I've never written one of these before but I thought it would be a good time to start, especially as I've had a year where quite a few things changed in my life.
In March of this year, I started building ReadCast, an app which converts articles from the web into your own personal podcast. I started it after J Cobb sparked a reply to a tweet from my friend Miguel about his startup, BlogCast which does the same thing but for publishers.
I remember that I spent a few hours on a Saturday and I built out the key parts of the app - saving articles, crawling those articles and turning them into audio.
Quickly after that, I decided to put ReadCast on the web for others to use and I launched it on ProductHunt where we managed to get to 4th product of the day (even if I got the product featured by speaking with one of the PH team).
I remember the first paycheck coming into my bank account, it was so cool being able to get money from something I made and put on the internet. It felt like a real acomplishment.
This year was my last year at secondary school (high school). Although it didn't come without its challenges.
I was never good at learning, especially at learning things that I didn't enjoy. I find it very hard to read a page (whether that be in a book or on the internet) and get anything from it. I could read a whole chapter of a book and not know a single thing about what I read. This started to really upset me and stress me out as we would do RUAE's in English (a closed reading passage) and we would have to answer questions. No matter how many times I read over the passage, it didn't make any difference to what I knew about it so I ended up just writing down random answers.
I also had exams to do which made me very stressed and worried about it. Even if at the end of the day it's just a few words on a bit of paper that means you've spent 2 years learning something.
I actually failed all of my prelim exams (except for the Computing one). Because of that my school made me feel bad by sitting me down in a room, along with my peers who failed any of the prelims and they forced us to partner with a teacher in each of the failing subjects so we pass (although, I reckon they only cared about the school's repuation and not how I did in my results).
Throughout all of this, I started to pray to God for the strength to get through my exams and not to be stressed as I know he holds it in his hands. And if I do fail, it ultimatly doesn't really mean anything. I belive that God was the one who managed to get me through that time in my life.
As I said this year I left school after not really knowing what to do for the remaining two years I had left. Straight after I chose my subjects, I went to visit the school's careers advisor with my mum and he urged me to start applying for college courses because it might be a less stressful option than staying in school and it might be something that I might enjoy doing at the end of the day.
So that night I went and applied for two colleges, I got an interview for both of them. I also got accepted to both of them without any conditions. I feel like God was with me and trying to point me to the way he wants for my life.
I left school at the start of May and had until the end of August until my college course started but I'll get into that later.
This year, my family and I put our house up for sale. My parents had lived in that house of 17 or 18 years, they moved in on the 23rd of December 2001 I think.
We all fancied a bit of a change and a bit of a bigger house, especially for my sister who had a really, I mean really small room.
We put offers in on two houses, one a few miles away and one in the same housing estate. Our offers didn't get accepted on either of them.
After seeing the second house, before we made our offer, we decided to start selling the house. On the first night of viewings, 4th viewer in, there was a couple who were really enthusiastic about the house and the surrounding area. They wanted to buy it from us there and then, but legally we had to go through the lawyers... haha
But we were left for a month or two where we had sold our house and signed it away but we still hadn't found ourselves a new house.
We did however go for a viewing to a house which is round the corner from where we are now. We went to the house which was totally empty, as in no furniature but there was stuff in the fridge, a CCTV system setup and there were clothes in the bedroom wardrobes. But no one was living there. We thought something dodgy was happening there so we didn't put an offer in.
However, a week or two after that we decided to go and see the show homes in a new housing development. We asked the ladies in the show home about if they have any homes left, they said yes, one. We asked about bedrooms, they said three, the amount we were looking for. We asked about price, it was in the high end of our price end. We also asked when would it be ready, they said late July early August and we said brillant. It ticked all of our boxes. The bedrooms were all big enough and the back garden was much bigger than we could have ever dreamed of.
My parents actually went and signed on the dotted line the day after we went into the show home which meant it would eventually become our new home.
Moving day didn't exactly go to plan because of some legal issues but it all worked out eventually.
But again, God comes into play. He's the one who directed us down to this new housing estate. He directed us down here for a reason because he had a house sitting ready for us at the perfect time. Without us putting our trust in the Lord, I honestly don't know where we would have ended up.
Eventually, at the end of August I started college. It feels like it was a long time ago.
Even though I'm learning things like how Google Calendar is important and how to use a master slide in a PowerPoint, I still feel like it's being something that's matured me.
Friends & Church
A few years back my family and I moved church. When we came to the church we're at now, Harvest Glasgow, there was only 5 other people in the youth group. But now there's 20 or so. It's such a great thing to be friends with other people my age who want to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. It's so encouraging living life with each other and talking to one another when we're going through hard times.
I think that's a good review of how my 2019 went. I feel like this year I've matured as a person and I've come to trust Jesus more than I have before.