Wrapping Up 2022

Betwixmas is surprisingly one of my favourite parts of the year: there’s an abundance of Christmas food leftovers, a promising stack of books newly unwrapped and ready to discover, and a pocket of time for some meaningful reflection. It’s human nature to feel reflective and somewhat pensive when another year closes. Whether you also love to lean into the year-end mood or you could care less, you’re valid in how you feel – don’t let the flood of Internet opinions move you too much 😉

I said I’d sign off for a little break after my bookish post, but my Wednesday led me to open my MacBook and sit down to write. Between journalling, building my vision board and reflecting on the last 12 months, I wanted to write a little about the things I’ve learned and achieved in 2022.

Friends can be for seasons; it doesn’t make them any less-than

Towards the start of the year, one of my best friends abruptly broke up with me. I talked about it briefly and I am heart-warmed and heartbroken that, even today, so many of you reached out to me to say you’d experienced similarly. Turning 30 made me see life through a clearer lens: I felt such clarity about many of the things in my world that I didn’t see this coming. No-one could.

While the friendship ending completely shattered me and made me more anxious than I’d been in months, I can see now that it’s a good thing. Some of my other friendships have waned and ‘suffered’ during a year where I (and plenty of us!) adapted to a post-pandemic life and navigated tricky life situations. Friendships can be – and often are – for seasons; this doesn’t make the friendship any less-than. I’ll treasure that 13-year-old best-friendship forever, acknowledging it’s part of my colourful, storied past.

I closed the curtain on my freelance business

With my anxiety all over the place in the former half of this year, the latter half led me to close the curtains on my freelance business. I’m incredibly proud of all that I achieved during six years of running a copywriting service. The clients under my belt even impress me! But with bigger life plans in my eye and a waning demand post-COVID, I finally decided to follow my heart (more on this shortly!) and take up an offer of a full-time job from a dream client I’d taken on in May.

Leaving freelance has been really positive for me: I have opportunities for growth, outlined working hours, a hybrid schedule, creative work environment and so much more time and headspace on my hands.

My support network grew stronger

Perhaps due to the friendship troubles and several other big life things that were going on, I’m so glad that my support network grew stronger this year. One of my goals was to spend more time offline, living first and documenting second: this was the biggest game-changer for me. For the first time in years, I felt I could lean on friends and loved ones again without fear or judgement. In turn, many of my friendships and my relationship grew stronger and stronger.

When I look back at 2022, I feel incredibly lucky to have made once-in-a-lifetime memories with my family, best friends and partner. And I’m even luckier that I got to savour most of them offline, all to myself!

Bought a new car

In July, I upgraded my battered little Hyundai i10 for a new-to-me Nissan Leaf! It’s one of my favourite accomplishments from 2022, and driving an electric car has been a dream. Living in a town with terrible public transport from my house means I rely on a car to run errands, go to the train station, visit the gym and even see friends. I’ll be writing more about my zero emissions car next year, as I’m constantly asked about it. (Spoiler: it’s great!)

Gave up caffeine

2021 and 2022 were years of experimenting with my caffeine intake. Throughout my twenties – likely spurred on by a toxic London work lifestyle – I was a serial coffee drinker. It literally became part of my personality. I’d chug up to seven coffees a day and feel zero effect. Or so I thought. In 2021, I challenged myself to reduce this to just one coffee a day which I easily managed. And, at the start of November 2022, I decided to stop drinking it altogether. I won’t go deeply into it, but it has been a complete game-changer and I doubt I’ll go back! New habits don’t always have to be formed at New Year’s.

Travelled abroad again

I’m delighted that I jumped back into international travel again this year. Over the summer, I flew to visit my friend Elodie on the French Riviera, and then my boyfriend and I sneaked in a weekend in Milan during late November. I’m looking forward to more domestic and international travel in 2023 – I’d missed it so much.

I got my dream job!

Back in August, I got my dream job! I work across the marketing and eCommerce departments for Stella McCartney (pinch me!) and feel grateful that I get to spend my working days writing copy and editorial all about clothes, handbags, vegan material innovations, nature and climate. It’s the first time I’ve felt truly aligned in my professional career and I feel exceptionally lucky to be in this position.

I read 60+ books and improved my Internet-worn attention span

I love setting bookish goals and taking part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. I’ve taken part in them to varying degrees of success over the years, but 2022 is a year that I absolutely smashed it. A big driver of the challenge, for me, was to spend time offline and improve my Internet-addled attention span. Apparently the regular person’s attention span is just 8.25 seconds – 4.25 seconds less than in 2000. Much of this is probably attributed to TikTok and other short-form content: I don’t even use TikTok and was concerned about mine!

So I set to reading 52 books in 2022 – one book per week. Through a combination of exchanging a few Netflix sessions a week for reading sprints, always carrying a book with me, and using my phone’s ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode, I read 64. It’s been a really great, educational year for reading and I can’t wait for a new challenge in 2023.

It’s perfectly fine that things take time

Hand-in-hand with my previous point, I’ve realised that it’s perfectly fine that, in life, things take time. I remember feeling impatient to finish school, finish college and finish Uni so that I could become a proper adult. I used to feel impatient to finish books, even when they were really great. Social media really turbocharged this for me, making me expect the final outcome without putting in the work for progress.

Actually, it’s fine that things take time. Often, it’s better.

Setting boundaries will take you further

2022 will go down as the year that I firmly began to set boundaries… and keep them. I’m a chronic people-pleaser, and have always let others’ expectations and wishes bypass my own. But, now, I’m getting there with setting boundaries and it’s taking me further than I ever dreamed – ironic, huh? Setting boundaries both online and offline means I can take back plenty of time to work on my own stuff.

What are some of the lessons you learned in 2022?

Similar Posts