As You Mean To Go On

Now that it’s almost over, it feels fair to say that 2022 has been a strange, and at times nearly overwhelmingly difficult, year. It’s different in that from last year, which felt shockingly, breathtakingly oppressive in its determination to remove things — jobs and income, in particular — and see how I’d fare; this year has seen a lot of good mixed in with the bad, adding up to a dizzying, confusing experience where I’ve found myself uncertain about how I was feeling in any given moment, and whether I was unhappy, or simply overworked and exhausted and just ungrateful for things I should really appreciate given my experience in 2021.

There’s been much I purposefully haven’t written about here, for an army of reasons: it’s felt too personal to share, or too fresh to re-examine, or not-just-my-story-to-share. Almost all of that has been, if not negative, then at least Not Really Good, and the kind of thing that leaves me contemplative and a little unsteady. There was one week at the start of the summer in particular that feels fictional to recount, now, filled with things piling on top of each other that simply shouldn’t occur next to each other, yet did. 2022 has felt, at times, like a lesson in extremes and how much we can bear at any given time.

As I look ahead to the next twelve months, I find myself unable to imagine what lies in wait in a way that feels different than usual. My tradition at this time of year, even in the shittiest years, has been to imagine the last year as something I was leaving behind and starting fresh with something new. 2022 refuses to go out the way, I feel. There’s a sense inside me that the flux and uncertainty about the world is going to continue into 2023, as if the story of the year isn’t finished with me yet. When midnight rolls around on December 31, it feels as if the message is less Happy New Year and more To Be Continued…

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