What I Did in 2022


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I totally write this on Chinese New Year’s Eve rather than actual New Year’s to be celebratory, why do you ask?

Honestly, 2020 and 2021 were quite a blur, and only in 2022 did I really feel like I actually had change. There may be overlap with 2021 as a result.

Part of the reason I like to write is to fight back this feeling of time blazing past. I have like 20 draft posts that hopefully I’ll actually finish up. Drafts is too strong a word– more like journal entries? Nebulous thoughts that I quickly scratched down. It’s one thing to write down a half-strung thought (I refuse to get a Twitter), but another altogether to synthesize and clean it up for a digestible post.

It’s also quite a trip looking back at my “What I learned in 2019” post. It feels so young? And I felt a little forlorn when I didn’t see any 2021-esque similar blurb. On the other hand, I have come to realize that quantizing life in these yearly phases loses some of its magic. We have phases, yes, but operating without this (self-imposed) deadline of “This year is the year for XYZ!!” is quite freeing. Like any wave, we cannot observe both our position and speed without great sacrifices in accuracy (Is this too stretch of a metaphor?) This yearly review cadence is a bit much for Dan Wang as well, whose letters are probably the most immersive writing I’ve ever read, and thus the time to synthesize it all must be immense.

It’s also a little bit like stocks. It can often be a bit limiting to glance at a yearly window amongst a backdrop of 10 different things, and thus extrapolating off this (especially in 2022!) can be misleading. A temperature check is fair game, but deeper narratives are dangerous to formulate.

Unpairing yourself from this Yearly Synchronization is interesting. Why wait for a “New Year’s Resolution” to lose weight? Just do it now! There’s no restriction for doing anything, nor does it matter when it got done. Just do it now, and you’ll be happy for trying it, and maybe then the gym won’t be a hellhole in the first week of January.

I remember in college thinking the people who were clearly above 40 years old were weird. Why go to college again? Is there something wrong with their job? Are they a creep if they hang out around college kids all day? But the reality is that they’ve embraced the above idea. There’s no deadline for anything, no restriction for your goals, least of all some kids who think you’re weird for pursuing your curiosity.

Anyways, yes, I’m feeling a bit phasic right now. In 2022ish I–

Goals for 2023

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t like to “label” years, and when my goals come up, I simply do them.

Further, they say having incredibly non-rigid concrete “Resolutions” aren’t great. Having some “themes” can be better, because it provides a subconscious nudge rather than a “need”. I.e. it’s more attainable to say “This is a year of Reading” rather than “Read 20 books” and less nebulous than “Read”. Sort of like a mid-level hiearchichal goal from Grit.

Plus when I look at my 2019 goals, I definitely didn’t do them :). Too many responsibilities as we grow up? Too many interesting things in life? Too non-committal in my projects? Probably all of the above really.

However I’ve already committed (i.e. paid for) a couple things, so I’ll mention them here, as the sunk cost fallacy works greatly in my favor to give up my spent dollars.

Overall, post-covid time has been great. A 30 year-old coworker once said that being 30 is like being 20 but you have money. I am gradually seeing the wisdom in his words.