2022 Year in Review: Where do you go when life gets too hard?

2022 is coming to an end soon, yep. This year definitely proved to be a year of major changes for me, but I would say it did not feel as great or happy as 2021 did and that’s expected if you experience different things each year. Every year, I try to recap my year in a blog post. It’s surely beneficial for me to look back at how my year went so I can remember what they were. These blog posts also help me reflect to know where I can grow in a certain area of my life. They can get pretty transparent…

You can read about my other yearly review blog posts from the previous years here: 2021|2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017

Here are some of the things I learned from this year in 2022.

2022 was really about BIG changes.

Exploring in Singapore (a guide blog post will be coming soon on this!)

2022 was definitely an unpredictable year for me. There were some really great travel opportunities, places I saw, and shared memories with people I love this year, but I had no idea there would be major changes that would take a turn in my life. Honestly, most of 2022 were pretty great, but it wasn’t until these last months of the year that have made me feel like I need to find a way to go home to myself and those last months kind of made me feel like maybe this year had been pretty crappy. But, I think I would just say that after the fact some tragic things happened.

2022 is the year that showed me how you really deal with grief and how hard grief can be. You see, I lost my dad not too long ago and he was the biggest part of my life. A huge influence. After you lose a parent, it just feels like you’ve lost yourself. I can experience both losing half of myself and half rediscovering myself all over again, but getting aligned with yourself can be a frustrating journey. Especially if there were major things after that. I ended up having to move to a new city, which was my plan even before my dad passed. It seemed like these two major changes took a big hit in the cost of financially, mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.

But I’m trying to just get myself back, even in these times of grief. I hate that my life had to go through this forced pause, but it is so damn necessary sometimes. I also cannot just let myself sit through and wait until things and feelings change because it doesn’t work that way – you HAVE to work on getting better, which I’m discovering during these times.

It sucks losing a parent while you’re still young and even though I’m hitting my late 20s, it is still important to have your own parents because I have to think about the lost opportunities of how my dad could no longer cheer me on in the coming milestones. My heart hurts, not only for myself, but for my whole family who had to lose a “pillar” in our life. And the thing with grief, there isn’t a time limit – it’s here forever, you just have to find your tools around tolerating this loss.

I learned I need to find the spark again in my hobbies and work.

Feeling free in doing what I love to do: Spending time outdoors and documenting it after. (This was in Alaska.)

Due to the circumstances of going through grief and before, I was dealing with anxiety about the uncertainty of my future and questioning my choices in life. I was also dealing with thinking if there was anything even reserved eternally for me with those choices I made from my past. However, I need to accept I was led to this very moment where I should be grateful for certain things and my life just played out as it did.

Due to that anxiety and struggling with chronic illness, I was starting to lose interest in my hobbies of getting out in the outdoors and writing for this blog. (Whereas in 2021, I wrote 45 lengthy blog posts! For 2022, I don’t know how many but it was a lot less.) I was losing interest in photography. I have made my way monetizing my hobbies, which I’m thoroughly grateful for, but I also felt those same hobbies were holding me back. I have given so much of myself through them while maintaining my career in marketing, and I felt like I could be doing more than what I actually can handle – this is why some people stick with one job. I’ve luckily overcome burn out (once again) in my field, but the other things felt unbalanced, which was so unlikely of me.

I learned the value of simplifying your life, but I don’t know if the person I am was meant to do so and these things were important in helping me. I am slowly getting back to these things because yeah, they do remind me of what my purpose was and when I was truly the happiest. I need to get back to the optimism I developed and it starts when I finally went on my first solo hike since my dad’s passing. Creativity and helping my body move drives me and that is important!!

Lesson learned: Shoot your shot, no matter what.

I’ve probably mentioned a lot of real hard things first haha, but something that I appreciate getting out of learning this year is how there’s nothing wrong shooting your shot. And I mean shooting it at any opportunity: work, friendships, dating, trying new stuff you always wanted to.

I used to be so fearful to just to put myself out there when it came to asking for an opportunity, but those things will set you up for success. Success as in having confidence to try again even if you don’t get the results you hoped for! Anything you do work towards getting from this is because you raised your chances by putting yourself out there constantly. I can definitely relate in the fact I have applied for some work opportunities and one helped me land clients I can freelance for and work with a previous brand for a sponsorship again. Other opportunities just led me to meeting some really awesome people and created some good memories to look back on. You just never know until you ask for it.

