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My 2020 - A Year of Exploration and Hustling

January 3, 2020

I remember having some dreams as a kid but by the time I was an adult the only thing I ever wanted was to be happy.

This never stopped from doing stuff though. I took opportunities as they came up. Often whatever project or job I was working on would lead to some other interesting project or job. Not only was I not planning, I didn't really put that much thought into things. They just happened, organically.

The problem came when my depression struck again over the summer. It was the worst bout of depression I'd dealt with in years: I spent weeks being completely non-functional.

Now, without any project or job to lead me to the next one, the path ahead seems a lot less clear. It's so hard to decide what to do next. Something tells me I have to do things differently, though. Live my life in a different way.

My life needs to work with my unstable mental health. It can't just completely fall apart every time my brain takes a vacation. I can't lose all my income every time I fall ill. I need to spend more time working on my mind and its health.

I was thinking about all this, and I came up with some ideas, but I wasn't sure which of the ideas to pursue. I wasn't sure what would be best. All this thinking was happening around the end of the year, and the idea just crystallised in my head.

The year ahead will be a year of exploration and hustling.


Fruit Stand

Since my depression worsened, I lost all consistent streams of income. I have managed to do some odd jobs that have brought in small amounts of money, but not enough to cover my expenses.

But, applying for jobs does not feel like an option. With my mental health making me unreliable, I worry that any job where I am working for someone is one that I will lose the next time I'm not functional. These days that happens pretty often.

My response to that is to try hustling. Here's what I mean by that:

  1. These ventures will be small scale monetizations of my skills.
  2. More than one hustle should be running at once. I should never be dependant on only one hustle for money.
  3. Once set up no single venture should take up all my time.
  4. Each hustle should have a small start-up cost that is within my means. I will avoid loans as much as possible.
  5. It should not be anything that makes my mental health worse.

Even with all that in mind I'm left with the question: what kind of hustles should I do?


Woman standing between green trees

Even though I have decided to label my 2020 as "A year of exploration of hustling", they are not completely separate.

A lot of my exploration will happen through hustling. I will be figuring out ways to make money. I will be figuring out how to balance work and mental health. I will be learning new skills, and developing some skills I already have.

There will also be other aspects to this exploration:

  • I want to explore myself and who I am
  • I want to explore my spirituality in more depth.
  • I want to explore better ways to live with my mental health.
  • I want to explore ways to be healthier and more in touch with the world
  • I want to do some physical exploration, visit new places, and experience their culture
  • I want to explore which of my ideas are worth exploring further and which aren't

My Writing


Whilst thinking about all this I was also thinking about what kind of writing I want to do.

I plan to document this year of exploration and hustling through my writing. I believe my writing will also be an important way to develop my thoughts and improve my skills.

My hopes for the year

At the end of the year I hope to know myself a bit better. I hope to know the world a bit better. I hope to understand compassion a bit better.

More than anything, I hope the year ahead is filled with love, happiness and good health.

Ibby EL-Serafy

Ibby EL-Serafy

Hey, I'm Ibby, a human being living in Sheffield