It is finally seventeen days into the new year and this year seems to be picking up the pace that last year set.
I got inspired to do this by Otaku Journalist. Lauren has been so great with feedback on the blog and overall support.
(Big thanks to her!)
I have decided to break this down by the rule of five. For some questions/topics asked, I will give five examples as a limit, or I’ll be here all day.
What were my top five novels of 2022?
I consumed a decent number of novels this year by reading along with listening to audiobooks. Audiobooks have been a huge revelation to me as I have been struggling with focusing while reading for the last few years. Compared to the prior years, my book intake has tripled.
It was also an odd ADHD genre hyper-fixation year.
I like sharing my reading recommendations, so I tossed this in because reading is cool!
1. Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
I’m not sure if this is a surprise to anyone but this book (and movie) did numbers on me. Vandermeer’s approach to narration and worldbuilding appealed to both the naturalist and the part of me that loves uncomfortable uncertainty in novels. It reads with the same intensity as a fever dream. Oddly endearing but oh so intriguing.
Vandermeer hooked me with the allegorical usage of spores and the nature of self-destruction.
It definitely is not a book for everyone. I have seen a lot of people put off by the nature of the protagonist and Area X. It requires a lot of imagination. For me? One of the best things that could have happened. I love nature, bio-horror, and weird things.
2. World War Z by Max Brooks
Now I am not one for most Zombie media. It is a genre that I’m fussy about. Max Brooks did a swell job of looking at the human aspect of the Z wars. I loved the cultural shifts and narrations! The audiobook is phenomenal. Who does not love Alfred Molina and Alan Alda as part of a narrative ensemble?
3. This is Your Brain on Parasites by Kathleen McAuliffe
One of my hyper fixations this year was parasites and infectious diseases. Do not ask me why I don’t know. I listened to about ten books on the topic, and this ranked at the top. McAuliffe inspired me to look at the potential of studying parasites and criminology, which is not a combo that I’ve ever seen discussed in the same sentence before listening to this. She discusses, without a lot of technical lingoes, parasites! Super fun to listen to but put me off of cats for a while.
4. Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer
I love moss and I love learning about cultures. Both of these are covered deeply in this book. Kimmerer speaks about nature passionately and I got so relaxed when listening to this book. It made me feel comfortable and safe during a rough patch of time in 2022.
5. Oil and Marble by Stephanie Storey
There is nothing better than petty artists being petty to each other.
What were my top 5 moments of that year?
- University Achievements- I was accepted into two honor societies, hit Latin Honors (Summa cum laude), and got approved for graduation at the end of February (of this year)
- Completing NaNoWriMo- I started busting out a world-building idea about Zombies that had been eating at my brain for the last two years (hit 55k!).
- Unmasking- As someone who is neurodivergent this was huge. I am tired of hiding my authentic weird self so I can fit in. We’re embracing the weird now. Love it or hate it!
- Working with the community- I did some cool stuff with Lauren on Gunpla101 and have a blast with the community this year (including the bads too in this one)
- Sticking to my commitments – I thought that I wasn’t going to last with the blog, and I did!
What were my top blunders that year?
- School, yet again. I had a professor who I respected deeply reach out to me and express that she felt disappointed by an assignment I turned in. She felt that I hadn’t worked to my full potential and rushed through it. My procrastination over the years had finally gotten the better of me that term and it was a rodeo to wrangle it in.
- Found out that not only can my body not handle dairy it cannot handle gluten either. I miss bread. A good sourdough bread.
- On the same note as food, I fell off the bandwagon with my fitness journey. I’ve lost over 130 pounds over the last three years and 2022 didn’t show much improvement.
- Grappling with my mental health and crazy stupid imposter syndrome. There had been plenty of times last year when I felt like a crappy friend, crappy person, and crappy educator for distinct reasons out of my control.
What were my top blogs that year?
- Sexism In Our Hobbies (And Why It Ruins Them)
- Sexism In The Hobbies: A Short Revisit
- Elitism and Gatekeeping: Thoughts and Rambles
- 10 Unpopular Gundam Opinions?
- Just a Smidge of Color (Theory)
Am I the same person that I was at the start of 2022
No, or at least I hope not. I feel like I’m more ambitious and confident than I was at the start. A lot of things changed for me, and it was an adapt to survive situation.
I felt like 2022 was a year where I struggled with the grief surrounding my brother and did a lot of processing that allowed me to come out of that situation stronger.
I learned to reach out for help and reassurance especially with unmasking because that was difficult to allow myself to do. To the people whom I reached out to, thanks for being there.
Also, a lot of career choices had been made towards the end. I started applying for serious jobs (no luck but it’s like that sometimes). I got my first phone call application rejection which was great. It meant that the gentleman who had it had read it and given me pointers. Decided to get my teaching certificate while I’m in between Criminology degrees. I want to take a gap year before I start my master’s.
How have some of my perspectives changed that year?
I work in education now and that changed a lot in the past three years, last year being a big one. More specifically, I work in special education and that just opened my eyes to how I view myself and other people. My patience and perspectives have been tested.
My perspective on my inner kiddo has changed. To be a good educator you need to have a good inner child and a good rational adult voice. Cannot be serious all the time. Hell, the number of times I have dabbed in the last year is amazing.
What energy am I bringing to 2023?
Chaos and creativity. I want an art renaissance and I want it now!
I have a whole line of artists that I’m working with and have started to do some rad fucking paintings this year. No sleep till the paint dries!
Have a happy Wednesday, everyone!
2 thoughts on “A Review of 2022: Reflections and Future goals”
Congrats on winning NaNo and keeping your blogging obligations! It sounds like you grew where writing is concerned, and I hope that you continue to improve your craft for 2023. Here’s to more chaos and creativity 🙂
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Yay, Jonlyn! I’m so glad I was able to partially inspire this fantastic review of 2022! I didn’t publish my own this year on Otaku Journalist (maybe I should!), but sitting down on 12/31 and reflecting on the year continues to be one of my most important commitments to myself. It’s so gratifying to read that you experienced so much positive change in 2022, and I’m happy that writing for Gunpla 101 made your list, because it was a pleasure to work with you! Here’s to an incredible 2023!
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