I’ve been doing my annual round-up post for thirteen years this year. It’s a self-reflection post about the last 12 months; an annual life journal. As someone who’s never kept a diary, this seems like the perfect summary to go back to years down the line to see where I was at.
One of the questions was difficult to put down (9) but it is what it is. If you look forward to this post each year and want to do your own, please copy and paste the questions to your platform of choice (leave a comment or tag me so I can read yours, too).
1. What did you do in 2021 that you’d never done before?
Got to drive a Maserati; did a birthday photoshoot for myself (on a train on a bridge converted to a hotel); sold our previous house myself in 1.5 days on Private Property (my husband says the house sold itself 🤣); got paid the most ever for a campaign I was invited to participate in (it wasn’t tech but I don’t do a lot of these, I’m very selective about who I choose to partner with); visited an elephant rehab centre and got to interact with them; and travelled to Germany to drive the electric BMW iX – in a Covid world.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t typically wait for the new year to make resolutions; I strive for self-improvement all year round and hold myself accountable for the things I do.
3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
At home, in Joburg.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not close to me, but people I care about lost their loved ones.
5. What countries did you visit?
Germany and Austria – on the same (road)trip for a car launch.
6. What would you like to have in 2022 that you lacked in 2021?
More free time to do the things I want to do.
7. What date from 2021 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
6 July 2021 – the day I got my first Covid jab.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
The many wonderful opportunities that came my way, in what was considered a tough economy and recovery period. I pride myself on getting by on merit; letting my work speak for itself, not because of others doing me favours.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Failing to be true to myself. I’m part of a friend circle for years but due to circumstances from 2021, it highlighted a complex situation: it’s tricky to be a part of a group of friends where everyone places different values on the friendship with each other; the bottom line is friendships are based on mutual support and you can’t get that with an absent friend. Not being able to be myself is not who I am. I don’t do resolutions, but going into 2022 like this doesn’t feel right.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Pantry storage containers. How can such a simple thing make a person so happy? It was so therapeutic to print labels and re-organise my pantry in our new space.
12. Where did most of your money go?
Investments. I try to live a debt-free life; if I can’t afford something, I don’t buy it on credit but rather save to buy it cash. I use my credit card strategically – just to have a positive credit record (buy something on it and put the cash back immediately), oh and for eBucks.
13. What song will always remind you of 2021?
The way social media abused “Masked Wolf – Astronaut In The Ocean”.
14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spend more time on our new place after moving in. Instead, I had deadlines upon deadlines. Shortly after, I made a decision to reduce the work I do for corporates specifically.
15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Slave away for others. The one piece of work I did for a corporate who kept requesting changes, suddenly stopped answering my emails when I asked for a PO to send an invoice and informed them I am no longer available for new work. Freelance life = beg to be paid and then to write off people who don’t respond. This is what led to #14.
16. What was your favourite TV program?
The Witcher, now that S2 is out. (I didn’t get to choose it last year). Since the pandemic, I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries, I don’t know why. And re-watching old stuff.
17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No (the world needs less hate). But generally, I choose not to give that much power to people who are insignificant to me.
18. What was the best book you read?
I loved Shubnum’s Khan’s “How I Accidentally Became a Global Stock Photo”.
19. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I didn’t discover anything new that stood out; I listened to playlists.
20. What was your favourite film of this year?
Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (with a disclaimer, I didn’t watch a lot of new movies like I did in a pre-covid world). As of typing this, I haven’t watched the new highly rated Spider-Man: No Way Home, not without trying; couldn’t get tickets.
21. What did you do on your birthday?
I spent it with one of my dearest friends and we went shopping after (at our fav Italian store).
22. What kept you sane?
Surrounded by level-headed friends and family I trust.
23. Who did you miss?
My family in other cities.
24. Who was the best new person you met?
I met a namesake (Nafisa – same spelling, even) who I’ve been following on Instagram for a while and our paths crossed professionally. At our first meeting, we realised how similar we are in terms of where we grew up, values and how we live our life. Our second meeting was a lunch that went on for more than 4 hours… enough said.
I met another wonderful person on Instagram who spends half her life in the UK, I am hoping we get to meet in person next year but she gets an honourable mention. For now, video calls and voice notes are keeping the conversation going.
25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2021.
Actions have consequences. I will not feel guilty about distancing myself from those who choose not to get vaccinated (this does not apply to those who have medical reasons). There’s enough evidence from scientists and medical experts to know that getting the vaccine is the best solution we have right now than to believe anything else.
Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed it and want to do your own, please feel free to post it on your platforms and leave me a comment/tag!
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 14 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org