One of my favorite things about the end of every year is the endless list of “Year in Review” posts I get to read. I tell myself on an annual basis that I’ll write one of my own, not for public consumption but for the sake of keeping track of a life that moves at 1,000 miles an hour. Annually you’ll hear me say, “I feel like I blinked and now it’s 202_” and it’s true! I used to have a personal newsletter that helped me keep track of most, if not all, of the events in my life and that was helpful but I really had to dig through the archive to get a sense of the entire year.

I don’t want my life to be something that just happens to me, and for the last few years it feels like it’s just been whizzing by. I am hoping that writing “Year in Review”s and intentionally reflecting on the last twelve months will help me feel like that’s less of the case. So here we go!


I spent 2021 running towards a goal of logging 365 miles for the year. I achieved said goal and quickly realized in the first month of 2022 that I had burnt myself out. Running was no longer bringing me joy so I needed to find another way to remain active. My loved ones jokingly call me the Tasmanian Devil because of the speed at which I move, but I wanted to remain intentional about my activity and so Lexi and I got a Peloton in May.

Getting the Peloton Bike+ provided us with the bike itself and the large swivel screen we needed for other exercises (boxing, weight-lifting, yoga, etc). According to my “Cooldown” (Peloton’s version of Spotify Wrapped), I cycled 18 hours and 269 miles, meditated for 18 hours, and earned 97 badges (I swear they’ll make a badge for anything). We spent a significant part of this year out of town so I couldn’t use our Bike+ as much as I wanted to, and we have even more travel planned for 2023, so we’ll just have to see what next year’s stats will be.

Overall, I feel nourished and healthy, because even though I didn’t run as much as last year I found other ways of being intentional about my activity. Best of all, my biggest win from this year was moving away from obsessing over numbers (mile times, the number of minutes I spend working out, etc) and offering my body the rest I know it needs. That’s growth, baby!

That said, I do want to start running again. I think I’ve taken a long enough break and my mindset has shifted enough in a healthy direction that I don’t think I will be consumed by metrics.

2023 GOAL: Log 370 miles for the year (Wow, look at this feasible goal with the slightest increase from 2021. I don’t even recognize this reasonable version of me. 😉) If I hit it, great, if I don’t then there’s always 2024!

Another major event that feels health-related: I got LASIK! My life has improved tenfold and I am so glad I got it done now because so many people told me, “I shouldn’t have waited as long as I did.” I mean, no more contact lens fittings (which always cost extra $), contact lenses, or contact solution? I’m truly living my best life now. If anyone is curious about LASIK, hit a girl up because it was probably the easiest and most seamless medical procedure I got done.


We had lots of time with family this year, which was just as heartbreaking as it was fulfilling.

I lost my grandmother (68) in late July and August marked the one-year anniversary of my brother-in-law Alan’s (27) death. We also lost Norma K (83), another grandmother figure of ours, in November and by that point I was just worn out. It felt like another blow to top off an already difficult two years.

A thought that did consume me in 2022 was how devastatingly young my grandma and brother-in-law were when they passed. Nothing about their deaths felt natural or fair and my heart is real wound up about it. I’m going to spend the rest of my life processing these tragedies, but they really did bring me closer to my loved ones, which is the only silver lining to all this I think.

Some positive highlights of this year’s family time include: Lunar New Year in February (in which Lexi acquired her first áo dài!), my sister’s high school graduation and our ridiculous sister camping trip in Big Bend in May/June, Hawai'i with my family in July, helping my sister move into college in September, Thanksgiving with Lexi’s family and being able to care for her father following his back surgery in November, and Christmas with Lexi’s family in December.

Somehow, we have even more travel with our family planned for 2023, including a trip to Thailand with my aunts and uncles from Vietnam. This will be Lexi’s first time meeting my mom’s siblings, nieces, and nephews, and I cannot wait. It’s been a long time coming.

2023 GOAL: Be cognizant of and reduce my laptop usage when I am in the Bay Area/El Paso/anywhere else with family. Technology will always be around; my family will not.


Boy, was I able to invest even more time and effort in my passions this year!

I had the privilege of collaborating with Broadway Dallas for their Black Art Matters series, which was ridiculously fulfilling; my two video projects were geared towards Asian American Heritage Month and Latinx Heritage Month. Through these opportunities I had the chance to meet local Asian American and Afrolatina talent in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, folks I would not have met otherwise.

