🤔 Letter 104: What happened in March?
March personal review: loving, lacking, and learning; My first Covid Christmas vlog; Tarzan rope swing
If you are new here or missed last week's edition, you can catch up on the past letters here. If you are reading this for the first time, I’d love you to sign up below to join the other learn-it-alls:
Aloha fellow learn-it-all,
Greetings from Kapiolani Beach Park, O'ahu 🌺
What an exciting week that it is!
I've landed a role that I'm beyond excited about. More on that after the contract is executed and the dust is settled.
With that said, I'm still always looking for opportunities to learn, grow and collaborate. If I've learned anything from my past month of financial stress, anxiety about my future, and loss of sleep, is that I need to be more proactive in seeking out opportunities.
Please never hesitate to reach out if I can support a creative project you're working on. What I recorded in my video resume still rings true. Past decisions in my career have been made due to my curiosity, love for creation, and cultivating connections through building community.
Heads up, I’m experimenting with adding some new sections: (1) a vlog (2) a journal entry. I’d love to hear from you on whether you’d like to see more of (1) and/or (2).
Now, let’s dive into letter 104 from a learn-it-all. Enjoy!
❓ Question to think about
What happened in March?
I completed a comprehensive monthly review for March 2022 for the first time in a while. This is my first time sharing one publicly since ten months ago. They were a part of these letters every fourth edition. I stopped and don’t quite know why. It feels good to get things off my chest. Especially because time flies by and I like the accountability.
It was extremely helpful to stop and pause. It's super simple and I highly recommend giving it a shot to recognize patterns in the actions that you take.
Isn’t this neat to see this snapshot of when I was living in Florida a year ago in Letter 54?
Some highlights from March include:
What I loved
My new daily habit. The first thing I open on my computer is a typing exercise. I had the goal of getting up from ~34 words per minute to 50. I got to 60 yesterday. As you can see my progress is all over the place. I'm not planning on stopping this habit anytime soon. I still have much progress before I am secure in my typing speed as an online writer.
Digitally and physically starting to network again even though I've been craving a shield to become rejection proof.
Tracking my life more with Interstitial journaling inspired by Michael Dean's LogLogLog
Publishing four blogs for the first time in over a year
Feedback gyms where I got to write from conversation reminded me of how fun collaborative writing is
Being an early morning riser with consistently waking up with the birds chirping at 6 AM every day
Intentionally nurturing the relationship the past month with who I am about to be working on two projects with
My new sunset yoga ritual on Mondays
Car rides to talk with my roommate to Treehouse coworking to do debriefs and general life guidance professionally and personally
Getting back out to hike again this year to Manoa Falls and Waimalo Falls hike
Drinking coffee on Fridays
Getting more into facilitating journaling exercises during my Write of Passage mentor group
What I lacked
Vegetables. Specifically green ones
Positive stream of cash flow
Daily zazen practice. If I'm not going to Sangha, the least I can do is sit at home for 5 minutes
Surfing. I think I only hit the swell twice... that is so sad
Falling asleep easily. Reading City of Girls has helped to put me to sleep, except when the plot thickens
Regular calls with family… though our group chat was bumping
Making enough contributions to all the students in Write of Passage Cohort 8 left me feeling depleted and guilty
A sense of progression. I've been sitting in the pit of despair for so many things as a beginner. It's a part of the Dunning-Kruger effect and it's far from fun. The beginner's mindset is far from easy.
What I learned
Making introductions to people is really fun and I want to do more of it
I easily cheat if I don't intentionally unlearn my old ways of typing with improper finger placement.
I am hesitant about my decision-making and need more trust that I know who I am and what I value.
I am an agreeable person. This has been holding me back from expressing myself more freely and openly without caring what others’ perceptions are. I will never be in control of that anyway, so I want my attention to be different. Being agreeable is forcing myself to mute. I can't do that anymore.
Habit for April: Unmuting Myself
Continuation of March’s Habit: Daily Typing
Killer Questions Worth Asking
While Curating Online:
What's worth sharing in this age of abundance?
(Source: David Perell)
Is there anything from our conversation today that would prevent you from recommending me to be hired for this position?
(Source: Aaron Cleavinger)
While Changing Behavior:
If you change nothing about yourself, then what sort of person will you become? If you don’t like that person, what will you change?
(Source: Isabel Hazan)
Previously on October 4th, 2020 in Letter 28, I completed a reflection on habits and a quarterly review for fall 2020. I shared intimate and personal things that I surprised myself by rereading. It included highlights of metrics in six buckets: meditation, running, Twitter, newsletter, word count, and hydration. I don’t have a system for tracking these like I used to.
