Far from having a super interesting life, it’s nice to look back and see what 2022 looked like. I have added titles to each section so you can skip anything that is not interesting to you. Go ahead, I won't take any offence!
I had moved into a rental house in May 2021, from NYC to Dayton, Ohio. Going from a small 1-bedroom apartment to a 3-bedroom house was quite a change, but it was not all fantastic. The house had many issues (broken heating all winter long) and it was quite into the suburbs. Lacking a car, aside from the occasional Uber/Lyft trip, it was a bit of a stay-at-home situation.
Luckily, Dayton has a bunch of bars and breweries but Warped Wing was the go-to (a friend who grew up there sent a bunch of very useful recommendations but WW was the one that stuck). I was (and am) still very conscious of COVID being a threat, so despite being indoors, it’s basically a warehouse. There’s a lot of air circulation, and having gone there at least twice a month for six months without getting sick, I think it worked out. It was a good way to go out without feeling too scared like I would have at a movie theatre or a concert (more on this later…).
March 2022 was when I started going to therapy. Well, remotely, anyways. I’m an anxious introverted person and I touch my face, play with my beard, still bite my nails a little (though, to my credit, a lot less than in middle school!), so I started talking about all that and what I can work on to become more comfortable and speak up for myself more (confrontation? no thanks). Mental health is still quite stigmatised and I’ve seen so many things recently that just scare me for the future. Therapy is healthy, and yes, even for men! Who’d have thunk! Even though each session isn’t a major breakthrough, it’s good to go back and think about the week’s events and process things after taking a step back.
This Dayton situation would not work out (mainly due to the carless suburban life), and this house would be a nightmare for another year. My job has an office based in Cincinnati, and my boss just so happened to find a listing on Craigslist of his exact apartment from a few years ago (it was even his old photos of the place) and told me good things, so I planned a trip down to Cincy via Greyhound buses mid-June. Got to see some colleagues at the office I hadn't seen since 2019, yikes! The apartment looked nice and I signed a hold on the spot. Peace of mind achieved.
It was then time to Sell Some Shit™. Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up, Craigslist… it can be a goldmine for some people but I really hate it. Between the scams, the “I’ll take it for five dollars” and the “I’m super interested”-but-then-never-reply-again, it’s just a lot of stress. I think it went as well as it could have, and a very small “strip mall” area close to the house had a donation container. I’d say there was probably about 15% of the house’s stuff in there over the weeks.
I hate moving. I hate it so much. “Why do I have so much crap?”, I always ask myself, and yet the very next week I place a $100 order on Amazon for stuff I maybe-kinda need that will clutter up any space freed by selling/donating. Ugh. At least, the three cats got used to the place very quickly, always a good sign!
I took up my boss on his offer to drive me to a hardware store and got some wood planks, and I built a frame to secure the TV onto the wall (landlord said no drilling!), and honestly it looks good given I made it. I really enjoy making things, either designing shirts, or actually building stuff in real life. It's very satistfying, especially with this TV frame that I even planned out on paper, measured twice, all that good stuff.
I also did some work on myself: in September, I decided to start running. My dad has run a fair share of marathons, and still runs 10 Km every Sunday despite being over 60 years old — figured I could do a little running as I approached 30. I’ve been quite inactive my whole life (praise be my metabolism, for now) so it was something I really wanted to do. From the end of September to the end of November, I managed to go from 2 Km to 5.5 Km runs, about three times a week. And I live on a hill so I get that extra calf exercise!
In other health-related stuff, I went out with a few co-workers before Thanksgiving and had too much to drink. I later got even more drunk for the office Holiday party and even vomited (in the bathroom luckily). I was told I behaved but this has definitely eaten at me and I don't like not being fully aware, especially if I'm seeing fantastic folks I haven't seen in over three years — I'd like to remember that, especially not knowing when the next time will be! (also when I have very limited social interactions in a new city) A nasty blizzard picked up after the party and a co-worker drove me home, bless his soul.
