2020 - the Year of the Pandemic

2020 started out normally. However, this year wasn’t transformative just for me but for the whole humankind. You know what I mean, the pandemic. Most of all, it changed the way we live our everyday lives and it may be hard to find positivity out of the situation but for me, it wasn’t too bad. It actually helped me clear my head and reset my aim in life. In conclusion, I made some big decisions for myself.

I had a friendly breakup with my startup.

First of all, as the year started out normally, we had just finished our new development phase at repArtist (and rebranded from repArtist to Musicians.Agency), but the pandemic put us on hold as the music industry was frozen. All these things made me realize that I need to change my path a bit - I didn’t work on this project with passion lately and in that sense it wasn’t fair for anybody. In late spring, I told the team that I was partly leaving the team and found myself a replacement. Now more than half a year later, I feel great that I made this decision for myself.

I graduated university and published my first scientific article.

The pandemic and leaving most of my responsibilities at the Agency meant that I had more time to focus on completing my Bachelor’s thesis and when the whole country was locked and schools were closed, I still spent my full days alone at the university laboratory. I loved it. Working on the thesis was really fun because I got to choose the topic that interests me the most and study it. Moreover, thanks to my supervisors I got the chance to extend this thesis to write my first scientific article on our work - “Requirements to Data Acquisition and Signal Analysis for Electrical Grid Condition Monitoring”.

So, in spring, I defended my thesis and got my Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Power Engineering and Mechatronics; in summer, I worked hard on the article; in autumn, I presented the article at the 2020 IEEE 61st International Scientific Conference on Power and Electrical Engineering of Riga Technical University (via Zoom of course..). Getting a first publication with my name on it still feels good as I wouldn’t had imagined it a year ago.

Finally, I moved to a new apartment and made some other big decisions.

I also moved out of our “startup home office apartment“ and spent the summer in my hometown, at my grandma’s. I was looking for a new apartment and a job and applied to Master studies in Tallinn. It was kind of a difficult time for me as I wasn’t totally sure if I had made the right decisions and some days just felt pointless and unproductive (but I had a lot of fun too!). Thankfully, I got accepted to university to study Medical Technology and Physics, I found a really awesome apartment at Newton Studios in Tallinn which is a co-living space with table tennis room, gym and fun and ambitious neighbors and I got job at Triumf Health.

The “whole new page” transition in my life was starting to work out just like I had imagined. Life at Newton’s is amazing, I have made some new friends here with who I can have regular coffee mornings or tea evenings and play table tennis together, so even if I stay at home the whole day, I still get to socialize too. And of course, benefits of living alone - finally I get to enjoy it!

I’ve been more aware of my doings than ever.

The whole realization about the path of my life came thanks to my diary which I started to write daily at the start of 2020. Writing about thoughts, emotions, activities every day made me aware that I want to study something related to medicine and technology, do research and work in a healthtech or medtech startup. Mind-mapping is important! All of these things are covered right now and I’m freaking grateful for this. I’m really a nerd in school as I’ve studied a lot during the first semester and so far everything has been very interesting. It has been hard but studying by feeding my curiosity makes the learning process fun and effective. However, I’m still not sure on what are the specific topics which I want to focus on yet. So far, I’m keen on neurology and neuroimaging, but this can change too.

Working at Triumf suits me perfectly as my workhours are flexible and it’s totally remote. For example, if necessary I get a day off because of school to focus on studying. The whole mission about supporting children’s mental health through a mobile game is genuine, so I love the work.

Not quite sure if I should sleep more and gain control over my addictions.

Talking about medicine and health a lot here but what about myself? Well, in 2019 I quit smoking and so far it’s been good. My main addiction now is nicotine pads, I’m really addicted to these things and they play with blood pressure quite a lot, so it affects my sleep quality. I also started eating meat again (try not to when living with your grandma for 2 months!). I’m running now more often again and even completed David Goggins’ 4x4x48 challenge where I ran 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours - in total, I ran 85 km in 48 hours. This was crazy! In overall, I feel good physically but I don’t sleep much, so this is something to improve the upcoming year.

I’m grateful.

I have a small circle of great friends and my family to be grateful for. You keep me sane and make me realize that working is not everything there is in life, but it’s a big part of it. Surround yourself with people who are similar to you but have their own perspectives. This gives you a more complete picture of the world around you. Your job is not to work at something which generates you only money, but also real-time happiness. Devotion to a meaningful and happy life - that is something I learned during this year.

Have nice one!