Decade Reflection

I started this blog just shy of ten years ago shortly after I moved to South Korea.  For me, the decade closely coincided with my 20s (22 – 32). I don’t update this personal blog anymore and instead journal privately.

2010 – Lived in the house I grew up in, then Atlanta with my sister for the summer, then moved to South Korea in August. I got really into DJing this year and was a valet at a strip club amongst other places. Highlights of the year: Threw two raves (600 people, and 1300 people attendance). Rode freight trains with hobos for a stint in the summer. Moved to South Korea by September and met two lifelong friends I still share to this day.

2011 – Living in South Korea for most of the year English Teaching. Visited Japan.Threw events regularly at a “lounge” there on the weekends called KUSH. Sporadically produced music, DJ’ed in Seoul for a big dnb event, had multiple “trips” to Busan. Social life and exploring South Korea was a huge part of this year. I eventually left in October of the year to live with my Mom in Vietnam and this was rough from going to mr. popular to no friends. Left Ho Chi Minh and traveled through Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, and finally back to Vietnam to buy a motorcycle and meet up with one of my Korean friends. Rode through Vietnam and Laos. Strong feeling of aimlessness and confusion over “traveling” vs “progressing” in my life goals.

2012 – Finished journey through Laos and Vietnam in early part of the year. Went to Cambodia and knew the aimless travel wasn’t cutting it anymore. Bought a flight to Tokyo to take another stab at DJing while supporting myself with English teaching. Moved there in Feb, made another lifelong friend, and DJ’ed quite regularly…however, it wasn’t earning me money, I wasn’t producing music, and English teaching quickly was becoming painful and even soul crushing at times.

2013 – I started throwing my own events again this year with my lifelong friend, and was still English teaching. Mid-way through the year, I went to a big career fair, embarrassed myself in Japanese interviews, but somehow landed a corporate job setting up multi-national corporation’s back offices. I became progressively busier, and by the end of the year had thrown a number of bass music events. However I still wasn’t producing music regularly and naively believed I could earn money solely DJing eclectic dance music… this year was quite the reality check for that. Near the end of the year I started “going out” with what would become my Japanese girlfriend.  I ushered in 2014 with my Dad and cousin in Kyoto.

2014 – This was both one of the most challenging and rewarding years for me. This was the year of serious hustle but also “doing too much at the same time.” A million steps in a thousand different directions. I started tracking my Japanese learning, music production, and began exploring entrepreneurship outside of events. I realized pretty quick that grinding at the corporate job wasn’t going to make me happy (and give me financial and time freedom). In an attempt for this, I joined an ear plug start up in April, started a nightlife blog in July, and eventually left the corporate job in August. In September,  I also began pursuing a product idea. All while producing a lot of music (including starting a producers’ meet up) *and* continuing to throw bass music events. By the very end of the year, I had left Japan.

2015 – Had left Japan and was in London with naive dreams of becoming a drum and bass DJs apprentice, having *two* successful start ups, and somehow making my way back to Japan…This all fell flat on its face. My Mom died in the beginning of the year, and within a month from that broke up with my Japanese girlfriend. All three of my “start ups” were failing (blog, ear plugs, product idea) + health problems. Moved to Maine to live with grandparents and eventually settled on pursuing digital marketing because people paid me for it. Music production took a backseat again. Had another girlfriend for a very short lived (although intense due to mental health issues and situational stress) relationship.

2016 – Got a job at remote job at a good start up, and having significant money changed my life. I was able to move back to Atlanta, sign up for a music production course, and I both worked hard at the start up with marketing and produced a lot of music on the weekends. No dating for almost all of the year. Lived with my childhood friend for dirt cheap. I published a book for, and subsequently sold, my Tokyo nightlife website.

2017 – Moved to a dope apartment in the center of Atlanta. Said startup job was going stale – I felt depressed by it. Was producing a lot this year, but the lack of tangible success made motivation progressively difficult. I also took up HIIT and Crossfit which was one of my biggest wins of the decade. Dated a lot, and eventually met what would become my current girlfriend!

2018 – Was let go from said job, and man, this was a tough year. While I’d been working hard on music, it wasn’t at a professional level. Similarly, I was out of work and short on money. I put music on the back burner, and primarily chose growth marketing as my career path. I also invested heavily into strengthening my relationship with my girlfriend.

2019 – Career became much clearer – advertising. Still fully remote. Moved into a dope house with my girlfriend in East Atlanta. Got two cats. Started a side eCommerce business. Worked on music a bit (3 tracks). Fitness took a hit to work (and almost lost my relationship due to overwork), but left my job to start my own company in August of the year. Still going well. I do want to get music more involved in the decade.

Overall, my “identity” shifted from a “DJ” to a “producer” to a “entrepreneur.” The beginning of the decade also emphasized dating/social life, and gradually shifted toward career focused (even for my passions). I also started identifying more strongly with fitness (not to the point of saying I’m an amateur athlete though), which I think is the best life habit I picked up this decade. As Chris D’Elia said though, it takes a long time to get fucking good at something — all areas of my life made this abundantly clear.

I’m curious if in this decade to come, if I’ll continue pursue those three pillars: entrepreneurship, music, and fitness. Interestingly enough, travel isn’t as important anymore. Aging has been the biggest reality check, and ambition alone hasn’t lent itself to a fully satisfactory life.

No decade goal yet, will take it year by year.