Goodbye 2022 note

Akari
5 min readJan 9, 2023

2022 was a year of “figuring things out.” As we are getting out of the pandemic and being able to think about our future a little more clearly, I’m probably not the only one who is trying to adjust to this “new normal,” whatever that means to each of us. Things were better, and 2022 was an upgraded version of 2021 for me. As usual, I’m sharing my year-end reflection and saying goodbye to 2022!

  • Starting a new job at Condé Nast: This was the biggest change in 2022. After leaving my dream job last year, I was trying to figure out what my next thing was for my career. In a way, I’m still trying to figure it out. (I mean, aren’t we all?) It was a very exciting time to join the company, as the company is trying to change globally. Everyone is professional and has great pride in what they do. I’m grateful to join another talented, hardworking team. I’m in the video team, working on VOGUE, GQ, and WIRED videos. They are all very different brands, and learning about their missions and strategies was imposing. It was a challenging year, but I’m excited to see what we can create together in 2023.
  • Running Tokyo Marathon: I finally ran the Tokyo Marathon after two years! The marathon kept postponed, and it finally happened on March 6th. I had done two marathons prior to this, but it was different than the last two. Tokyo was still under quasi-emergency measures (do you remember all the state of emergencies?), and the spectators on the street couldn’t cheer the runners. Running the quiet Tokyo was a surreal experience; the only thing I could hear was other runners’ footsteps for a while. It almost felt like we were all running away from something we couldn’t see or hear. As much as I was happy to finish the marathon, I still felt like I was still running away. It was a unique experience, and I’m glad I could participate in such a big event in Tokyo. I hope someday I can run the Tokyo Marathon again and actually hear all the people cheering on Tokyo streets.
Me (Akari) holding a medal after finishing the Tokyo Marathon
  • Writing & Journaling: One thing I did every day in 2022 was writing. The first thing I do in the morning is to write on 750words.com. Of course, there were times I would do it later in the day, but I haven’t missed the day since I started! I still journal before bed as well. I sometimes write the same things in the journal and 750words, but they have different purposes. Journaling is to let out my thoughts, and 750words is to write stories, reviews, and my thoughts in depth. I like keeping them both.
    What was different about writing in 2022 was that I actually took a creative writing class! It was a continuing education class that Temple University Japan was offering from January to April. It was meaningful to learn something with other students. We wrote a lot of stories and gave each other feedback about our stories in class. We are still keeping in touch, exchanging our stories, and giving feedback to each other. I learned a lot from the class, but what made the class so special was the fact I could meet this group of people to share stories with. I don’t know when I feel comfortable sharing the stories I’ve been writing, but I hope to make that happen soon.
Picture of a black journal with golden tiger in the middle. (2022 was a year of tiger)
  • More Broadway Musicals: I went to New York from October to November. It was interesting to see how the city had changed when I visited there in 2021, but the main purpose of the trip was to see the musicals. I’m not going to geek out about all the musicals I saw, but I want to say I love how progressive Broadway is. There are always new shows trying to create the next “hit” and explore new stories to tell. There are times when the show closes earlier than they expected. I was very sad to hear the news about the musical “KPOP.” It was one of the shows I enjoyed, and I was hoping it would positively influence the Asian entertainment community. I’m not a huge KPOP fan, but when they announced the show, I knew I wanted to see and support the show. I am so happy I could witness this incredible show that told their uplifting stories. I hope I can see more of those shows again in the future.
Picture of a playbill of KPOP musical
  • Joining a wind orchestra: As we were getting out of the pandemic (is the pandemic over?), I wanted to try something new. When I was thinking about it, my senpai asked me if I wanted to join her orchestra. If you know me, I used to play percussion in bands. I thought it would be fun to go back to the music side instead of starting something new. So I decided to join the orchestra. It’s been a while since I performed with a group like that. I always like the excitement of the show day. Percussionists are busy loading, unpacking and getting the instruments ready to play. But the tension is there and I like feeling that atmosphere. It’s a little close to the adrenaline rush that I feel from running high. It’s a lot quieter with performing than running.
    It was satisfying to feel that rush again. It was also delightful to see my friends in the audience. I’m not sure if I will join the orchestra again anytime soon, but it’s thrilling to know music is a place I can always come back to.

I already have a few exciting things coming up in 2023. I am still trying to figure out things with the “new normal,” but things are looking up and I can’t wait to spend more quality time with family, friends, and myself!

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