I was also able to learn more about audio production through this process, which contributed to the quality of the compilation I put together using footage I filmed during my time in California. I’m actually quite proud of that video; I think I did a decent job of capturing the nostalgia that I had been feeling. I hope to dive even deeper into filmmaking next year. I have a few project ideas in mind and am just looking for the funding to make them happen!

2023 GOAL: Plan, film, and edit another short doc.

I also picked up my camera(s) again and worked casual photography back into my life. After the deaths of Alan, my grandma, and Norma K, I decided that I need to go back to taking endless photos of my loved ones. I wish I had been more adamant about capturing my grandma while she was still here; I miss her and the ear-to-ear smile she would flash every time she saw me. At least I’ll always have this:


I had the privilege of being on a number of projects this year at Dialexa, all of which I had enjoyed, but most notably I had the chance to lead my first project on [redacted]. It’s been an interesting experience in that it helped me realize that I enjoy a healthy balance of being in the weeds of design and overseeing work at a higher level. The last few weeks have felt a bit imbalanced due to the holidays but enjoyable nonetheless.

I also became a manager this year! It’s only been four months but I have the privilege of having a kind, honest, and hilarious go-getter as my first direct report. I wrote all about my management journey here, which is a short seven-minute read. That said, I am taking a step back from dedicated mentorship to any new individuals but will always offer perspective to anyone who asks.

Another fun thing I realized I enjoyed doing: recruiting! I already know that I love 1:1 conversations, but being able to do that in an effort to help Dialexa grow? Double win. I spent a decent number of hours speaking to prospective candidates this year and gauging whether or not they would be a great addition to our organization and I really, really enjoy these conversations. I hope to have more of them in 2023.

2023 GOAL: Become more involved in internal operations and volunteer to sit in on at least three technical interviews.

Content Consumption

Most years I feel overwhelmed by all the #content that gets put out in the world, but for some reason 2022 didn’t make me feel that way. There was a lot of great media but I felt like I was able to truly throw myself into the films/shows I was already invested in.

I don’t have much to add to this, but I would be remiss to not specifically call out Everything Everywhere All at Once and what it meant to me. I watched it by myself at Alamo Drafthouse while Lexi was out of town and I am so glad I did; not to be dramatic (lol), but this experience healed my soul. I laughed and cried more than anticipated and never thought that a sci-fi film (a genre I admittedly am not keen on) could ever be that relatable and make me the way I did.

It offered everything I could have asked for: a headstrong matriarch, a strained relationship between a mother and her daughter, intergenerational trauma, Chinese being heard/translated on screen, a queer Asian American lead, and the gratifying narrative of finding a partner who makes you feel worthy of love. Long story short, I could watch Everything Everywhere All at Once again and again and again. It was a perfect film.

All that said, here’s a ranked list of my favorite media in their respective categories:


  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once
  2. Bodies Bodies Bodies
  3. Avatar: The Way of Water
  4. The Banshees of Inisherin
  5. The Lost City
  6. The Woman King
  7. Don't Worry Darling


There was no shortage of good television this year, at least for me. Can you tell that my favorite genre is “Comedic Murder Mystery”?

  1. The White Lotus
  2. Dead to Me
  3. Only Murders in the Building
  4. The Bear
  5. Derry Girls
  6. Abbott Elementary
  7. Under the Banner of Heaven
  8. Killing Eve (Even though the series finale was a travesty)
  9. Inventing Anna


  1. Bird by Bird
  2. How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
  3. The Making of a Manager
  4. Crying in H Mart
  5. The Midnight Library
  6. Peak Performance
2023 GOAL: Read 12 books next year.

All in all, I enjoyed this year (But with my silver linings attitude, this statement will likely apply to every year moving forward.) I unfortunately learned more about what it means to be resilient and what it looks like to support your loved ones through loss: loss of a person, loss of a marriage, loss of themselves. It’s a lot of heartbreak, which makes me even more thankful for the community I have. I could not have endured the last two years without them.

I’m excited for the things I’ll learn in 2023. Lots of big things in store for next year! More family time, more travel, more filmmaking, more photos, more dinner parties, more…steps towards babies? Lexi and I literally have a name picked out for our future son (No, we’re not pregnant yet) so yes, very exciting year ahead.

On that note: here’s a farewell to the last 365 days. If you made it this far, thank you for reading this novel of a recap and I will see you in 2023!

In case you didn’t get enough, here is also a round-up of my favorite photos from the last twelve months 📸