Surprisingly Unpredictable 2022


Here we are again. A time to reflect on the year that is approaching its end. There were events that will forever be remembered as part of this year. Personally, 2022 is year of unexpected events, realizations and decisions. Tumultuous as it sounds but 2022 will certainly pave the way for a future that could influence how we think, act and decide. This is the focus of this blogpost.

The year started with the surge of the Omicron variant of the corona virus. People were suddenly optimistic again, knowing that the virus was not as deadly as it was once thought, or perhaps as some would say the developed vaccines were sufficiently effective to prevent serious illness and even death. However, suddenly, the war in Ukraine started out of the blue. That has somehow affected how things are.

Personally, the war in Ukraine somehow made me reflect what are the most important things in our lives. The refugees have to leave their families to seek protection and start a new life in another country. I know the refugees and soldiers' ordeal can never be compared to any sorrow and struggle anyone has. My sympathies to them. I myself know the feeling to be away from the culture I can identify, the family who supported me all along, and the friends who truly knows who I am and witnessed the struggles I went through. 

This year was characterized by my attempt to delineate who I am, and who I am not. It was never an easy task to reflect. I was not even willing to initiate something, nor willing to be influenced to take step forward. Nevertheless, sudden events pushed me to do so. Suddenly, I was willing to move forward. Isn't the last two sentences paradoxical?

The covid restrictions of different countries were lifted one-by-one. People were getting back their long-lost freedom. Suddenly, people were traveling more, and perhaps spending more initially. It was the first summer perhaps, people got to enjoy the sun without their face masks in some countries. Then, the unexpected happened. Inflation rates skyrocketed due to several reasons. 

2022 marked the year that I travelled again after being restricted to do so, as a direct result of my work. It felt very surreal to go beyond the country's borders. I travelled to Denmark, embarked in land/cruise trip around the Mediterranean visiting Italy, France, San Marino, Malta and Spain, and rounded up the year with a family visit to the United Kingdom. It was not bad at all. However, I realized this year I utilized travel for three reasons: (1) take a physical break from work, (2) take a mental retreat, and (3) visit those who matter to me. I guess those travels were meaningful.

As a result of increasing interest rates, the central banks raised interest rates to curb the inflation, but this approach has proven insufficient as to this day. Prices of commodities were accelerating upward, while incomes relatively lagged behind. This left everyone perplexed how things would become in the near future. The schism between the rich and poor has been more highlighted as impoverished families have to use all their meager means to survive.

Just like the previous year, 2022 is also a year that I live all by myself. However, this year I discovered my weaknesses brought about by living independently. I was losing my moral and personal boundaries. I was sailing out into the unknown and difficult seas willingly. Year 2022 is not a year of economic struggle for me. I have prepared for this year the day the pandemic began, but what I was not prepared was how fragile my personality is and how daunting task it is to make myself stronger and better, not for others but for myself. I almost gave up everything. I lost my compass, but I am gradually gaining momentum as of this moment to lead myself to something better and right.

Spring of 2022, the monkeypox scare in May somehow affected a specific community - the LGBTQ+. It was somehow unexpected as this threatened Pride celebrations, which was never been staged in the last two years due to the pandemic. Well, the community was still brave enough to show its solidarity, but still some unforeseeable event happened, just like the shooting in a gay club in Oslo, Norway in June. 

I remember the month of June. It was a month full of surprises. Those surprising events have somehow influenced the decisions I made the following months. Generally, I am not proud of what has occurred that month. I was too focused on things and persons who should have mattered less than my family. That was quite unfortunate. I forgot my roots, and so I was lost. I was an easy target because I was naive and weak. I allowed people to manipulate me. I sacrificed my identity and values to gain time and attention from people who are not willing giving those to me. I was forcing people to like what I am doing. I was forcing myself to conform. I forcing myself to take a lost path. I am still finding my way out, but a lot of people are motivating me to do so as gesture of self-love. To them, thank you.

There were notable elections held in this year. Marcos was elected as president in the Philippines, as the controversial Duterte steps down. Lula da Silva won the Brazilian elections against the Bolsonaro. Unexpectedly, Queen Elizabeth dies at the age of 96. Protests erupted in Iran against morality police, curtailing the rights primarily of women. In China, protests gained momentum against zero-covid approach of the government, which unexpectedly resulted in the softening of restrictions and the current surge of covid-infections in the most populous nation. While the world's population reached the 8-billionth mark. 

Personally, there were there things that I will never forget. This is the year I started working in the hospital (again). This year I learned a lot as a nurse, and I enhance some of my nursing skills. This year I realized I have a lot to do to ve better, thus I am starting next year to focus on steps to target self-improvements. This year I made my sister as my primary confidant (again). Well, my foolish acts forced me to do so. Now, she knows (again) almost everything about what I am doing. This year I made the great step of change, and that speaks for itself. I am actually not regretting it.

Lastly, 2022 might end in few hours. I am leaving some painful memories in 2022. Finally, I am breaking free and starting anew. I thought it will be going to be a painful restart, but surprisingly not. I am feeling better and better. I admit sometimes I long for some past persons and habits, but the moment I am reminded of some thoughts and events, I move on immediately. I can conclude that although there were surprises in 2022, the decisions I made may seem unforeseeable but not something I regret. AT LAST!

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