2022: Year of [fill in the blank].

Every year I sit down and contemplate the year’s events based on their impacts on humanity and my own physical and emotional journey. And every year, I wonder if this is the last year I will be surprised by what happens. Unfortunately, I never am. The world is a strange place where humanity takes a step forward, followed almost immediately by a step back – if not two, but we never end up in the same place. The music keeps playing, and we keep moving, but where? I don’t know where we are going. Sometimes I think I know the song and the right moves, but then I discover I was wrong—again. So, 2022 is the year everyone needs to ‘fill in the blank.’

2022: Did We Know

Did we know that Putin would invade Ukraine in the closest thing Europe has seen to a full-out war since 1945? If we listened to his rhetoric, we did. But we didn’t expect another energy war as the northern hemisphere enters what looks to be another record-cold winter. Did we know that Chinese leader Xi Jinping who came out stronger at the Chinese Communist Party congress, would continue his COVID lockdown policy to protect lives at the cost of economic prosperity while inconveniencing the Western world’s supply chain? Did we expect Britain to be governed by three Prime Ministers in one year? Poor Liz Truss received Queen Elizabeth II‘s blessing to form the government—six weeks later, they were both gone, and Charles was King. Did we anticipate the world would again fight inflation by raising interest rates in a business cycle repeated many times throughout history? Did we guess the U.S. Supreme Court would reverse Roe v. Wade and allow states to ban abortions again? Did we foresee the stock market’s meltdown, especially the I.T. giants? But that wasn’t the most significant fall. The $32 billion F.T.X. crypto exchange vaporized in less than 48 hours, forcing it into bankruptcy. So long to NFTs. And don’t get me started on Twitter and Elon Musk. No one could predict that fiasco, except maybe as a sketch on Saturday Night Live. Did we expect the highlight of the 2022 Academy Awards wasn’t going to be what film won Best Picture, but rather an offended Will Smith hitting MC Chis Rock on stage? Did we foresee Argentina winning the FIFA World C.U.P. in Qatar? Lionel Messi did.

What is for sure is 365 days of days and nights. However, on June 29, the Earth rotated faster than usual. NASA stated we lost 1.59 milliseconds in a 24-hour day.

2022: Words and Acronyms

2022 also had its share of new slang words, hashtags, and acronyms that rapidly pollute the world through digital channels like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and podcasts. I will try to use as many as possible.

It was the year of ghosting[1] oligarchy that was gaslighting[2] the world with conspiracy theories and deepfakes; meanwhile, the world’s stanners[3] redefine woke[4], hack[5], and E.S.G.[6] to create a new metaverse[7] free of bias, inequalities, racism, and prejudices.

2022: The Great ReConnection

For me, 2022 was a boom[8]. Once the COVID restriction was lifted, I was on a plane (okay, it was a couple of hours late, and the luggage didn’t arrive, but still…), and then in a ballroom with 500 other excited people who were adjusting from 2D to 3D without the mute button. I racked up over 80,000 kilometers in the sky (Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa, Phoenix, New York, Chicago, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Toronto numerous times) to compensate for lost time from being grounded for two years. I practiced quality time with colleagues, associates, friends, and family everywhere I went. It felt so good. The digital world can’t replace a warm body in front of you, even if they have bad breath. I also saw my three-year writing project finally turn into a published book: Branding Queens. Can you believe it—I’m an author of a 244-page book!

Yet, the world isn’t in a good place. While I feel blessed and healthy, I know the world is hurting. Climate change, war, conflicts, COVID-19, out-of-control living costs, attacks on human rights, and political divisiveness continue to create chaos. The only guarantee is that 2023 will be another year of uncertainty. I’m sure of it.

With all this chaos swirling, it becomes more critical that we all live in the moment and reach out to those who need our help. Today we can physically hug a stranger or a dear friend without the fear of dying. Embrace it. Do good, and good will come to you.

2023: Happy New Year!

I wish everyone a sliving[9] and boujee[10] 2023! And I so want 2023 to become the G.O.A.T[11]!

[1] ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication

[2] intentionally distorting reality to make you feel like what you’re seeing or feeling isn’t real

[3] an extremely or excessively enthusiastic and devoted fan

[4] alert to injustice in society

[5] nontechnological sense of “solution” or “workaround.”

[6] stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance non-financial business factors

[7] a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal and immersive virtual world

[8] amazing

[9] living your best life

[10] high class or fancy

[11] an acronym for Greatest Of All Time

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