2017 Retrospective

Like most people, the year 2017 was a difficult year. I experienced incredible highs along with some serious lows. This morning on my way to the gym I was reflecting on the past year and what I would consider highlights of 2017. The following are the results of that reflection.

I'm looking forward to making 2018 one of the best years of my life. I'm off to a great start, but just need to keep the momentum going!

Leaving My Job to Go Independent

One of the biggest changes in my life in 2017 was leaving my job back in August. I left my full time salaried job as a Security Consultant to pursue my own business. This was something that I had been wanting to do for a while, but I never had things in place to make it a reality. With a very light bank account, I decided to take the plunge and haven't regretted a moment of it. The last four months have been incredible from a business perspective. Pursuing independence has been something I've been working towards for a long time, and the time was right. So far, this has been one of the best decisions of my life and I'm looking forward to stepping it up in 2018.

Training at DerbyCon and Security BSides Boston

My friend Keith and I gave a talk at Security BSides Boston and also did a half day workshop covering a few attacks against the MEAN stack that was well attended and a lot of fun.

A few months after, Keith and I were accepted to give a training at the annual DerbyCon Hacking conference. As a regular attendee who has also taken two trainings in the past at this conference, it was a great honor for me to attend as a trainer. I want to thank you to all that attended and provided feedback, I very much appreciate it.

Travel

While there was a bit of domestic travel in 2017, including a week in Orlando, Florida, the highlight was spending a week in France split between Paris and Orléans. It was my first time in France and I had a lot of fun. I was able to take the Catacombs off my bucket list and attended a Moulin Rouge show. Visiting the Le Cantada II Absinthe bar at the recommendation of a friend and going to a burlesque show in the basement turned out to be one of the highlights of the week.

For New Year's weekend I ended up on a last minute trip to Québec City. Even though it was very cold, it was fun. I didn't get to do a whole of exploring outside due to the weather, but it was a good time, especially being as last minute that it was. This was my second trip to Québec City in the Winter, and one day I will get back there when it's warmer to see more of what I missed this time around.

I am definitely planning on doing more international travel in 2018, with two trips already in the planning stages.

New Friends

I've made a lot of new friends this past year and reconnected with old ones. Attendance at conferences also led to the formation of new business relationships and partnerships that I'm excited to be working on in 2018 and beyond.

Friends make the best times better, and the bad times bearable, and I'm thankful to have people that care about me and push me to be a better person.

Fitness and Nutrition

I'm currently in the best shape of my life. I have a regular workout schedule and an awesome trainer. I've been adhering to a set gym schedule since April and I plan on continuing throughout 2018. In fact, I'll probably be adding even more exercise in there over the next few months. In April I also made the switch to a completely Vegan diet and I have no intentions of going back. I'm currently on track to hit one of my fitness goals which is 14% body fat by end of January 2018.