After my big loss this year, I’ve been reminded of just how fragile mortality is. I’ve mentioned it a lot in my other blog posts that life is short and this is something I would tell my dad (he would jokingly say things opposite from what I say — that life is long, haha). But seriously, it’s true life isn’t that long! Life isn’t about wasting someone’s time or your own time. We can get there if we just try to shoot our shot at whatever we want to try to receive in life, even if it takes a lot of falling down and getting back up. I feel like those times of being rejected and failing actually strengthened my confidence in life and led me closer to what I wanted/needed.

Lesson learned: Don’t give up on faith even if things do get really hard.

Standing in front of my old church before I moved.

I really don’t know how I managed to overcome some of the biggest trials in my life this year. It really tested my faith. My faith means a lot to me though because it is one of the biggest support systems I put in place. I swear I’ve had to go through so many times where my questions to Him and even what I’ve mentioned prior (all the things I dedicated myself to) had its moments that required me to step away for a bit. And that can be necessary. 

However, these times have led me to know my faith is just that strong and our gracious Father in Heaven will not give up on us, even if we feel we are getting there. It also made me question, “What happened to all of the things I worked so hard for, just to receive yet another setback?” 

Those things may just have helped you go prepare to go through what had to come or what is. I may not see know what beautiful things will unfold right now, but it’ll all make sense a bit later, you know? I saw that in 2022 earlier on that I had to do certain things in my life, such as serving the people in my church in my callings because I was able to encourage people to meet and be closer to others and show that my skills and gifts have a place to be used at. It helped me to humble myself and know that it isn’t always about me, which we get so caught up thinking when we do have to survive from working our paid jobs. Some people may not have the privileges I grew up on or worked towards, and so, it’s my time to give back too without asking for anything in return.

Lesson learned: You’re fine the way you are – accept your unique journey!

2022 was a pretty big hit to my self-esteem, which I thought I worked so hard to work on – but we’re always going to work on ourselves in life and get set back from time to time. I think one of the things that bought me down was making comparisons. I questioned if I ever did anything right in my life (pretty deep and pessimistic, I know) because I wasn’t at the places in my life I wanted to be at. 

But, I realized I did get to some of those eventually, it just took a lot of patience and gratitude. There isn’t anything wrong with you, and comparison is the thief of joy. One thing I heard a lot from people I talk to is “give yourself grace.” It’s true – you have to! Your path will never look like anyone else’s in life, and that’s okay because you’re an individual who is just trying to find their way in and out of life as one should. You need to accept your own feelings and not apologize for them, be forgiving in the things you had no control over, and give yourself permission to not be able to do everything or be everything.

I learned that you have to do certain things too for yourself to not feel so down when it comes to comparisons. For example, I was taking social media too seriously and I know now how to detach a bit and limit my use from it because I need to really get it through me that social media does NOT translate to the joy of our lives in-person. Being on social media in general for too much and too long is also very draining. And either way, our journeys are all so unique in life! It didn’t help that I worked in marketing nor did it help being on such platforms where I want to create stuff on. However, I’m glad now I know when breaks are super needed.

In A Nutshell

As I look back on my old years since I’ve been writing up these yearly recaps, I definitely feel like I have grown differently, some quite major and some quite not so. I no longer feel 22, 24, or even 25. Although I miss some of the feelings I had in my former years, I am grateful I am no longer as young and I’m just becoming a different version of myself now.

When I was re-reading my past yearly recaps, I noticed some things (life lessons and experiences) had repeated but that made me understand life is just this ongoing cycle of disappointments and great new happiness. 

Because of how much change has occurred, not just environmentally, but internally, I asked myself: Was I more optimistic then? Was I more brave and more adventurous then? Was I more passionate about what was once there? But, no. I am the same in many ways, but some of the things I developed to learn is no longer heightened as when I was a tad younger. Those journeys were new to me and a different time in my life, and those experiences of feelings will shift. I’m still living in the home state I did in 2019 and I’m still practicing the mindset I formed over the years.

I really feel like I’ve experienced life to change for me, even when they were sudden, but I’m also excited to embark on the new changes that were set out for me. It’ll come in full circle soon as it always does. Let’s go 2023!

Also, here are some quotes that changed my mentality for 2022:

  • “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” -Chinese proverb.
  • “Sometimes the worst things that happen in our lives put us directly on a path to our greatest blessings. Don’t lose faith.”
  • “Every time you express gratitude, you’re already having a conversation for the miracles taking place in your life”

Tell me what you thought below!