twenty twenty two: in review
Hello dear reader, whoever you are, whenever you are.
To be honest, I am not sure who reads these logs. From what I can tell, it's nobody but webcrawlers. Which is okay; not everything written needs to be read.
This is the only place I feel comfortable talking openly about my feelings, so, if you are someone in my personal life reading this and you are mentioned, I am sorry. I need to be honest with myself and my thoughts.
This is my reflection on the year 2022.
2022 was an awful year for me. There were many great moments, but unfortunately, I am (as I shall discuss later) mentally ill and incapable of maintaining any level of joy or happiness. I am chronically anxious and jealous and agitated and now, socially avoidant. Great. Awesome.
Is it smarter to talk about the good things first, or the bad things first? I guess we should avoid the sad shit, so let's talk about good stuff.
Camping. Still going strong on this hobby! Went three more times this year and had a blast. Love getting out on the road and disconnecting and being in nature. Those are some of the most pleasant memories I have of this year. I'd like to continue this into the new year, and go out even more! I've got a lot of planning to do, and I'm also going to be adding "highpointing" into the mix. Hopefully this year I can bag a handful of state peaks.
Photography. Another thing that I am really glad I picked up and kept with. I bought myself a new camera this year and have been having a ton of fun with it. I just love taking pictures, flat out. I love shooting candids of people, shots of birds, macro shots of my figurines, all of it.
Con-life. I started going back to conventions this year! I have a really awesome friend who went with me to both AMKE and ACEN out in the midwest, and we had a ton of fun together. I didn't cosplay, but I am making plans to do so this year. Can't wait to go again. I have so much fun being in that scene, being among my fellow dorks and nerds.
Writing. Not really sure if this one should be a good thing or a bad thing, honestly. This year I wrote again, I 'competed' in Nanowrimo and won, meaning I wrote 50,000 words solely in the month of november. Which is a huge accomplishment on its own. That should be a good thing. But, as I'll get into a bit down the road, I'm not really happy with what I wrote and I don't really know if I will ever let anyone read it. I've learned that I don't have a great stomach for criticism. A good friend of mine once called a bit of writing I did "cliche" and I have never sent them any more of my writing since. Which is uh, bad. Not being able to take criticism is a sure sign of someone who won't be able to grow.
Okay, now for everything else.
Physical Health. On one of my camping trips, I developed IT Band Syndrome, and it has not really gone away fully yet, despite me shelving camping for the rest of the year. It still bothers me every now and then, which is deeply distressing. I also have developed some kind of nerve issue on my mouse hand, which makes gaming and browsing very uncomfortable for long stretches. My pinky and ring fingers get numb and sting. Even after avoiding playing games at all for weeks on end, it does not seem to improve at all. The pain and numbness return as soon as I start playing again. Which is also deeply distressing.
Mental Health. Wow, god, where to begin? Everything has really gone down the shitter, to be honest. I came into this year feeling really bad because of work. I've been assigned to a project the entire year and it remains highly stressful and makes me loathe going in every single day, more so than I normally did. I underestimated how badly having a looming deadline on your shoulders could affect my mental health, but it's a lot. So, that was in the background while I careened towards a big milestone in my life: my 25th birthday. This spurred on a whole nother cavalcade of stress and self-loathing. I am supposed to be honest here, so I will be: I have a huge chip on my shoulder about being chronically single, and this got way worse after I turned 25 and has stuck with me since. I am, to a large degree, embarrassed about it and unfortunately constantly reminded of it.
Friends. So, this is partially related to the above. I've had some problems with my friends this past year and none of them really seem to know, and I've deduced that the reason for the problems is that I have some kind of anxiety or depression or combination of the two that just loves doing whatever it can to take away my happiness. The main issue is with a group of friends of mine that I've been in since college, so, five plus years at this point. Long ago, there were only six or seven of us, and it was not tight nit at all, in fact, things were quite "strictly business". We were D&D friends, so we'd talk about D&D in that chat, and that was pretty much it. Then, someone invited a handful of new people, and then it was adjacent friends, and then everything changed and I couldn't stand it anymore. I've thought about what I think the problem is, and here's my attempt at introspecting why I am uncomfortable in that group of people now: I am less important. Narcissistic, right? But that must be it. I was once one in eight, and now I'm one in like twenty, and a lot of those people are better friends with each other than they are with me. So, I don't feel welcome anymore, I'm surrounded by people who "hog the spotlight". Now, obviously that's all insane and I'm the only one who thinks that way and feels that way, but it doesn't change that I do feel awful any time I'm in a chat and suddenly fifteen people have joined and are all talking over each other. I just don't think my jealous brain can handle big social circles because they make me feel so small and insignificant. So, now I don't go in that chat much anymore, or post messages. I've just slowly faded away. And the other great thing for my self-esteem is that nobody really seems to care. Only like two people have reached out to me to even ask where I went. So that's nice.
I am so sorry for this pity party. If you actually read all that shit, I feel like I need to send you some money or something. I'll try to figure all this out so next year is a lot more fun and there's none of this embarrassing trash on the page anymore.
Onwards and upwards,