January 2023 Newsletter: Mike Cole’s year wrapped

What a year. As has become tradition at this point, I’m using the January newsletter to illustrate the previous year. I’ve fiddled around with the title a bit and since literally everything else has a “wrapped” this year, I figured I would too!

How My Year Starts

As I sit in my room, sipping on my coffee, I thought it’d be fun to go over how I like to start my year. Each year, I like to brew myself a cup of coffee and make myself breakfast. My new hobby has been listening to lofi and I have chill beats playing as I write. Now fast forward a week two weeks and here I sit once more. I am excited to say I just wrapped up my third day first week at my new job. A New Year, A New me. Once I finish this article, I can once more post my New Year’s resolutions to this site and thus begin again what has become annual tradition. In December I wrote about my habits and what I had achieved in 2022 and can say with confidence that I am proud. From being a man who was content to bum along to someone who has dared to dream, my journey has been long and the fruits I planted many years ago have become an orchard. Last year I highlighted the past but 2022 was a year spent living in the present, with much of the thanks going to the daily stoic. So, let’s highlight some of it!

MMO’s and going full nerd

This last year I doubled down on my gaming and found an MMO I enjoyed in Elder Scrolls Online. I have not played an MMO since Runescape and it’s been fun simply getting lost in a world. In ESO I officially joined a guild and have been working on finding communities that align with my interest. Whether I pick up another MMO remains TBD but most likely not as we’re talking hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of content with just one. With my new job, I’ll have less time to game so I’m in the process of figuring out my schedule as I readjust to having fulltime work. Pok√©mon Go I’m still active with and it’s been a year of questing through my hometown to catch them all. And looking at my wrapped, I apparently walked 930km or 578 miles thus far! I’m really glad I’m leaning more into my nerdy tendencies as I feel like that’s been missing from my life as of late.

This Year

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want out of the blog this year. This year will mark the 9th year my blog has been in existence and as I’ve learned over the years there is always something to improve. I’ve been thinking a lot about my own personal mental health and what I want to talk about come mental health awareness month and might even get an early start on writing the articles. I’ve also been looking at what’s been working and what hasn’t over the last year (fortunately more has worked than has not). As I’ve mentioned a bit before, I really want to start looking at my writing as a whole. For the last 9 years, I’ve been winging it and outside of an English class here or there, I haven’t really had any formal training. Do I need it, I don’t really know. I’ve seen fantastic writers over the years and read beautiful articles, so it’d be interesting to see how I can push myself even further.

New Zealand and other things

So, I just recently got my passport back and it is now good for the next ten years! I have one dream for this year and that is to do a working holiday visa. I’m anxious and stressed but also very excited as things are seemingly lining up to make this a reality. I plan to bring my camera if I do end up going over, so here’s to hoping everything continues to go well!

More Dating Articles

Speaking of looking at data regarding certain articles, one category that has done surprisingly well has been when I’ve talked about dating. It is odd because I don’t date often and truth be told I have yet to be in a long term committed relationship. That’s not to say I haven’t tried but it has been a long, messy process filled with few highs and a whole lot of chaos. Apparently most men don’t get bit by women, who knew? In the past, I always thought I should be going on dates and having these crazy adventures to talk about dating but this year I’m going to try something a little different. I’m going to start to open up and be a little more candid about my experiences as well as some of my speculations. There’ll be the craziness of it all for sure but I want to share more of the difficulties I’ve been having and talk about my thoughts on the current dating scene. I’m super excited and hope you like the content I have planned!

Are My Business Articles Dead?

One aspect of my blog that has changed over the years is what I write about. To think I used to write a lot of business articles on my blog! What I hadn’t realized is how much my blog has changed over the years and in turn, myself. Writing business articles no longer interests me as much as it once did! I enjoy talking about business related subjects but in terms of the time dedicated to writing an article I would honestly much rather spend that time talking about mental health, fitness, games, or other subjects that I find to be more interesting. So this year is going to have renewed focus on what I write and while I love business, it’s an easy subject to get writers block on and doesn’t bring in the views.


2022 is officially wrapped and what a year it was! 2023 is already shaping up to be a very exciting year with a lot of big changes! Expect my new year’s resolution post in a few weeks! As a preview, the year theme is “new beginnings”. As always, thanks for reading!

Duolingo: One Angry Owl

I have foregone many a day without practice. Late in the evenings, a chill goes down my spine. A feeling as though I’m being watched and an impending dread looms. I hear noises shuffle about in the darkness and remember that I have yet to complete my lessons. My phone buzzes but there is no response.

If you’ve been with this blog for a while, you are aware of my love for travel and languages. So it may come as a surprise that I have not been practicing. It shames me to utter such words. I have bursts of inspiration to practice and then nothing. No French, No Spanish, No German. On the flip side, I’ve been speaking Spanish at work. So there is some practice. Recently, there’s been a change in my life and with it comes new motivations and plans. With no debt, I am free to travel and explore. I am [now] This week I’ll be turning 29 and this means the window on doing a holiday working visa is closing. If all goes well, I’ll be living in New Zealand in 2023. If things go really well, I’ll live in Ireland by the time I turn 30. The year beyond I hope to spend a year in Japan to teach English.

