• Toomas Erik Anijärv

EAT, (sleep), WORK, STUDY, REPEAT - 2019 CONCLUDED.

It’s not just another year coming to an end but it’s the season finale for the whole decade. So much has happened in the past 10 years but to simplify this article, I’ll only stick with describing my experiences in the past year – two thousand nineteen.

Toomas Erik Experience #2019 - Joe Rogan

I’m still going strong in university.

I’ve had my ups and downs with studying – I think it’s the same for all students. I started my journey to become a mechatronics engineer and for now I’m totally sure that I don’t want to be a mechatronics engineer when I finish my degree. However, I don’t regret that I chose this program because I have gained many amazing opportunities thanks to it.

I’ve always managed to get away in university without putting too much time in it. Yes, you might think I’m lazy but I just find so many new professional priorities all the time and therefore school is left in the background quite often.

However, last semester has been busier than ever and I have this curse/blessing which makes me perform best when I’m multiprocessing – I need to have many projects going on at the same time. This keeps me in a constant routine where I can’t seem to find excuses to skip tasks. Thanks to that, my GPA has skyrocketed and I’m probably going to start getting scholarship again.


Building a successful startup is about consistency – I’m still dedicated to follow that rule.

Living together with two friends who are also your business partners might get tense sometimes but mostly it’s the best thing that has happened when you’re in a startup phase. As putting in constant effort to your newborn company is vital to create a sustainable business, it’s perfect to live together with your team.

Whenever there is a lack of motivation in me, I can always count on these mates to give me some of their energy. Living together makes the team feel more united and following the same path is easier than going to regular office and do that 9-to-5 routine.


Team repArtist

Our platform repartist.com has grown significantly. It’s been about year and a half since it all started. We had some serious difficulties with our previous developer and at the beginning of the year, we had no-one who was responsible for the tech-side. Fortunately, a new member of the team found his way to us to continue building the best platform for ambitious musicians who seek to find new partners around the globe. We have 247 artists from 12 countries and our business model has proved itself to be working. So much failing, learning, succeeding and I can only say – the only way is up!


Another startup? Yea, that’s right – it’s time for some electric bikes!

I get attracted to start new projects all the time but I know it’s a blessing and a curse too. Therefore, I know I have to carefully pick my projects – this was one of the chosen ones. It started when I saw an advertisement about an electric bicycle uphill competition hosted by Cleveron. I put together a team of friends with who we built an electric bamboo bicycle called “Electric Recycle”. We won the crowd’s favorite title with this bike.

Some time passed and we decided to continue on with this project, but this time it’s even more serious. The new name is Huella which means “footprint” in Spanish. The bike has a new concept design ready and the prototype is expected to be rideable in spring 2020.


From Electric Recycle (left) to Huella Bike (right)

Books and new skills have kept me sharp and still.

I’ve always been keen on graphic design. 10 years ago I created my own small video games and loved doing the artwork. However, I hadn’t had the chance to keep this skill up-to-date, until now. As repArtist platform needed and still needs design updates and content (and as I was invited to the team to be “the content-creator” which I’m not..), it was obvious responsibility for me to take on all the design challenges. After many hours and almost a year later, I can say that I’ve acquired 80% of UX/UI designing skill to be a professional. Hell, I even mentored an intern who is actually studying the subject in a university.

Like I said before, I don’t want to become a mechatronics engineer but I’m glad I chose this field to study in university. Thanks to that, I started this electric bamboo bicycle project with my friends and was accepted as a data analyst intern. This internship led me back to one of my old hobbies again – programming (remember the part I told you I created small video games when I was small). I learned a lot. By using Python language, I was part of a two-man team to build a live machine learning platform for predicting malfunctions and power production of wind turbines. That’s sounds pretty rad, right? It was quite heavy at first but eventually I learned to enjoy running into problems and finding solutions.


A photograph with my old dorm roomie at the New Employee Day

As I went through an emotional crisis at the beginning of the summer, I found that books helped me overcome it (and of course my close friends as well!). Especially important was Mark Manson’s “Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck” which made me think more clearly and aim to turn negative experiences into positive ones by learning from my mistakes. I’ve always thought I have everything under control but this emotional drama got me for good and now I’m more aware of my mood states.

Two other great books get mentioned – “Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari and “Educated” by Tara Westover. Harari’s book should be required reading for high school pupils as it makes history plain and simple with many references which can guide to go deeper on topics which seem more interesting for the reader. “Educated” was the most inspiring story I’ve ever read. Tara Westover’s life has been full of opportunities that she has created for herself by following her own dreams, not the others’.


Buddha statue in the back always reminds the two most important virtues for me - patience and wisdom

I’m fucking healthy – I have quit smoking and become a flexitarian.

In September, I had a blast in Turkey. It mostly consisted of drinking tea and smoking. By smoking I mean way too much smoking (like 1.5 packs a day) and I decided I’m not going to die like my father did (lung cancer). I quit smoking the day after I left Turkey and replaced the habit with drinking more tea – shoutout to my Turkish dalyaraks (it means “buddies” in Turkish, don’t look it up)!

Teşekkürler Türkiye!

Furthermore, I decided to try on going vegan for a month. It was easier than I expected. I even loved how my friends bullied me (extra attention, my favorite). It has been more than 2 months since I started the diet and nope, I’m not a vegan anymore because I’m not rich. Therefore, I have continued to be vegetarian/flexitarian and I don’t know whether it’s placebo effect or not but I’m feeling more energetic and my skin has gotten much better. I might still eat meat some day but I don’t really have the need for it.


Final notes.

2019 was marvelous and 2020 is going to be legendary (like Barney Stinson says it) and I’m going to get most of my dopamine from self-improvement, developing products which are good for people and the environment and from school as well (in case my mom is going to read this post).


Have a good one!

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