2022: Year in Retrospect
This year, or rather, the past year – 2022 – was a truly amazing one in more than one respect.
It certainly had its low points too – rock-bottoms and troughs that were especially devastating to me.
According to general consensus, 2022 was a better year than 2021.
This is not to say COVID-19 was eradicated, or present no more, in 2022 – quite the opposite, in fact.
If you ask me, I’d say it was more prevalent than ever.
Of course, this likely is biased, seeing as I got COVID-19 twice in 2022 – and, this is the same year I came face-to-face with the virus for the first time ever.
As with all negatives, there must be positives; and the converse is also true.
Don’t take my word for it – there is actually a law that states as much, more or less.
Apparently, predictions were made for 2022 – the majority of which, turned out to be shockingly right.
The name – 2022 – lends itself to wistful reflection and daring innovation, at least in terms of looking ahead and planning for the future.
Here’s some highlights of what 2022 brought to the table…
The implacable rise of AI and Machines that (eventually) take over our world.
An emergence of idealistic, brand spanking new technologies.
(The road to) beatific perfection of self-driving cars.
Extinction or obsolescence of the Gas Engine.
Dealing with COVID-19 for the first time.
Loneliness and social expectations.
Turning 30 – a true milestone.
Now, hold your horses. That doesn’t seem all that right – after all, was the whole world going through each of those outlined points?
I’ll now rightfully hold out my hands in appeasement. Please, don’t shoot. At least, not until the towering elephant in the room has been arrested – the true perpetrator of the crime. To be fair, it was about time that just desserts were served, and on a burnished gold platter to boot.
Confused? Well yes, that was rather intentional on my part.
OK, let’s clarify – the last three above were only related to me.
But who knows, this might very well be applicable to a whole slew of other people as well. Maybe I really have opened a big ol’ can of worms here. But I would say that’s rather the exception than the rule.
Plus, isn’t that really the whole point of the universe, and life in general? Essentially, that one is never on a boat by themselves – there’s always Fido or even someone else.
Like a pirate gazing ever so intently through the lone spyglass, let’s cast our eyes through the transparent lens, and introspect backwards, on a now-past year – and what it means to us.
Image Credits: Introspection by Pierre Amour
How Was 2022?
I encourage others to consider and think on what the year 2022 means – or meant – to each of us.
If someone picked me out of the audience, even when my own hand was not raised, and though I noticed lots of other hands raised – and yes, I would certainly be miffed in this scenario, but I’d expect others would line up right behind me – but assuming this scene materializes, and assuming I got (wrongly) singled out and chosen out of the vast throng of people, sort of like winning a lottery that I’d never really heard about or signed up for. I’ll admit I would certainly be flattered, but also undeniably stunned at the same time.
Let’s play along and entertain this fanciful notion for now, and say this (needlessly convoluted) scenario holds – then in my eyes, I might be hypothetically pulled aside, if just for the moment, and then such a question might be blasted through on a bullhorn or a similar contraption:
@Ritvik N. In your own words, what do you think of the year 2022?
What were your greatest accomplishments and milestones of this past year?
Tell me about the goals you set for yourself, and which ones you were able to get out the way; and ones which are still left on the back burner for next year.
What could you have done better, and what could you have done worse?
Lastly, tell me about your journey (and the potholes you hit along the way) this year. Sing to me the Great Ballad of all that transpired, and all the scenes you have retained in memory, of what went down in 2022.
First of all, I would probably throw the (admittedly heavy) rulebook out the window in a fit of anger and frustration, if someone posed that question to me all in one go.
Secondly, sometime after I had calmed down following the incident which involved breaking a rather expensive glass pane, and after I had retrieved said leather-bound book and dusted it off – once I had a moment to reflect on what the question was largely asking, I would agree that it is essentially posed as an open-ended or free-form question, meaning there is really no right or wrong answer, and so if absolutely needed the question could be distilled down to one simple ask – phrased in a mere seven words or less, just as so.
What went down (and up) in 2022?
And no, this is not a trick question.
As I alluded to above, every negative has it’s positive. Or put more succinctly here, each “up” has its “down”. Every yin to a yang, and so forth. It’s simply the balance to the universe and everything, and nothing particularly specific to a year or period of time in any way.
But anyway, to address the question, if someone asked me that right off the bat, and caught me while I was in the midst of a brisk mid-morning run, I would have to take a breather and then start off by saying:
2022 was certainly a great year. Perhaps not the best year of my life, but a year in which I certainly tried to live it to the fullest.
