Reflecting Back on Year 2022: My Highs and Lows

Reflecting back at 2022, it was a great year with challenges but had learned many things. This year 2022 has bought some significant changes to my life as a person. This blog post is a quick overview of my year 2022.

Speaking:

I started my speaking journey back in 2020 with my debut session for New Stars of Data. Since then, I continued speaking at different events, both local and international events. I continued my speaking in year 2022 as well but most of my presentations were virtual. I was honored to be selected for the PASS Summit 2022 and decided to go in person to give my presentation for the first time ever.

To be very sincere, I was scared and worried of how I would be presenting in person for the first time at that big conference but I am blessed to have wonderful attendees who patiently listened to me during my talk. The first ever presentation I gave in person was on the topic “Women in Technology: How to become an Ally” where I decided to be vulnerable in sharing my story starting from my primary school days. Special thanks to Rie Merritt for reviewing my session and for giving your valuable feedback. Never in my dream I thought my story would connect to audience so well that it would made them shed the tears throughout the session. First few minutes were nerve-wracking and could easily felt in my voice but as time pass by, I felt more and more comfortable in sharing the story. In addition to that, some of my friends, mentors and well wishers attended the session to support me during my presentation. Thanks to Chris Wood, Jeff lannucci, Alpa Buddhabhatti , Kevin Chant and Martha Osorio for attending my session and supporting me with your presence. Your presence had a positive impact on delivering my presentation successfully. Thank you so much.

Me presenting at “Women in Technology: Becoming an Ally” Session at PASS Summit 2022

I received a very good feedback from audience for this session. Later, I presented a technical session along with my dear friend Surbhi Pokharna on the topic “Performance Monitoring, Tuning and Scaling Azure SQL Workloads” which was successful as well. We received great feedback on this session too. I also participated in the panel discussion for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion along with my friend Jean Joseph. I also gave a pre-recorded lightening talk presentation on “10 minutes in to SQL Notebooks”.

For the year 2023, I am honored to be selected as one of the speakers for SQLBits 2023. I will be presenting one technical “A to Z Azure SQL Security Concepts” and a non-technical session “Can an Introvert become an International Speaker? If so, How?” with my dear friend Alpa Buddhabhatti. I am going to present both the sessions virtually.

I will continue to speak on the technical and non-technical sessions in the coming year 2023.

Microsoft MVP Award

I have been awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award on October 1, 2022 by Microsoft. It is a great honor to be recognized as an MVP. This is a prestigious Award from Microsoft. If you are not familiar with the details of the award, please look here.

Redgate 100

Really honored to be recognized in this year’s Redgate 100 top online influencers in ones to watch category for creating impact in the database community. I am really honored to be listed among other famous celebrities from SQL Family.

PASS Summit 2022 Committee member

Honored to be on the Committee list for PASS Summit 2022 in improving the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Summit. It was a real great experience in working with other committee members and with Redgate as they continuously take actions and make an effort to improve the DEI at the Summit.

Mentoring

From the past year, it has been a huge honor in mentoring other women coming from the underrepresented countries. It helps them in being vulnerable, comfortable in sharing their story as I come from the same background as well. Sharing and moving ahead in the environments where you can succeed but also support and help other woman thrive in the same environments is the most beautiful thing I can ever imagine. Mentoring is always a two way street. I learn from my Mentees and it has been a great learning from them. I would like to continue to mentor in the coming years as well.

Blogging

I have been blogging about the Query Store and on Azure fundamentals in the past year. You can find the in depth series of posts on Query Store, please find here and blogs related to Azure here. I have been participating in the T-SQL Tuesdays. Its been a while I continued with my posts on Azure. I will have to be consistent on posting them. In 2023, I hope I will be writing more of the posts related to Azure.

Women in Technology Volunteer and Co-Organizing data Platform DEI user group

I feel blessed to be able to volunteer WIT user group in maintaining the Women speaker page “Webinars by Women“. I usually gather the details of women speakers along with the events they are speaking in the near future and upload the information into the portal. This will help the audience to look at the page for attending their sessions, helps event organizers who are looking for women speakers. This page is like a central location where you can find most of the women speakers from the data platform world and the event details of where and when they are speaking. I consider this as a great opportunity to serve the WIT community which is close to my heart. I highly suggest you to follow WIT page and DEI user group page on twitter to receive new upcoming session updates. If you follow these twitter handles, it will help you in being notified with updates and also show a kind gesture of you supporting women and diverse set of groups from the data platform world.

I am also serving as a Co-organizer for Data platform DEI virtual user group with amazing Tracy Boggiano and Jess Pomfret. I am so happy to work with both of them to organize the events and meetings for DEI user group.

Co-Organizer for Microsoft Data and AI South Florida User Group

I am happy to serve as a co-organizer for Microsoft Data and AI South Florida user group along with my dear friend Adriano.

Talking about my lows

Alright, so all the above information is related to highs. Everyone has to go through both highs and lows at certain point in their lives. I would like to share about my lows here. As you can see in one of my previous blog post, I have gone through lot of challenges and gaining back self confidence is not an easy few step processes. It is a continuous journey and if you fall in the trap of being low for long period of time, it will consume you and your time in complete. I had several times where I felt low for a good amount of time. During those times, I do not feel like learning anything, write any blogs or even engage in speaking. I am sure everyone has these periods in their lives where they get depressed or let the past struggles drive their present lives.

To gain back my power, I had to listen and watch a lot of motivational videos on YouTube. I read “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins which helped me come out of the tough times in my life. I recently started to listen to the audio version of the book again because I felt like I am falling back again. I also purchased David Goggins second book “Never Finished” and I am going to purchase the audio book as well. David Goggins straight forward approach and his sincere suggestions (though he uses cuss words, I don’t mind them at all as it helps me realize where I am in my life in a raw way with out using soft words, babying me telling its okay to be a down in life).

David Goggins is the sole reason for where I am today in my life. If not his book, I do not know if I even would have realized what I was going through. I was waiting for someone to save me and felt like a victim of abuse for many years. His book gave me strength to face my own fears. I stood up for myself after long time.

So, am good after reading the book, right? I should be in a place where I never turned back to the past and as I now gained self confidence, I should be good, right? Well, that is not the case. I need to constantly remind myself that I am capable of doing something when self doubt creeps in and tells me where I was in the past and yells at me to never forget the past. It is a tape record that plays in my mind which pulls the past back and disturb my present time. We all face these situations sometime in our lives. When we do, we need to remember that we cannot change the past but we still have a choice to make things better in the future. We need to understand that several things in life are out of our control and no matter how many times we think about it, we can change nothing. Figuring out how those exact negative circumstances can fuel us for making a better future for ourselves is important. I am still in the process of knowing myself and fighting my own fears. It is a life long process.

If you are going through rough times in your life and are looking for someone outside of yourself to save you, I am going to tell you the hard truth that no one is coming to save you. You need to save yourself by doing the work needed. I only learned this from David Goggins book. I highly suggest you read the books to gain back your power. If you think I am doing publicity of these books, Yes, I am 🙂 and I am very proud to do so as they are truly self help books which changed my life.

As we are close to end of the year, I wish you all the best and Good luck for the year 2023! Thanks for reading!

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