pandemic means that I've been inside my apartment for about 2 years now, I have been able to attend a wedding and few holidays to test my camera. I've been using the camera to capture both standard and RAW images and using Luminar 4/AI as post-processing tools to play with my photos. Since I don't sell or publish my photos anywhere, I have loved the quality of the equipment and software I chose.
I also upgraded my apartment with a Raspberry Pi4 running Home Assistant to automate and control my smart devices. This includes things like Philips light bulbs, security cameras, Litter Robot, Apple TVs, Xbox Series X, fish tanks, and a smart plug that controls and measures the power of my home lab. I'm sure I'm forgetting something here.
Take a look at an example of the power monitor below. This kind of information and control is fun for me and I can't wait to move into a house where I can customize everything I want - especially solar power and HVAC control.
I've never mentioned my pets on my website, but I currently own two cats. I adopted my first cat, Luna, in 2018 and just adopted my newest kitten, Atlas, in 2021. Luna has always been a little skittish, but relaxed. However, Atlas is a Tasmanian devil and likes to aggravate Luna and cause general chaos around the apartment every day. They get along, but it usually descends into Tom and Jerry levels of comedic play fighting eventually.
Since I don't use any of the normal streaming platforms (except for music, where I use Apple Music), I am creating my own version of "Your Year in Review" through my Plex statistics. Feel free to judge me all you want, I love this stuff.
However, I will say that the movie ranking is weird because I really don't watch movies anymore so my "top" movies is really just a list of any movie I watched more than once.
My Five Top-Played Movies
My Five Top-Played TV Shows
The Office was really close to #5 with 133 plays but I went on a crazy Fresh Prince binge during December and jumped that show up to #5 right at the end of the year.
For the next section, I split my music into two lists: Plex and Apple Music. As you'll be able to tell, I usually listen to the bootleg boy as main nighttime listening artist (basically every single night), but I listen to almost everything else on Apple Music. The other artists listed on my Plex list are probably from early 2021 when I first transitioned to Apple Music.
My Five Top-Played Artists (Plex)
My Top Ten Songs (Apple Music)
This is the part I'm most excited about - having no set plans or goals for now. I've spent my entire life to this point (well, ages 5-24) focused on a goal: childhood schooling, university, finding a career, certifications, etc. I'm now at a point where I don't need that constant push to improve, innovate, and learn every single day.
I am most definitely looking forward to being able to soak up the moment and relax. My inner peace comes from being able to stop and look around me, observing other people, my environment, the things I love, and the things I want to experience for the first time.
I never thought I'd say it at such a young age, especially coming from a hard-working family that never had a lot, but I truly feel no stress in my life. All things come with time and for the moment, I am content with my situation.
I had a lot of thoughts while wrapping this post up but they were mostly clichés, so I'll spare you that pain and suffering. I wouldn't do the "wise old man" routine justice; I'll leave that to Uncle Iroh.