I’ll be honest – rarely have I lived life by taking a bull by the horns, as I have in the year 2022. I really broke the mold and did some new and interesting things this year; I also traveled quite a bit, and visited some cool and exciting places, most of which I’d never been to before.
It truly was a marvelous year to envisage new technologies, and to expand your horizons and try new things.
A year in which most people became understandably restless after being homebound most of 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Offices started requiring employees to commute to physical offices instead of working from home. Conventions and events started meet in-person this year. People started casting off the metaphorical shackles that had bound them for so long, attempting to break free.
I hit an undoubtedly epic milestone in my age. I got sick with COVID for the first time, and hated every second of it. I attended two tech conventions, each for the first time in my life. I got COVID again, hated it as much; I was bedridden for a whole day. I almost made a friend, and almost made a lover, two separate entities – then the moment passed, and it slipped through the cracks in my outstretched hand. I traveled (almost) all the way West and South of the contiguous United States. I went hiking and sightseeing at some really cool spots. I finally bit the bullet and got outfitted with a brand spanking new PS5 and game, which I’m rather proud of.
And yes, I stood up this (very same) website that you are reading through now.
Let there be no mistake, 2022 was a great year on all counts. As a matter of fact, I was firing on almost full cylinders this year.
Hopefully, the year looking ahead – 2023 – will be even better.
Now, let’s take a brief pause here. I still need to collect my thoughts and memories.
Memory is always fleeting, more so in my case. I’ve come to realize that writing about it, paired with taking photos of everything (including the trivial, everyday details) helps a great deal – which is honestly something I need to get more in the habit of doing.
As far as the broad strokes go, however, here’s what I remember the most about this special year.
There’s a lot I accomplished this year – in 2022:
- Attended PyCon, in-person in Salt Lake City, Utah for the first time.
- I went with a group of guys I met there on a road trip to Arches National Park.
- I went with my sister on a (much-longer) road trip to Zion National Park.
- Booked an Electric Bike City Tour, and rode an E-Bike for the first time ever.
- Turned 30 over the Summer.
- An monumental and critical milestone. I feel it is precisely at this point when most start to realize that age is (mostly) just a number.
- I tried my hand at Archery for the first time.
- Finished the day by going to a cool Korean BBQ spot.
- Contracted Coronavirus (COVID-19) for the first time.
- Also went to an Star Wars concert at Wolf Trap, whilst I was unknowingly sick with COVID (to be fair, I pegged it only as a headache).
- Took a trip with my family to North Carolina, and to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
- We visited the Smoky Mountains and quite a few hiking spots there.
- Went Moonshine tasting at Sugarlands in Gatlinburg, for only $5 each person. Great quality and varieties of Moonshine.
- Road trip and joined my extended family in Florida, for Thanksgiving week.
- Went to Miami, a whole host of other locations and eateries, and Disney World.
- Attended AWS re:Invent, live and in-person in Las Vegas, NV for the first time.
- I blogged about it too.
- I got down with Coronavirus (COVID-19) once again. Perhaps Omicron or another strain this time. It was as unpleasant as the first time.
- Attended a ton of social events, and almost made a new friend.
- Met a nice, cute girl who was perfect for me – then I somehow miraculously fouled it up, and I ended up right back where I started. SNAFU, anyone?
- Wrote and published a lot of Yelp and Google Reviews this year, on restaurants and new places I’d visited. It really was worth it.
- Applied for the Yelp Elite program as well.
- Enrolled and completed three graduate, foundational CS classes at George Mason.
- I enrolled as a part-time student as I was working full-time.
- Stood up this website that you are reading, and published it on “my name dot-com”.
Well, that’s certainly a lot to digest, and I’ll leave it as is for now.
Suffice it to say, I will miss (the year) 2022. This was a great year, and I truly moved the needle on the personal improvement front, even if not much traction was made on the academic or social front.
It was great to have boots on the ground, and embrace an active and adventurous lifestyle in 2022.
In the eye of my mind, I proceed now to light fireworks as a final send-off to a great year in passing. I would equally attempt a 21-gun salute, even if it stretches the bounds of my imagination to do so.
May you always hold a special place in our hearts and memories. You have served your time well. Go now in peace.
And may you always find solace and comfort in the history books, that will forever capture you in their long, exhaustive pages; also as recorded in this blog – which I truly hope against all reason passes the test of time, and with flying colors at that.
Final send-off, to the year 2022.
I’ll remember you in the sanctified recesses of my mind, long after we’ve passed you by. Even after you fade into just a four-digit number. The whole world will.