2022 life lessons

by - January 11, 2023

Purple background with gold star and firework illustrations. Text in the middle reads things to take away from 2022

The end of this year wasn’t what I would have hoped but that doesn’t mean that the whole of this year was bad. In fact, I would say the first half was pretty good and I really enjoyed this summer. 2022 has had some good memories, even if there were really difficult times. As I do at the end of every year, I wanted to document what I have learnt in 2022. 

What I learnt in 2022:

Your 20s are meant to be confusing and uncertain and a time to work things out. 

Having graduated this year, I faced the confusion and the feeling of having lots to sort out. I felt the pressure of having to have everything in place and suddenly not having a clear path. Reading about other people's experiences of life in their 20s made me realise that for most people, their 20s are a transitional and uncertain period of their life and that is okay. It is a time when you are getting used to adulting. Talking to others in my situation older than me also taught me that really I am still so young and have a lot of life ahead of me.  

No response is a response. 

2022 has been a year where I have been frustrated at many points that I have not got an answer. I’ve found it hard at times to navigate and have closure with no formal response. It has taken some time to get used to, but I’ve realised that ultimately no response is a response. Not getting a response can tell you a lot about a situation even if not receiving an answer is far from ideal. 

Things can wait, people can’t. 

Experiencing loss is a brutal reminder that our time with people is limited. They won’t be in our lives forever. But there will usually be other opportunities to do other things you might want to. 

There is no “right” way to grieve. 

I’ve always known that people grieve differently and that grief is complex. But experiencing loss at the end of this year really reminded me of it and the importance of just taking whatever emotions you are experiencing as they come. Sometimes you might cry, sometimes you will feel numb or disconnected and other times things might not feel real. Sometimes you may feel you are on false happiness. 

It’s okay to not always know what you believe. 

I have gone in and out of faith and sometimes I have felt lost. It’s a feeling I don’t like but ultimately come to accept that it doesn’t matter if at points you don’t know what you believe. This doesn’t just apply to faith but to other topics too. Ultimately, informing yourself and giving yourself time to work out why you believe what you believe or what you believe is important. This doesn’t make you a fraud. It is also natural to experience changes in what you believe as you grow older and evolve as a person. 

Memories are such an important part of who we are and it’s okay to reminisce them. 

I have looked back on memories a few times this year and smiled remembering things. Whether it be looking through photos or just reliving some happy moments in my head. I’ve sometimes felt pressure that maybe this means I’m not living in the present enough. However, so long as you are not living in the past and are still looking at moving forward this is okay. After all, our past and memories shape such an important part of who we are.

Accepting difficult experiences is the key to overcoming them. 

One of the most important things I have taken from therapy is acceptance. You cannot change what has happened and what you have lived through. However, you can learn to live with them. I can stop searching for a different life and happiness like I will find it elsewhere and learn to be happy with what I have at the moment.

Searching for happiness will make you more miserable. It is about learning to be happy with what you have. 

So many times, I feel society places such an emphasis on searching for happiness like it is an external good you can just obtain. We forget that the very search for happiness and something we might not have can actually make us feel more unhappy. We should by all means take steps to improve our well-being and work towards goals that excite us but life is ultimately about adapting to the different problems it throws at you as best as you can. Adapting and accepting your life as it is is the way to feel the happiest you can be in a given moment. 

Related posts: Things to remember from 2017 | Things to take away from 2018 | Things to take away from 2019 | 2019 reflection | 2020 reflection | 2021 reflection 

Keep me going 🙂:

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