A recap of what's been missing
Alright, let’s get back to this. I have neglected this habit of writing monthly recaps for almost half a year now, so this is an attempt to remember some important things that happened and, well, to start again.
In the last months I:
- reached my yearly reading goal! Somehow I already read over 24 books this year and I’m still surprised by this fact. My favorites so far were:
- Bluets, by Maggie Nelson: beautifully written fragments about the color blue. There’s science, art history, poetry, and everything in between.
- Atomic Habits, by James Clear: a bit of a cliché, I guess, but I’m glad I finally managed to read it and there’s a lot of useful tips I’m constantly trying to incorporate in my daily life.
- Stone Fruit, by Lee Lai: one of my favorite graphic novels of all times.
- Suíte Tóquio, by Giovana Madalosso: a thrilling portrait of the extremes people can go to when society makes them invisible.
- Breasts and Eggs, by Mieko Kawakami: the more Japanese literature I read, the more Japanese literature I want to read.
- Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin: I just finished this one today. I loved the different ways and perspectives in which the story is narrated, and how the characters are constructed and intertwined.
- and one book I didn’t get: This is how you lose the time war, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. I think I might have chosen the wrong format (audiobook), but I just didn’t understand what was going on and why so many people I trust the opinions of loved it so much.
- joined my first ever writing course! Which is ironic considering how little writing I’ve been doing, but hey, it was great to take a week off to try this out! It was also my first time taking educational leave at work and I highly recommend it.
- saw someone with a “Rage against the machism” sticker on the train and I wish I knew where it was from but I couldn’t bring myself to ask and we just smiled at each other in acknowledgement.
- joined a speed skating club! And I finally skated the City Night 10km race, despite the horrible weather!
- saw Emicida live in Berlin and listened to his AmarElo album non-stop for weeks! Also recommend the concert’s documentary on Netflix!
- went to Brazil for two weeks again (another friend’s wedding), died my hair pink and loved being in winter temperatures between 18-27ºC.
- passed probation at work, felt depressed about work, felt indifferent about work, hated feeling so much (and so little) about work. I’m currently trying to feel hopeful and motivated, but it’s a constant mental effort and it keeps me wondering if this is what the next 30 years of my life will be like.
- had the most delicious French toast at an unexpected brunch place in Bergmannkiez when the hyped place we had planned to go to had a 45 minute waiting time.
- volunteered at WeAreDevelopers World Congress and felt weird about the state of the tech industry.
- went to Leipzig three times!
- watched almost every match of the Women’s World Cup and got unreasonably stressed out watching the penalty shootout at the end of the Australia vs France quarter-final game!
- wondered why we spend so much time on Scrum ceremonies and why no one ever questions whether this whole Agile thing is really the best alternative for the problems we’re trying to solve and the teams trying to solve them. Are there even alternatives?
- listened to Clarice Falcão’s new album and absolutely loved Chorar na Boate (a song about how the club is a perfect place to cry) and Fundo do Poço (a song about being at your lowest – in Portuguese we say “at the bottom of the well” – and decorating the place to feel more cozy).
- went to my first book swap meetup and ended up with three new books I would’ve probably never come across otherwise! (1, 2 and 3)
- proudly built a huge wardrobe with my partner (so satisfying!) and we’re finally making proper use of the space we have for storage.
- ate the first cherry tomatoes from the balcony!
I think that’s a good recollection of what’s been up lately. It’s been quite a busy summer and it feels like I’ve been more social than ever, which on one hand I enjoyed, but I realise I haven’t been making much time for myself.
One of the things I tried for the first time in the writing course was automatic writing and I’ve been doing it sometimes to get more into the habit of writing without a specific purpose. Something that came up today is how taking the time to keep track of my life helps me feel more in control and that I haven’t been doing a good job at it, so I’m hoping this won’t go abandoned for so long again.
Until then, that’s a wrap!
Written on a Monday in August, 2023