First, the big news. I’ll be joining Automattic as a full-time Happiness Engineer in March! Epic blog post on that soon! To be honest, I’ve already written it, but I’ve been debating whether or not to publish it now or closer to my actual start date. We’ll see…

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Preview of what’s to come!

Upon receiving the fantastic news that I’ll be working with Automattic from now, Kosato & I have started looking into building a house. I never thought this would ever be a reality, but it’s happening (going to happen). We visited quite a few model houses over the winter vacation, which was quite exciting 🙂

This was the first floor of one of the Japanese style model homes we visited.
And just half of the second floor of the same home.

I applied for my permanent residency visa so that I can live in Japan forevermore. It’s already nearing over six and a half years since I came to Japan, Kosato & I have will be coming up on our fourth anniversary, and Keimei will be turning two in a few days! It’s not that I don’t see a future of ever returning to the U.S. — in fact I still consider Southern California my home (San Diego & Irvine <3) — but after having lived in Sapporo for so long and having made some of my most memorable experiences here, I can say that I feel Sapporo has now become my new home (among the many other places I can call home).

Let’s see what else…

Well, those are the three big ones for now. I suppose I will take this opportunity to lay out my goals for the year, which I have a lot of!

First order of business — cliche as it may be — get back into shape! I have not visited a gym since October of twenty-fifteen. This is unacceptable. Part of the reason why I haven’t gone to the gym has to do with us moving away from Chuo-ku (Sapporo’s city center) to a less city-ish area. We’re still in a major district, but gyms are no longer conveniently located nearby. And yeah, I know home workouts are totally an alternative option, but you know, it’s just not the same! I need a gym!

Slightly related to getting back into shape, I also want to get back to breakin’. Dear God, how I have been waiting to finally have some time and space to actually practice again. Working remotely from home will allow me this privilege. While our apartment isn’t exactly an ideal place to practice, it’ll have to do for now. It looks like I’ll just have to continue developing what I like to consider my “close-quarters-breakin”, which really isn’t a style, but has to do more with adapting my movements to the small confined spaces that are Japanese apartments.

The above footage was me taken almost… I want to say five years ago?? It was when I was still very much a singleton living in my own apartment down near the Sapporo Dome area. As you can see, it’s very much a box I’m living in.

I definitely want to blog & write more. I think the hardest part for me is finding something to write about. But when I think about that statement a little bit more, I actually have many things to write about, which then leads me to realize that the real problem for me is for which audience am I writing. Who am I writing for? And that’s what’s been preventing me from even starting a post. Since there are so many things I want to write about, I decided that instead of spending so much time trying to craft my content and writing for a specific audience, I will just write for myself for the time being. Perhaps, as I start writing more frequently, I’ll find my voice and preferred topics for writing, and maybe my audience will find me. Who knows?

My web development & design ventures took a backseat late last year when I started to laser in on Automattic, switching my focus completely to the support side of things. I’d like to continue to expand my learning with advanced CSS courses, JavaScript, and other relevant frameworks. I especially want to continue exploring web design with PS & Illustrator in Adobe Suite. I had recently cancelled my Creative Cloud subscription since I just wasn’t using the software as much, but I certainly see myself getting back into it in the near future.

Here’s just a short time-lapse of me trying to design a navbar/header area in Photoshop.

On the WordPress front, I of course will have plenty of time and opportunities to grow on both a personal and professional level. I am already scheduled to attend two work-related meetups this year, my team meetup coming up in June, which will actually be here in Japan (how convenient for me :D). Then the annual company-wide meetup in September aka The Grand Meetup (GM)! That’ll be in Orlando, Florida! So excited! There’s also two Japan WordCamps coming up that I want to attend, the first which will be in July — WC Ogijima. And then the second, currently with an unscheduled date, will be in Osaka.

Twenty-Eighteen is definitely looking to be an exciting year for me, but I know it also won’t be without its challenges. While Twenty-Seventeen was a year for major hustlin’, I believe Twenty-Eighteen will be a year for growth.