Since completing this March review, I am curious to try to review the first quarter of my year and to see how I paced against my Q1 coordinates so that I can set some for Q2.
So, on Christmas day last year, I was feeling lonely.
Do you blame me? I was home alone with Covid.
I didn't know what exactly to do about it. I'd called family. I'd watched more Netflix than I'd like to admit.
I was bored, so I decided to open the camera and film something. It's off the cuff, unscripted thoughts I was having. Here's my first ever vlog:
I knew I wanted to get better at oration. I've also been curious about vocalizing my journaling for years now. Since Christmas, I've filmed at least a 30-second update on life each day.
I'm starting to compile all these recordings into month-by-month videos. It's another source of information I can use to trigger my memory for reviews. I'm excited to see how these videos can supplement my journals and notes on life for my quarterly review that I'm compiling.
📓 Jen's Journal
The first page of each of my journals, I always rewrite Theodore Roosevelt's Man in the Arena quote. I reinterpret the quote since I am a woman. I've almost got it memorized by now with the 20 or so journals I've got racked up from the past three years.
🌟 Quote to inspire
"Reading and experience train your model of the world.
And even if you forget the experience or what you read, its effect on your model of the world persists.
Your mind is like a compiled program you’ve lost the source of. It works, but you don’t know why."
- Paul Graham
📷 Photo of the Week
I stumbled upon a Tarzan rope at a waterfall.
I accidentally took a right turn instead of a left and came across what was one of the coolest spots I've found on island called Waimano Falls. There were locals there cliff jumping and it was such a thrill. I'm glad I wasn't their mother though. They found three apple watches at the bottom of the cove!
It was so refreshing to take a dip. Regardless of the fact that I did not come prepared with a bathing suit or water moccasins, it was joyous. This rope swing made me think about the Oaktree I had playdates at in my backyard while growing up.
It also had me reminisce on my common app essay for college. I wrote about how I ‘came out of my shell’ during a 7-day camping trip in the 7th grade.
I got nominated for being the best storyteller at campfires, for eating the most hotdogs for a girl, and for being Jane. I was so proud of losing track of the number of times I rock climbed up the cliff crawling with millipedes to then swing off while shouting before landing in what felt like quicksand with mud seeping up to my crotch.
This trip was one of my favorites and most memorable during my tween years. My family isn’t much for camping, so it was unique to pee in an outhouse. I even get excited typing about it right now. Hence, the college essay. Alas, many colleges didn’t like the essay and I got so many rejections. No regrets from me. It was still a favorite transformational trip for me. Thank you to my biology teacher Mr. Fultz for organizing it.
Anywho, I’m not used to suspending myself swinging above water like I used to. My arms are still so sore…. five days later. Yes, I know, I am a limp noodle. There is much room for improvement.
To Khyati Thakur for her most recent post on starting with inspiration while learning
To Adam Grant for inspiring me to make more introductions among my network
To Melody Vinci for restarting the monthly ARC meetings we used to have last year for monthly reviews
To Michael Dean for inspiring me to continue experimenting in my journaling practice
To my Polish Dziadzia who passed 16 years ago today on April 1st, 2006. You’re in my prayers and I’m thinking of you 🙏
To Bryan Wish who I met via Zoom two years ago that I finally got to meet this past weekend and enjoy some poké and shave ice together
I appreciate you reading this! If ideas resonated, I’d love you to leave a comment, reply to this email, or send me a message on Twitter @JenVermet. Visit my online home if you forgot who I am. If you want to know what I'm up to right now, check my now page.
Never stop learning 😁
If you’re reading this because someone shared this newsletter with you, welcome! I’d love if you subscribed:
On choosing who we become every day:
Philippe @PhilippeIzeYesterday, in a Write of Passage mentor session, @isabelhazan asked— If you change nothing about yourself, then what sort of person will you become? If you don’t like that person, what will you change? That's got me thinking, and I thought I'd share. Go crush it today!
On what is becoming one of my second favorite fruits after apples:
On calibrating your internal compass:
Adam Grant @AdamMGrantBig career decisions don’t come with a map, but all you need is a compass. The right next move is the one that brings you a step closer to living your core values. In an unpredictable world, you can’t make a master plan. You can only gauge whether you’re on a meaningful path. https://t.co/atiYHgGyO1
On my role models in life: