2022 Year in Review

2022 summary and media recommendations

2022 Year in Review

2022 in summary

Naturally my assumption for 2022 was similar to that of 2021 with lots of creating and making. I was excited because I felt I was getting closer to narrowing down what I wanted to focus on. However, the little ad hoc things piled up and snowball’d my plans. At first, I started a new PM (product management) job that sounded promising on paper as it aligned with my interests and beliefs. Things started to get rocky just before I left for a trip. I decided to resign when I came back. I found another PM job later in the year. Initially I had some reservations about whether it would be the right fit for me due to some differences. But the people and structure made up for it. 2021 me might struggle to understand and would likely be disappointed that I didn’t invest more time into pursuing more of my personal work. But I also did realise my goals were centered around things that I would have loved to learned and do, but not necessarily do the actual work. I grappled with conflicts related to my beliefs and self-worth for the most part. I think with the introduction of the new jobs but familiar challenges, it prompted me to reevaluate and learned what to cut out from my to-dos and priorities (well, a little bit better). Ironically I got so overwhelmed that I had completely forgotten that I went for a Yin Yoga teacher training this year that could have helped me manage my stress better. As with each passing year, I got to observe how my priorities shift to things that I like doing more, rather than getting the vanity metrics in. I ended the year making friends (new and close ones). And I did publish some pieces of writing that I enjoyed and learned more about myself, especially the past stories that shaped me who I am today and in the perspective of growing up online:
I dealt with a lot of my feelings and emotions and internal conflicts for the most part of this year. Rescheduling my personal time around… other aspects of life was not easy. I felt uncomfortable to readjust and accommodate for a new schedule and routine, especially when it involves a long commute to work. Change is scary, but forcing myself to cope and manage the waves of emotions coming from the change is scarier. Perhaps the fear stemmed from the possibility of my newfound identity (creating and making things online) being questioned and disrupted, considering the effort I had invested in building it up for the past two years. It didn’t help when my imposter syndrome reached new heights at work in the first job of 2022. I was constantly worried and on edge if I had done enough and if my performance met expectations. I was also preoccupied with how others perceived me and what image or perception they labeled me. In the end, I was concerned about being accepted and fitting in. All these weren’t new to me, but the symptoms were the worst and it took some time to acknowledge that the working environment and the team I worked with weren’t in line with what I had expected. Although I didn’t truly know what I wanted in a job, this experience taught me a pricey lesson. My stress exacerbated and even carried over during my job hunt. It’s ironic how ego is a source of stress when I could just let go of what people’s perceptions and expectations have of me. But as social creatures, we constantly seek external validation to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance in a group. It’s okay though, we’re trying, I’m trying to rewire that bit by bit. At first I ran and refuse to confront these negative feelings by burying myself with more work, even though deep down I knew it wasn’t the right approach to dealing with my feelings. Only later I came to realise that my imposter syndrome seemed like a constant presence in my life. Maybe instead of having to always battle it, I should embrace it wholeheartedly (Because fuck it lol). I have a tendency to avoid a lot of feelings like anxiety, jealousy, and discomfort, but I recently admitted that shame is another feeling that I try to evade. It feels shameful to admit that. I associate shame with the way you would shame a child for doing something bad or shouldn’t do. It feels shameful to experience this as an adult — the shame of not living up to expectations, the shame of not being good enough.
I found myself tired and fed up of running away and distracting myself with work over the years, because they weren’t sustainable for long. Since they did not help me manage my feelings, why not do the opposite and try something different? What if I allow myself to feel and sit with my feelings, treating them like a friend in need? For as long as I can remember, I’ve been inclined to avoid negative feelings because they’re painful and scary and it’s what causes us pain to begin with. It’s natural instinct to shield ourselves from pain. So, to sit with them as a solution? What if sitting with them is as painful as placing your hand on a hot stove? What if sitting and feeling them only overwhelms me even more, making me drown and suffocate in their depths? What if it’s not possible to have a civil conversation with them? Yet, like all things in life, feelings and emotions exist in a spectrum. Just as light cannot exist without darkness or darkness without light, we cannot solely rely on positive feelings without experiencing negative ones too. When I sit and feel my feelings, I notice sensations pooling at the edges of my skin and imagine my feelings flow out of my body, releasing their hold on me. When I think of them as energy that flows in and out of the body, it feels more manageable because my body doesn’t have to carry the weight of my feelings for too long. Like energy waves, feelings are temporary; they come and they go. We feel relief after a good cry when we’re feeling sad. We also feel better after a good rant when we’re feeling annoyed. When we take deep breaths to calm ourselves in stressful situations, it mirrors the act of sitting and letting the feelings to dissipate. I owe my newfound understanding to the my breathwork exercises. I’d also go into talking about trauma in the body too, but that’s for another time. For a long time, I tried to intellectualize my feelings and emotions while journaling. But perhaps a better experience is to simply feel the sensations in your body and the feelings come with it. It’s still a work in progress, but lately it has been helpful for me (when I do remember to feel my feelings, rather than stressing the fuck out). Maybe by accepting the negative feelings as part of my experiences, I started to grow a bit more comfortable with my new job even though I initially had some hard feelings (hello work friends, this is not personal lol). As I slowly got to know the people I work with and becoming a bit closer to some, things were okay.
2022 TLDR; I felt a lot of things and learned to manage them better.

