(Written December 28th, 2023)
I write from the back of a packed Frontier flight carrying me from Midway Airport (Chicago) to Denver International. It’s early morning and I have a full Denver day ahead of me. I’ll see JT tonight and in two days will fly to Seattle to spend New Year’s with her sister and family. I’m leaving behind me a lovely week full of family and old friends and Christmas festivities, still amazed that we’ve already just about wrapped 2023.
Because it has (as always) been a while since I’ve posted, this is a good opportunity to start the past-reflecting and future-dreaming I like to do at this time of year. 2023 was a flux year for my professional experience, which is normal. It was, conversely, a geographically sedentary year and marks the longest I’ve lived anywhere since before college (I’ve just crossed 1 year, 1 month living in Denver). That’s been a wild and welcome novelty and has allowed different considerations, experiences, and approaches to friendships than I’ve been privy to in a while. JT and I are both thankful for the rich web of friendships and people we’re surrounded by here in Denver. We love our church, our weekly rhythms, and the activities we get to partake in with a wide swath of lovely people we’ve quickly gotten close to and very much enjoy.
Professionally, the thread of my startup has remained throughout this year but has been augmented by several other gigs and part-time roles that have began and ended throughout 2023. At the beginning of the year, I was still freelance writing. That position ended in June. Small bits and pieces like dog-sitting and teaching piano lessons have filled in some of the cracks, and in October of this year I took a part-time role as a business development manager for a UK-based consultancy that works in the same field as my startup (nonprofit services, largely in the impact evaluation space). My band of merry startup co-conspirators and I attempted to secure a large grant for R&D, an endeavor which proved twice unsuccessful. That was a disappointment. Countering that setback included a number of modest wins and encouragements that are enough to keep us at the grind for now.
Thus, heading into 2024, my productive time will remain split between my PT consultancy job (a welcome chance to earn a decent paycheck, work with a team, and gain relevant experience in the industry) and continuing to advance the startup project that has received a lion’s share of my time and consideration since late 2019. I’m eager to get it to a more clarified place in this coming year.
For the first time in a while, my life feels relatively conventional and domestic. Our visions of returning to the UK reanimate themselves in our dreams and conversations, but until a clearer path presents itself we will relish in our Denver lives and enjoy the scaffolding and rest we’ve received therein. It’s certainly not a bad existence that lets you glimpse mountains wherever you go. With polite interest and contented anticipation will we watch how 2024 unfolds.