Listicles are popular this time of year (OK, when aren’t they popular?). So I thought I’d make one off the top of my head right now. 

Since it’s near the end of the year, I think I’m going to list things that seem like they’re new in my head vs. 1 year ago. This is completely unscientific, it is part of my Ian3.0 project (I feel I’ve made it to Ian2.9.3 as of now— my definition of Ian3.0 is a major life transition like a new job, new career path, something on that scale). With that preface, here we go. 

1. I spent money this last year. On myself— for improvement (OK, and some purely luxury stuff). That’s pretty new.

2. I wrote nearly every day this last year. Even though it was only 5-10 minutes on some days, I did something nearly every day. 

3. I started reading fiction again. Game of Thrones is a lot of fun. 

4. I pushed my comfort zone by saying yes to things that I would have easily said no to a year ago. 

5. I vacationed in a city I was not very familiar with this year (San Francisco). 

6. I ran a half marathon! I did something I formerly thought out of my reach mostly because I simply didn’t want to run that far.

7. I really was more social this year; I talked to a lot more people (a lot of it on Twitter, I admit, but more in person too). 

8. I learned that I am still trying to stay small in my life; not getting too ambitious because I am still afraid of the world in some ways. But realizing just how strong that urge is is the first step to defeating it! 

9. Some of my best blog posts ever were written this year. I know it’s all vaguely positive life-coachy kind of stuff, but I really strive to find only those voices who resonate with me. The minute I hear ‘astrology’ I revolt! And smack it down. (Meditate people!). 

10. I truly did get a handle on how to tame perfectionism. I still that streak in me, but it’s less than it was…I can actually do some things now and if they’re not perfect, that’s OK; growth mindset people! 

11. I learned statistics quite a bit better than I did and even started learning R. Want to continue on this track in new year. Still pretty green when it comes to this. 

12. Even though I still haven’t told a lot of people, I’m 99% sure I want to do something different than being an academic scientist. Science adjacent somehow— I will always love science but the academic career track has started to feel more like I’m pursuing it for others, not myself. That does not mean I know what I want to do next, but I’m open to ideas and will keep exploring. 

13. This was a year where I tried stuff. I asked whether something had to be the way it was and realized there are things that I could change about my world. Plant a lot of seeds and see which ones grow. Climb the ones that do sprout into large plants.

14. I trust myself more than I did. I am going to continue to try a lot more new things. 

Here’s to a 2014 where I take more (calculated/educated) risks and achieve my goal of announcing the arrival of Ian3.0. My feeling is like I’ve been frozen in a glacier that’s melted enough for me to move forward a bit more. 

Here’s to all of us trying to find our way making progress towards that goal in 2014,




Author: Ian Street

Ian is a plant scientist and science writer relating stories of plant science and scientists on his blog, The Quiet Branches as well as other outlets. You can find him on Twitter @IHStreet.

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