As they have bee for pretty much everyone, the last couple of years have been difficult. Even before the pandemic began, 2020 saw one of my dreams become a nightmare. I’d always imagined myself as a teacher, but when I was put in charge of a classroom for the first time, I realized that I didn’t want to do it. My desire to be a teacher was a core pillar of my self-image, and once that crumbled (along with several other events that year), I legitimately found myself in an existential crisis.

Fast forward to 2021. I’d just broken up with my girlfriend on Christmas Day, I was in a job I was miserable in, and I was still no closer to understanding my place in the world. A lot of interesting things happened in 2021 though. I got fired from my job and got a new one; I made new friends who treated me to experiences I couldn’t have imagined, and it started to feel like I was at least groping my way out of the absurdist/nihilistic hole I’d dug myself into in 2021.

If 2020 was the year that everything I thought I believed in fell apart, then 2021 was the year that I began sifting through the rubble and finding what mattered to me. The process isn’t close to complete, but I think there’s a semblance of rationality and cohesion returning to my worldview.

My resolution for 2022 is a simple one to state: peace and happiness. That’s a broad umbrella in practice, but I’m ready to put my world back together in order to achieve both of those things. The last two years have shown me that the world begins with me, with my own internal sense of understanding my own thoughts and desires, and managing them. The world can’t make sense until I make sense to myself. Peace and happiness are internal; there’s always going to be insanity happening in the outside world that I can’t control. All I can control is how I respond to it.

In 2020, things fell apart. In 2021, I found most of the pieces. In 2022, I’m putting them together again. I’m not sure what I’m building right now, but I’ll let you know when I look back on it in 2023.

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