I launched a new version of my website on Halloween after working on it for a while whenever I had time, and shared it on Twitter (RIP, I've migrated to Mastodon). I have a strong distaste for being “in the spotlight” but it got so many nice comments, including from people I really look up to, so I’ll accept it for a short moment. Let’s call it a Halloween costume: Extroverted Chris!
I finished Horizon: Forbidden West: I appreciate story-driven video games a lot with well-built lore and strong characters, and this hit the mark. A little too much talking at times but overall, a fine game. I also started Cyberpunk 2077, which I am really enjoying (not beaten yet!), I loved God of War Ragnarök a lot, and Outer Wilds's Echoes of the Eye additional content was excellent. It's nice to visit other worlds, you know? Which reminds me: I only read one book this year (Recursion by Blake Crouch: it was good). I need to read more, and I have books lined up! Also, it's more of a gamified activity, but I managed to do 365 days in a row on DuoLingo for learning Japanese! I still suck at it.
At the end of November, I tripped and fell while on my morning run. Nothing major, but I scraped up my knee and both hands. And it tore a hole in my running pants! Thanks, uneven side walk tile. I have not gone running since then, but soon… That same night, the aforementioned concert event: Bad Omens. It’s a band I only recently discovered, but I listened to them so much that an opportunity to see them, at walking distance from the apartment, was too good to pass up. It was a nice show, great tunes and energy, alas, I was the only person wearing a mask within a ten-mile radius, so you might have guessed it: COVID finally got me. My symptoms were not bad and I kept working to keep me busy, though I probably should have taken a day off to play video games. Next time…
I started looking at flights to back to see my family for the holidays but it turns out my green card stuff still hasn’t been processed and I must wait some more, so I could not be sure to be able to return to the US. A bit sad but postponing the trip is probably for the best. Having done it a few times now, I can with 100% confidence tell you: flying for the holidays is quite horrible. Especially across an ocean.
As I was bestowed yet another avuncular title at the end of January, now “Uncle Chris” to five nieces, seeing family sounds like a good thing. The fact my sister and her family with four kids are in Australia, and my brother with his fiancée and little one are in the UK, I don’t feel great about not being “there”, even via FaceTime. Definitely something I should work on this coming year.
December 11th, my special day. Yay, I’m 30. Testing positive with COVID meant staying inside. I still feel like high school was a handful of years ago, and don’t feel old, however I do believe I’ve matured. I’m so much more sensitive to politics, human rights, the climate, and all that stuff that pieces of shit in power suppress and dismiss. As a straight white male, I have acknowledged my privilege (I was definitely aware in the past but the past decade has been oh-so eye-opening) and want to make sure that I listen to the voices of people who are not like me. It can be uncomfortable, but that is such an easy burden for me compared to what other folks go through every day.
I am not a huge Christmas person, but I do enjoy the vibe, the weird ornaments, and the cookies. I even got a tiny plastic tree that the cats did not ruin, much to my surprise. While not on my mother’s level, I tried to replicate some of her dishes with frikadeller (basically flattened meatballs), caramelised potatoes and red cabbage, and as a non-Danish extra, a little coquito to wash it all down (took me a couple of tries to get it right, though). A mild success, all things considered.
Well, this certainly turned into quite a brain dump. I don’t lead an eventful life, but I suppose there’s always something to be said. And I’m aware of my luck. This year, the heat (and AC!) works, I still have my job that I enjoy quite a lot, I’m learning new things all the time, my COVID episode was short and pretty painless, and all my loved ones who also got it are doing pretty well… maybe sometimes, not too much going on can be good to realise you’d like a little more to go on? I dunno, averaged on D+ for my philosophy classes in high-school, I don’t have smart insights. But I can try a haiku?
Trips around the Sun
They do not always bring much
So, let's make them count
PS: This isn’t about code, sorry if that’s why you clicked!