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Looking back: 2022

Well, 2022 was a year.

They always are, aren't they? And there's been a definite pattern of me lamenting my own inconsistency...but I had such high hopes for 2022! I thought, "This is the year I truly get back into writing," even planning a two-month writing marathon to kickstart the novel that's been living in my head rent-free for about seven years. I had so many ideas for blog posts!

In January 2023, I feel so different to Valen in February 2022 grinning in this photo, recovering from the covid vaccine.

Honestly, it feels a little weird, they had *no idea.*

But if I'm going to be painfully honest, things were completely derailed by a sudden and excruciating breakup —my energy was sucked into the grieving and I overall felt less inclined to jot things down. I had my moments, sure, and am proud that I managed to get a couple of things up here but deciding how personal to be on the internet is daunting and difficult and I just did not have the energy to spare. As I mentioned in 2021, I got really burned out putting myself on the line as a trans* journalist and had to take a break. In 2022 I thought I was ready to be back before, well, I wasn't.

Looking back at the thoughts and ideas I had in 2022, because of course I had good ones, I'm kind of sad that I didn't write them out even if I respect the process I was going through and have learnt to be extra gentle with myself. For example, the breakup validated my interest in death and grieving. It would have been way harder if I wasn't already immersed in death-positive social media telling me that the way I felt was okay. Knowing that there is language like "shadowloss" was very empowering and even if I didn't (and don't) feel comfortable talking about the relationship per se, damn, that's a good thing to know and share. Here's the fabulous Cole Imperi's TEDTalk about it, by the way.

TEDTalks about anything related to death, dying and grief are almost always met with surly and silent audiences, what's up with that?

I didn't write the novel, but I did start a podcast. I didn't have plans for 2022 but it felt like everything was upended...only for my support network to strengthen and expand to the point where I feel like I can face anything. I got a beautiful, meaningful tattoo and a nose piercing. I worked through a lot in therapy, learnt new songs, got a new job, redecorated my apartment, started playing D&D, rediscovered the recorder and learnt the part of Algernon in "The Importance of Being Earnest" in days, going onstage with no rehearsal. And what a Bunbury that was...

Somehow, bit by bit, with the support of amazing humans and two adorable kitties, a beautiful little world was built in 2022 that works and gives me a tingling joy that reaches my fingertips. Hopefully, from now on I'll be able to document those signs of life more regularly because they were always there. They always are.

Oh and we won the World Cup. WE WON THE FUCKING WORLD CUP. I will write about that soon because there's no way I'm not telling at least one of those stories. Ditto with my tattoos, if anyone is interested in the stories behind them!

It feels like 2023 is set to be the year when that little world I am cherishing becomes more tangible. My word for the year, as per Morgan Harper Nichols' Instagram, is "delight." What I particularly love about it is that it's a noun and a verb. I have adventures planned and I know I will have more ideas that I will share here because this space has always been my weird, sporadic internet diary anyway.

I love you, 2022. Thank you for everything.

Now onto 2023.

My fur babies, Alba and Fainá, snuggled up on my desk, casually putting my job in jeopardy with their cuteness but it's fine.


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