(Crossposted with Post)
After 2021, 2022 had nowhere to go but up. My mom passed away on April 7th, 2021, so most of the year was spent grieving and dealing with her estate. While my mom was in the hospital, I mistakingly accepted a Ph.D offer from a school that would prove to be the wrong fit. I liked the other offer better, but I was worried my mom would have to go into assisted living and didn’t want to deal with figuring out how to get her a Canadian or UK visa so she could be near me.
That meant 2022 was spent cleaning up the mistake of accepting that Ph.D offer. The school was in a red state, which meant they ignored white supremacist students and gaslit us about Covid. I made the decision late in Fall 2021 that I would leave after the spring semester, which I did. I loved my students and my classes (both the ones I taught and took), but the university was not a good fit. Plus, two of the professors who were specialists in what I wanted to research were retiring and being replaced with a Russian professor. And starting a Ph.D the year your mom dies was not a good idea.
I moved back to Illinois to live with my partner, and I am slowly recovering from that mistake and am about to start job hunting and working on my fiction and travel writing once again. I am considering re-applying to different Ph.D programs, but I fear my leaving the program I was in will mean automatic rejection anywhere.
This year was mostly travel, albeit travel safely (I still wear a KN95 mask inside any public space and keep up with Covid vaccine boosters.)
I stepped foot in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.
I also travelled back home to Spain, where I lived in 2003 and again from 2008-2018 (and where I hope to move back to some day soon). I finally did the Camino Aragonés and also walked the Camino del Invierno, and I visited two new countries, Croatia (overrated: too touristy, and caters to tourists over their own citizens) and Montenegro (I loved it).
I’ll have another post soon with my goals and hopes for 2023.
Here are my “Brightsides” award winners for the year.
Best Artist: Mariah Carey
Entertainer of the Year: Cast of Shameless
Best Movie:Madres Paralelas
Best Lead Actress, Movie: Penélope Cruz, (Janis) Madres paralelas,
Best Lead Actor, Movie: Austin Butler (Elvis Presley), Elvis
Best Supporting Actress, Movie: Milena Smit (Ana), Madres paralelas
Best Supporting Actor, Movie: Pedro Pascal (Javi Guitierrez), The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
Director: Pedro Almodóvar, Madres paralelas
Best Series, Comedy: Abbott Elementary
Best Series, Drama: Cobra Kai,
Best Lead Actor, Comedy: Eugenio Derbez (Máximo Gallardo), Acapulco
Best Lead Actress, Comedy: Jean Smart (Deborah Vance) Hacks
Best Lead Actor, Drama: Carlos Cuevas (Pol Rubio), Merlí: Sapere Aude;
Best Lead Actress, Drama: Rose Byrne (Sheila Rubin), Physical;
Best Supporting Actor, Comedy: Deon Cole (Charlie Telphy), black-ish;
Best Supporting Actor, Drama: Christopher Walken (Burt), Severance
Best Supporting Actress, Comedy: Sheryl Lee Ralph (Barbara Howard), Abbott Elementary; Michaela Jaé Rodriguez (Sofia), Loot (tie)
Best Supporting Actress, Drama: Simona Tabasco (Lucia), The White Lotus:
Best Use of Adam Scott in an Apple TV Series: Severance
Best Streamer: Apple TV+,
Best General Hospital Actor or Actress: Kristina Wagner (Felicia Scorpio)
Worst Acting: Maurice Bernard (Sonny Corinthos), General Hospital; Genie Frances (Lasha Collins),
Best Series Finale:Claws;
Retro Show: Shameless
Rewatch: Jane the Virgin
Worst Artist: Kanye West
Best Female Artist: Mariah Carey
Best Male Artist: Álvaro Soler
Best Group: The Killers
Best Discovered Artist: Funambulista
Video of the Year: “Bring Back the Time” by New Kids on the Block f. En Vogue, Salt-N-Pepa, Rick Astley
Album of the Year: Special by Lizzo
Song of the Year: “Don’t You Worry” by Black Eyed Peas f. Shakira & David Guetta,
Single of the Year: Big Energy Remix by Latto f. Mariah Carey;
Lifetime Achievement Awards (One actor, actress and director from film, one actor and actress from TV, one female, male and group)
Film: Pedro Almodóvar, Carmen Maura, Ewan McGregor
TV: Felicity Huffman, Tristian Rogers
Music: Mariah Carey, The Killers, Alex Ubago
I always do these memes, since 2003, to commemorate the end of the year.
