The Downs and the Ups of 2022
A year of heartbreaks – and joys – Lest we forget.
I know that most of these year end posts usually are a celebration of triumphs – but I don’t want to do that. I saw a great Instagram post by Matt Kepnes** (Nomadic Matt) where he shared the losses of the year and while it was heartbreaking – at the same time, it was also commiserative because, in fact, all those triumphant posts sometimes feel like shit when we look at our own lives and then see the one-sided joy-life of social media being thrust upon us for instant comparison.
Comparison is the thief of joy and we live in a world where it is shoved down our throats and pushed up our asses simply because we want to be connected with people who we may not share geography with – but who we want to share our lives with.
I want to share some of the joys I experienced this year with you – but I also want to temper that by sharing that there was also some suffering in my life in 2022 – it wasn’t all travel joy. I’m not looking for pity or sympathy – I just don’t want to tell you a half truth by portraying my life as some kind of heaven because it’s not. No one’s is – at least no one whose life I have ever actually had the chance to look at in any detail. Anyway – Let’s begin with ‘the downs’:
- My twelve year marriage broke this year. It just reached a point where it was obvious there was no way to repair it. We have an 11-year-old daughter that we both love and prioritize and continuing on was not only bad for us – it was bad for her. I had to leave and while I still see my daughter almost every day – not living with her has been shitty. It had to be done though – and it hasn’t been easy. Lesson: You can only do so much then you have to do something else.
- My friend and co-founder abandoned our startup this year and since he was the technical lead and I couldn’t replace him – I was forced to make the hard decision to shut it down. Like ending my marriage – this wasn’t something I wanted to do but something I had to do – and both of those things were expensive. He walked away having lost some time he put into it. I lost years of time and more money than I care to say. Lesson: People will do what is best for them, regardless of you.
- I invested some money in what I thought were safe crypto investments in 2022 and lost in a big way. Two of what I thought were the safest – evaporated. Then of course, the action of the markets – crypto, equities, and NFTs have vacuumed up more wealth than I earned in many decades. Unrealized gains and profits that I didn’t take. Lesson: Always take profits.
- My family lost two of my uncles and one of my aunts this year. These were people who were constantly present in my childhood. They were people that I loved. I still feel their absence even if I hadn’t been as present as I now wish I would have been in their lives these past few years. Lesson: Be present with those you care for.
- I’ve found my anxiety and depression levels going up quite a bit in 2022. Meditation and exercise definitely help – but there is a sadness, loneliness, and lack of interest in just about anything that is concerning to me. While I think it’s partially everything above – there is a fatalism that has crept into my ways of thinking that has me a bit concerned. Definitely something to pay attention to going into 2023. Lesson: Pay attention to your health
- None of the many ventures I spent time and energy building in 2022 made money or attracted significant attention. My NFT projects failed, Vagobond Magazine made far less than it cost to produce, my books didn’t sell, my writing didn’t get attention, my social media ventures didn’t attract monetizable numbers of followers, Baldism and Bald Jesus didn’t even get a single article written about them by anyone besides me – which simply blows my mind. If nothing else it should have gotten some rage or humor or laughs – but nothing. Nada, zip, zero. Lesson: Just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come.
- As money disappeared and bills stacked, I applied for several jobs that I should be qualified for but didn’t even get the satisfaction of being called in for an interview. Thankfully, many bills could be pushed to later – which is what I’ve done. Lesson: Sometimes procrastination helps
Okay…enough of all that. Seriously. 2022 was also filled with a lot of joy for me. The videos below may sum it up best but let me just highlight a few wonderful things.
- I launched Vagobond Magazine and connected with a bunch of amazing people through it and PageDao. Lesson: Building for the joy of building brings its own rewards
- I created and launched a religion. The first religion born from Web3 and decentralization. https://www.baldism.org. I also handed it off to those who decide to practice it. The future of Baldism is in the hands of the Baldists. I’m so fucking proud of that. Lesson: You can do anything you set your mind to.
- I took a trip around the world. Using points, miles, NFTs, and the profits from the one thing I was smart enough to cash out on – I took a trip around the world. I was fortunate to be able to bring my daughter on half of it with me. Lesson: You don’t have to be rich to travel.
- I took trips to Austin, California, and to Japan. Much of these were paid for with points and miles racked up during 2020-2022. Lesson: Use the tools available to you
- I lived in Hawaii. It’s expensive and I don’t know how much longer I can afford to stay here, but in 2022 – I did it. Lesson: It’s not impossible. If I can do it, you can do it.
- My daughter is safe, happy, and healthy. Lesson: Know your priority
- I lost 20 lbs over the course of the year. It was 20 lbs I needed to lose. I hope that I can continue running and making healthy lifestyle choices and lose another 20 lbs in 2023. Lesson: You don’t have to carry the extra baggage.
Here’s those videos – they make me happy and grateful for the year I’ve had. I hope you enjoy them and they inspire you to find joy in your own way – and share it. Give my youtube channel a subscribe. My daughter is embarrassed I only have 12 subscribers after almost twenty years.
I wish you all a happy, prosperous, and wonderful New Year of 2023. LFG.
**Funny side-note, I almost put ‘my friend’ Matt Kepnes but then caught myself. We drank together once in a bar in London at a travel party. I also once drank at a bar in London with Jude Law, but he isn’t my friend either. They are both people I met, shared some laughs with and then we went our separate ways. Given time, we’d probably all be friends, but to claim it would be a lie – something I want to avoid, even harmless ones.