Content warning: This essay discusses suicidal ideation
In 2022 I read 86 books. I discovered new-to-me authors to whom I am now devoted. I read more books than ever by queer and trans and Black and Indigenous authors. I got really into audiobooks, then overdid it and stopped. I audited my bookshelves and gave 30-something books away to friends and neighbors.
In 2022 I explored. I went to restaurants I’d never been to and bookstores I’d always wanted to visit. I went sledding for the first time and did not care that I was the oldest person there without a child. I said yes to things that usually scare me. I became a tourist in my own city and loved every minute of it because, well, you know how much I love my city.
In 2022 I traveled. I went to London for the first time and Nice for the first time and Ventimiglia for the first time and Minneapolis for the first time and Palm Springs for the first time. I went to Wisconsin and Florida and Paris and New York and Portland and Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. I held dear friends’ new babies and saw another dear friend’s baby all grown into a toddler and visited my sister-in-law in action at their job and saw faraway coworkers for the first time in years and reunited with family I hadn’t hugged since my wedding or longer. I finally got to use the new suitcase that I bought in — you guessed it — December 2019.
In 2022 my body broke down. I got COVID over the summer and it was the absolute worst, and I rode it out in a hotel room very far from home. Four months later I got really sick again and it wasn’t COVID but it was also terrible, and I was also far from home. (Do I only get sick away from home?) My stomach hurt all the time and my appetite was weird. I changed meds a bunch of times. I fractured each of my feet, a month apart, and walked around for weeks in a boot.
In 2022 I lost my best friends. They didn’t die, they just exited my life, one with a bang and one with a whisper. I am both putting myself back together from the wreckage and determined not to waste another breath on grief.
In 2022 I relapsed. I binged and then I restricted. I grew out of one size and another size and another size. I cried in therapy. I cried looking at myself in the mirror. I…