The first, the places I slept in 2022: Champaign, Illinois; Lincoln, Nebraska; Wall, South Dakota; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Salt Lake City, Utah; Moab, Utah; Eagle, Colorado; Pierre, South Dakota; Fargo, North Dakota; Winona, Minnesota; Toledo, Ohio; Milan, Ohio; Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain; Girona, Catalunya, Spain; Zaragoza, Aragón, Spain; Jaca, Aragón, Spain; Sta. Cruz de los Ceros, Aragón, Spain; Arrés, Aragón, Spain; Ruesta, Navarra, Spain; Sangüesa, Navarra, Spain; Monreal, Navarra, Spain; Puente de la Reina, Navarra, Spain; Irún, Euskadi, Spain; Ponferrada, León, Spain; Las Médulas, León, Spain; O Barco de Valdeorras, Galicia, Spain; A Rua de Valdeorras, Galicia, Spain; A Ponte, Galicia, Spain; Monforte de Lemos, Galicia, Spain; Chantada, Galicia, Spain; Rodeiro, Galicia, Spain; Lalín, Galicia, Spain; Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain; Burgos, Castilla León, Spain; Manresa, Catalunya, Spain; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Split, Croatia; Zagreb, Croatia; Sitges, Catalunya, Spain; Peñíscola, País València, Spain; València, País València, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Duluth, Minnesota; Madison, Wisconsin; Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada; Ann Arbor, Michigan
1. What did you do in 2022 that you’d never done before?: Visit Croatia and Montenegro
2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?: Some goals, most not really.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?: I don’t think so.
4. Did anyone close to you die?: My friend from uni, Gabriel. Plus Naomi Judd’s death was hard seeing how much The Judds were a part of my youth.
5. What countries did you visit?: US, Spain, Croatia, Montenegro, Canada
6. What would you like to have in 2022 that you lacked in 2021?: A golden retriever and no Covid worries. And a job and a writing career.
7. What date from 2022 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?: Sept 12-when I went back to Spain.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?: The Caminos de Santiago walked.
9. What was your biggest failure?: Quitting the Ph.D in May and being unemployed sense.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Depression and anxiety.
11. What was the best thing you bought?: Trip to Spain.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My boyfriend.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?: Donald Trump and his supporters. (keeping from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021. Scary!) Adding ALL REPUBLICANS for 2021 and 2022. At this point, if you support him, you support bigotry and everything the US stands for. If you’re a conversative who is also appalled, though, I still respect you even if I disagree with you. I do not respect Trump and his minions. Keeping from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 202, 2022. I will keep Pablo Casado, Albert Rivera, Mariano Rajoy, and all of VOX and their supporters.
14. Where did most of your money go?: Travel, café con leche, books (kept from 2015 and 2016) (and 2017) (and 2018) (and 2019, 2020…)
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?: Spain
16. What song will always remind you of 2022?: Bring Back the Time by NKOTB et al.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier
ii. thinner or fatter? About the same.
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?: Writing, travelling.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Dealing with anxiety and depression.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?: I spent it with my boyfriend and then a trip to Niagara.
21. How will you be spending New Years? Eating grapes at 5 PM Central Standard Time, which is midnight in most of the Iberian peninsula. Then movie with the boyfriend.
22. Did you fall in love in 2022?: I continued to be in love.
24. What was your favorite TV program?: Cobra Kai, Abbott Elementary for current ones. Shameless for best new to me show.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?: Same suspects.
26. What was the best book you read?:
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?: Dale Bozzio
28. What did you want and get?: A return to Spain.
29. What did you want and not get?: A golden retriever, stability.
30. What was your favorite film of this year?: It’s actually from 2021, but Madres paralelas.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?: 41. Went for a walk along a local lake, had carry out.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?: No Covid.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2019?: Preppy-casual
34. What kept you sane?: My boyfriend, Hulu, travel, and Jordi (my iPod).
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?: Not sure I even have a celeb crush at this point.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?: The overturn of Roe v. Wade, the lack of protocols over Covid and how one party politicized a virus.
37. Who did you miss?: My mom, Fallon Fey, my golden retriever, and Spain
38. Who was the best new person you met?: I guess people on the Camino
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2022: Don’t apply to a Ph.D in a red state.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: “I missed a lot of life, but I’ll recover” Petals by Mariah Carey (1999).