It’s The perfect time

I have talked very little about my current life. I have given updates here and there but for the most part have keep relatively quiet. Right now I am working four jobs (Welcome Desk Associate, Event Planning Assistant, Rock Climbing Instructor, and Child Care Specialist); over the summer, I was a Summer Day Camp Counselor. This puts me in a relatively unique position for the twilight of my twenties where I am beholden to no company and my ties to one area over another are almost nonexistent. I am also single, which bodes well for travel. It’s a now or never sort of situation, where things seem to just line up. If I work in a foreign country I am more or less in a spot where I can be highly adaptable with my work experience.

What does this Have to Do with an Angry Owl?

I’ve decided to pick up Japanese again with this 3 year plan. New Zealand and Ireland I need not worry about the language as they speak English over there. Japan I’d feel more at home knowing the language. This last month has been decent thus far with my language endeavors. Off and on as I work my way out of gold league and back to more competitive ranks in Duolingo. So now I have a less Angry, more disappointed owl.

Life Dictates Motivation

Part of the issue I have is motivation. I am a practical man and also very much a planner. I seem to have a proclivity for language and am lucky in the sense that languages fascinate me. Most would not even attempt to learn another language but I love it. My assessment this last year has been looking into proficiency. It is one thing to appreciate language, it’s another to understand and hold conversation. It wasn’t until I started speaking Spanish at work that I realized I can be quite proud of all I’ve accomplished. It is not perfect but more often than not there is recognition in the eyes of those I speak with.

A Hostel of a Time

Quite recently, I was up in Seattle for my old College Roommates wedding. While there, I realized Airbnb and Hotels were ridiculously expensive. So I opted for a hostel, which I haven’t done since Germany! It was there I met a few Danish girls and a German couple. This had been the first time I’ve spoken German with native speakers since I left 5 years ago. They were impressed so surely Duo will have mercy on my soul!

A Little help from a friend

Out of the blue, one of my old co-workers reached out to me on Duolingo! I started learning Japanese and apparently he is doing the same! It’s a new experience for me to have a language learning buddy that is in the same boat as I am! Duolingo has quite recently added missions and I’m feeling pretty motivated to complete those as a way to earn extra experience. It’s a fun time in my language journey and between Spanish, Latin, German, Japanese, and French I think I have a pretty good base.


And that’s it! I’ve been wanting to talk about travel once again for a while now! With my language habits I figured now would be as good a time as any! As I learn more Japanese I’m sure I’ll have more to say but for now it’ll be grouped in with my other languages! Cheers and I hope everyone continues to learn and grow!

The first 30 days: adventures in coding

As the blog continues to flourish, I’ve begun to find my niche. Writing has kept me sane during the pandemic and for good reason. It’s given me time to reassess my values and refocus my efforts. Part of that effort has been learning how to code, a task I never thought I could do. It’s been the better part of a decade since I’ve tackled the coding challenge, being a high school computer science II dropout.

It takes confidence

Part of my issue was I lacked the confidence to move forward with my coding. I was unwilling to commit because I was worried I would fail. I talked about coding for months before I made the full-fledged commitment. Time to learn was a factor but not the only one.

The first days are always the hardest

I’m a flip-flopper. With every choice made, there is a choice unmade, a road not taken. Nothing clicks until one day everything does. The first week of coding I quite enjoyed. I told myself a lesson a day and told myself 30 days with a plan to do the 100 days of coding challenge afterwards. I had a basic idea where I wanted to head and used the career paths on Codecademy to pursue what path I wanted to take. First was the fundamentals of coding, now it’s computer science and then web development, finishing up with data science. All said and done, we’re looking at a couple years of work. That is a commitment and as such, it can be easy to get demoralized. I only have so many hours in the day, so I must value coding if I want to move forward. You cannot do anything without a why.

Closing in on day 50

Hitting the 30 day mark was the hardest, if you can do that, then typically you can keep going. Thus far, it has held true. I wake up, I code, and then I stare at a wall for the rest of the day (kidding!). At this point, it’s routine. And while coding can make me feel stupid at times, I’ve begun seeing huge applications that make me excited to finish my coursework. I haven’t had this type of clarity with any other subject. It is my belief that one day coding will be an essential skill to have in the modern job market and as such, I’m getting a start now so I’m not behind later. When I hit 100 days of continuous coding, my hope is to have something tangible to show on the blog. For now, you get articles!


And that’s it! Eventually, I’ll write a program that tells you to like, share, and follow (half-kidding!), for now I’ll be writing each individually with love and care. So remember, if you like my content, share it and leave a like! If your new, consider following! The blog has been doing extremely well this year thanks to everyone’s support. We have already surpassed last year and are looking to overtake 2018 soon. The end goal is eventually to have the blog pay for itself and eventually, a transition to writing full-time. If you can, donations help quite a bit. To make it easy, I have a link to my Patreon and Ko-Fi below:

Support this blog!

As always, feel free to leave a comment; I love responding! Also, if you have any questions about coding, feel free to reach out!

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