Twenty-two things I learned in 2022.

Happy new year, everyone! Can I even still say that? Well, we are only 19 out of 365 days, so yes, yes, I can. People often do their number countdowns at the end of the year, but it would be nice to share mine at the beginning of the year. Here are 22 things I learned in 2022 that I have taken into 2023. 

You have the option to shut up.

Silence truly is golden, and realizing you do not have to say anything so often is a blessing. The act of being unbothered is just not responding and not feeling the need to voice your concerns and opinions on everyone and everything. 

It's essential to do things just for fun. 

During adulthood, we tend only to do things for the sake of work, as we have to work to survive, and when plenty of us aren’t working, we are in school, working towards a degree that would hopefully land us a job that makes more than what we already do. Despite all this, remember to go and have fun to remember the good things in life. Go to the club, go to that restaurant everyone’s talking about, or have a simple video chat with your friends and play video games with them. Adulthood is so miserable without the fun. Get some. 

Taking criticism is necessary, but you don’t have to take everyone’s criticism

What one person says about your work, another might say something different. It can lead to so much confusion, as you may take in too much criticism, and it can cause a bit of a mess because you’re trying to please everyone. You can not please everyone because someone always has something to say regardless of what you do. Take the critics that feel best for your growth and leave it at that. 

You don't have to answer everyone.

Growing up, I was taught that I should answer everyone because not answering everyone is rude, and it truly isn’t. If people ask you questions about your personal life and your constant opinions about media and want explanations for every little thing you do and say, you don’t have to answer them. People do not need to know your thoughts, opinions, and feelings on everything.

Cosplay is a fun and innocent hobby you shouldn't be ashamed of.

I loved dressing up as a kid because it made me happy. I love dressing up as an adult because it makes me happy. There’s so much darkness in the world, if people want to dress up to have joy, let them. 

Quit that job you hate (but also have a plan).

I hate to admit but having a job you’ve grown to dislike makes it awfully hard to get through the day. At a certain point, it’s no longer worth it for your happiness and sanity, no matter how well it pays.

You can’t grow unless you make hard decisions. 

Change is not easy; if you want the easy way through life, you’re in for a rude awakening. For a change, we must make decisions that affect us in our daily lives. Stopping habits that you have had for years or quitting that job you hate so you can do other things with your career are beneficial for growth. 

Do that thing you’ve always wanted to do as a kid.

As a kid, I always wanted to make my own forms of entertainment: books, movies, shows, and magazines. You do not have to be a professional to make these things just do it. Make the kid version of yourself happy.

Pick up old activities you abandoned as a kid.

I quit drawing when I was 13 because someone in my art class told me my art was ugly. Never would I have thought one mean comment from over ten years ago would affect my relationship with drawing. In 2022 I picked up my pencil and sketchbook again and realized how much I loved them. Those activities you dropped off as a kid may benefit you during adulthood. 

Wear that shirt that shows your stomach if you have a gut.

You do not need to have a super flat stomach to show midriff. If the shirt and dress come in your size, you can wear them. Our stomachs are not meant to be flat always, and that’s ok. It’s how bodies work. It’s typical to bloat and have a gut. Do not let our fatphobic and diet-obsessed culture stop you from wearing what you want.

School gives you time to figure things out.

College is where many people spend the first years of adulthood, and you change so much during this time. School in your 20s allows you to play around with things and see what you like and dislike.

You don't have to follow trends constantly.

I have given up on trying to keep up with the latest trends, that being the shows everyone is raving about, celebrity drama, songs that blow up on TikTok, and the new fashion statements. Trying to be trendy all the time is stressful, leading to authenticity. I’m not saying to not follow trends, but do not feel you have to follow every single one. Being that person doing what everyone else is doing makes it harder for you to stand out.

It's okay to make up your own version of a show/movie/book that disappointed you.

Listen, sometimes; delusion is a good thing. If I want to be delusional to the point where I am content with the version I created of something I like but disappointed to be happy with it, so be it.

Not everything you make has to be for profit (or a lot of profit).

One thing I have grown to love is zines. Many people who make zines do not make much money from them, but that is not the point. It’s about the joy and community that zines bring along. Not all entertainment has to be expensive and well put together, and sometimes silly things that cost a bag of chips can do much for you.

We already know this, but social media is overrated concerning entertainment.

Too many people would rather see what people are saying about a media piece than go and check it out for themselves. Do not be that person; you truly can not form your own opinion about something you haven’t seen, read, or listened to. Social media also can alternate your views on media, as you might enjoy something, but then you look on Twitter and see everyone hates it. Do not let social media ruin how you consume your media. 

Keep your unsolicited advice to yourself

If you give someone advice without them asking for it, they have the right to tell you, “I did not ask you,” because they did not ask you. Unsolicited advice is rude, and not everyone needs your opinion on their work.

It's okay to ask for help.

I admit that I have too much pride at times and would instead do things independently without asking for assistance. The trust is that no one can do everything on their own, which is why we have a community. Feel free to ask for help; it does not make you less creative if you need it. 

Grieving will affect you in ways you never thought it would. 

My mother died at the end of 2021, and in 2022 three of my uncles, one of my aunties (who were my mom’s siblings), and one of my cousins (on my mother’s side of the family) passed away just as well. Death consumed so much of me in 2022 and will substantially affect me for a while now. Because of this, the subject of death is something I do not want to see much in the media because it weighs heavily on me in real life. I can not watch and read unfortunate things like I used to. If I say I do not want to watch something because it’s too depressing for me, I mean that. Please respect my decision not wanting to engage in something that will make me more down than I already am. 

What you want in tv shows and movies is probably in a book.

Books are an underrated form of entertainment, as much of what we complain about in tv shows and movies is most likely fixed in a book out here somewhere. Reading is something that plenty of people grow up hating, and part of that is because of how we were forced to read books we didn’t like too much. Find some books with stories you want, and you might be pleasantly surprised. 

Anime is, in fact, NOT better than western animation.

I am not speaking much on this because I don’t want to. Both have issues, and one should not be praised over the other. 

Being nice works in your favor more than you think.

You never know how your attitude can affect the opportunities you get. Sometimes it’s not about how talented someone is; if they are hard to work with, that opportunity will be passed up and given to someone else if your attitude is nasty. 

Make the things that you want to see. 

So much of what we enjoy was created because the creator wanted something like it. There could be someone that wants to see the same stories as you do. Do not be afraid to take the risk. You never know how your creations have helped someone.


Thank you guys so much for reading. If you would like to see more of my writing, check out my books! 

If you would like to support me, all my social media handles are @harriyanna. If you would like to donate, here’s my ko-fi link and pateron.