I don’t even know where to begin.

Last year, I only posted five articles. I stopped working out. I stopped reading. The world had gone mad. I’d spent 99% of time in my apartment and a lot of that was spent playing video games again.

I’ve been dreading writing this update, but I have to do it to move on and get back into the flow of things. Back to feeling normal. So much has happened in 2020 and at the same time so little.

The year started off great. We just moved from Glendale, the city we’ve spent the past few years in, and moved to West Hollywood. It was a very different environment than Glendale, the city and the apartment itself, which took a bit to get used to. But I loved that I had a great selection of restaurants that I could walk to and I found a lovely coffee shop I could skateboard to where I’d have a latte and read or work.

It was the first time in my life I felt like I lived in a city and a pretty famous one at that. It was fun to feel a part of it.

My apartment with the Hollywood sign in the background
My apartment with the Hollywood sign in the background

I was bummed we couldn’t get a unit in our building that would give us a view of the Hollywood sign, let alone a view at all. It was expensive to live there and we could only get a unit that faced inside. It was dark for the most part and felt like I lived in a box.

Inside the West Hollywood apartment
Inside the West Hollywood apartment

And soon after we moved in, Covid-19 started worrying everyone.

We heard rumors of government issued stay-at-home orders and I was doubtful it was going to come to that. I still remember the day when we were watching the Newsom or Garcetti press conference where the lockdown order was confirmed. I remember being kind of excited actually because something big was happening.

The stock market went into a free fall and I remember trying to wake up at 6:00 AM every morning to catch the opening bell and I would watch the market move all day and listen to every Covid press conference. I learned about options from Reddit’s Wall Street Bets subreddit (sigh) and wrote an article about it to help me understand them better. This was the first thing that got in the way of my normal routine.

It was surreal going to Target and seeing everyone inside wearing a mask. All the food, toilet paper, and sanitizer were gone from the shelves. Then waiting in a 30 minute line to go to the grocery store became the new normal. Then it hit me - this wasn’t exciting and it is going to suck for a while.

Not a long time later, the protests for the death of Geroge Floyd began to happen all over the country and being in LA, there was one just down the block from us. I wasn’t on one of the main streets where it happened, but it was crazy to see all the stores and restaurants boarded up. One day police mobilized on our street in preparation of protestors.

Police preparing for a nearby BLM protest on my street
Police preparing for a nearby BLM protest on my street

At this point, discourse on politics and current events became insufferable and inescapable. It only continued further in this direction as Trump did more Trump things, the impeachment, and so on.

Okay, enough about the world.

Because we were staying home and not seeing anyone, we needed a distraction and something fun to do at home. I bought Animal Crossing for the Switch and it was a lot of fun transforming our island and upgrading our clothes and houses.

We spent a lot of time playing Animal Crossing
We spent a lot of time playing Animal Crossing
We spent a lot of time playing Animal Crossing

But Animal Crossing didn’t keep my attention as long as it did hers, so I ended up buying a PS4 again (for the third time) only to play Call of Duty Modern Warfare and Warzone. With this game, I fell in love with Call of Duty again and to this day I still spend the majority of my free time playing it. Another reason my normal routine was affected.

Around the beginning of May, I decided to try eating vegan and since then I’ve stuck with it. And now I can’t imagine going back. Why? Well that would take a while to explain and I plan to write an article about why.

For various reasons, we decided to end our lease in West Hollywood early and move to Orange County. We were able to afford a bigger, nicer apartment for a little less than we were paying before in an area much cleaner and safer. Oh yeah, it has a better view, too!

View from our new apartment in Orange County
View from our new apartment in Orange County

Although I’m not a big music person and wouldn’t normally mention what I’m listening to, I feel I have to make an exception. I came across Charli XCX and I’ve listened to these albums so much this year, especially the album How I’m Feeling Now, that they will forever define and bring me back to 2020.

ONE: How I'm Feeling Now. TWO: Charli. THREE: Pop 2
ONE: How I'm Feeling Now. TWO: Charli. THREE: Pop 2
ONE: How I'm Feeling Now. TWO: Charli. THREE: Pop 2
ONE: How I'm Feeling Now. TWO: Charli. THREE: Pop 2

For consistency’s sake, I should talk about my goals from 2019.

Goals From 2019

Read one book a month

I only read two books completely last year, I Will Teach You to Be Rich and The War on Normal People.

While a notes article is coming soon for The War on Normal People, I did manage to write one for I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi.

I tweeted it out and tagged Ramit and he ended up making his own tweet for it, too!

It drove quite a bit of traffic to the site and was definitely one of the coolest things to happen to my writing, ever.

The biggest reason why I didn’t read more was because I started reading The History of Western Philosophy and it’s a very long, dense book. It’s very interesting, but it takes a lot of time for me to read it because I need to look up philosophical concepts to attempt to understand everything. It’s quite exhausting to read it, but I do enjoy it. I’m about two-thirds of the way done.

Write one article a week

I barely wrote anything new in 2020 unfortunately. I’m always super proud and fulfilled when I publish something new, but it’s hard for me to get into a rhythm.

One of my favorite articles I’ve ever written was heavily updated in 2020, and that’s my Google Sheets Budget Template article.

Most of the work for the article was really the spreadsheet template behind it, which I completely revamped to look way better and be even easier to use. I’m really proud of it and I’ve received a lot of Twitter DMs from random people thanking me for it and letting me know how much it’s helped them.

Daily habits

Habit progress recorded in DONE
Habit progress recorded in DONE
Habit progress recorded in DONE
Habit progress recorded in DONE
Habit progress recorded in DONE

I just really fell off with everything.

Flossing has become such a stronghold in my routine, I don’t need to post about it anymore since I haven’t missed a day since I started.

I also didn’t update coding or the gym, which I did four and zero times respectively in 2020.

It feels bad to look at this and see that I have regressed in all of my habits, except doing finances. My new goal is to update my finances every morning and while I haven’t made it a habit, I did do it more often than I did in 2019.

Goals for 2021?

I don’t really have any goals I’d like to commit to (at least these types of goals) other than getting back into the above four habits than mean the most to me.

I’m ready to get back to normal and getting back into my daily routines will help me get there.

Other than that, that’s it for the 2020 update. No traveling. Nothing else exciting.