A year in the life: Review of my 2022

It’s reaching the end of 2022, and I’m trying to remember everything that happened this year. My memory is pretty bad, and I struggle to keep track of time and always mix events that happened in completely different times (and places!).

With the help of my camera app and my journal I always forget to write in, I wanted to recap the highlights of this year. There aren’t that many because I had jaw surgery at the beginning of 2022, and my main focus has been recuperating and attending my monthly dentist visits in London.

Winter

frost park
Frost near our home

Starting therapy for the first time

This is the first and only time I’ve completed a New Year Resolution the moment the new year started. I decided to book my first therapy session to work on my social anxiety. I still go every two weeks.

Staying in Barcelona

I lived in Barcelona for four years while I was at university, and I haven’t been back since. Staying in this city after all this time felt surreal. I took my partner to some of my favourite places, went for long walks around beautiful neighbourhoods, and ate fantastic food.

Getting jaw surgery

It was almost at the same time that a war was starting, my sister had to leave Ukraine, where she lived with her partner, and I was getting jaw surgery in Spain. I was terrified, and I spent two weeks drugged up with painkillers and antibiotics. I was staying in Barcelona, and I wasn’t sleeping much, but my issues felt irrelevant with everything going on not so far away from us.

I remember those first weeks as hell on earth, I couldn’t eat or sleep, I was in constant pain, and my face looked like a balloon. I would spend hours reading my Twitter feed to get news about the war, and then I would just cry. My mental health wasn’t the most stable.

Spring

springtime tree
Spring breaks loose in the forest

After the shock of my balloon face post-surgery, in just a month, my swelling started to go down, and my face started to show a shape I was comfortable enough to walk around my town in England. However, I still avoided most social interactions, so I spent most of the springtime walking around in nature on my own.

Taking a photography class

I wanted to force myself to do something my social anxiety had prevented me from doing in the past, and that was joining a class and being surrounded by strangers. I decided to start with something easy and join a photography workshop to photograph nature. We walked around the forest for a few hours, looking for the most interesting trees.

Summer

copenhagen
Views in Copenhagen

By this point, my face was starting to look better, though I hated my now gigantic jaw as it made my face look a bit uneven. At the same time, Europe was hit by a horrible heatwave. England reached crazy temperatures, and I was struggling to find a place to hide from the heat and sun.

Going to oil painting classes at the university

I used to love drawing and painting, mostly with oil and watercolours, so as another challenge for my anxiety, I joined a six-week art course at the university in our town.

I loved going to class in the evenings, after work, and just spending two hours painting, surrounded by people who love art as much as I do. It was fun. I’m thinking of joining another course in 2023.

Learning I’m on the autism spectrum

In the summer, my therapy sessions moved from my social anxiety issues to “you might be autistic as you’ve shown at least ten autistic traits so far…”. It turns out there’s more to me than just being shy.

I’ve been meaning to write a post about this, but I still don’t know where to start and what to say exactly, so I’m leaving it for the new year once I’ve done enough research and can write something that makes sense.

Turning 28 and visiting Denmark

Denmark has always been in my top 10 destinations, and I finally went to Copenhagen with my partner to celebrate my birthday. We walked a lot, saw beautiful buildings and ate lots of sugary stuff.

The night of my birthday, we stayed at the hotel, had pizza and watched Bridget Jones’ Diary.

My family visiting my home in England for the first time

I’ve been living in England for the past four years, but with Covid and people’s busy schedules, it wasn’t until this summer that my family came over to see where I live. We went to some of my favourite places in town and did some touristy stuff I had never done before.

Autumn

pumpkin patch
A pumpkin patch we visited

Moving into a new house

After years of living in tiny flats in the city centre, my partner and I moved into a terraced Victorian house in a smaller neighbourhood. It was early October when we moved, and I decorated the house for Halloween.

Spending Christmas in Spain with my family

It’s so hot in Spain at the moment, it’s 20C as I write this. We even went to the beach on Boxing Day. I’m so sad that it’s snowing in some parts of the UK, including our town, while I’m here putting on sunscreen every time I leave the house.

The fact that we only have three seasons, spring, summer and sometimes autumn, is one of the main reasons I moved to England. But at least I spent December seeing family members and going to long dinners and eating amazing food we don’t have in the UK.

I’m flying back in a few days to a colder, darker country, and I can’t wait to start the new year in our new home. Overall, ignoring everything else going on in the world, 2022 has been a good year for me, different and exciting. I don’t know what to expect from 2023, I guess we’ll see!


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