Other learnings

Writing about past stories
  • I wrote mostly about personal and past experiences that shaped me today. Maybe I’ll work on other pieces next — less about me and more about how my writing can help others
  • Being comfortable to be boring. It doesn’t mean lazing around, but to take the time to be boring to become more interesting. Take the time investing in an interest, instead of jumping from one new thing to another.
  • Knowing what you want — doing it for myself, or to prove to others?
    • I was attracted to proving myself to others, so I set goals that I didn’t give a shit about. It was more FOMO and the fear of not being good enough than it is doing it for myself.
    • Expensive lessons at my jobs - knowing what I want and don’t want
Taking care of my needs and feeling my feelings
  • Managing my psychology and emotions
    • Letting go of my ego
    • Sitting with my thoughts and feelings, and feeling them all
  • Reinforcing my detachment towards work
  • Knowing how to get back to my routines which helps ground myself. It’s okay to have slow days and do nothing to rejuvenate.
  • Listing things. I love lists. They help me so much. I put together lists, like shortcuts to my mind to help me remember and organize my thoughts.

Other 2022 highlights

Personal and work
  • Completed 50 hour yin yoga teacher training
  • Revamped my personal website (you’re here!) on Feather
  • Got a new job, quit that job
  • Got another new job, still with it
  • 1 year into daily journalling and not stopping
  • Started a daily breathwork practice (Since mid Sept)
  • Got my Notion pages improved: Digital garden, life principles, projects etc.
  • Saw a chiropractor for my back
  • Launched a dumb Twitter course
  • Went to London and Singapore for close friends’ weddings
  • Surfskating improvements and community
  • Lots of socials in Q4 — probably the most socials I had all year around
  • Volunteered at a cool local art book fair and met new friends :)
  • Minted first NFT
  • Got a new haircut
  • Got a new tattoo

2022 recommendations: (That I enjoyed)

  • Must-watch: Everything Everywhere All At Once
  • Slow burn: Drive My Car, Columbus, Licorice Pizza, Nomadland
  • My feels: Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (TV, oh my god my first kdrama)
  • Superhero: The Batman, Eternals
  • Fun and rainbows: Our Flag Means Death (TV)
  • Other: The Worst Person in the World, 3000 Years of Longing

2023 Plans (High level)

Not revealing too much, but besides my daily product work and routines:
  • Continue writing on my personal blog and Slice of Life newsletter! (Either one, once a month!)
  • Continue managing my psychology! (and maybe help others too!)
  • Surfskate on the bowl comfortably + 180 back snap comfortably!
  • Host small dinners or something more!