2022 In Hindsight
2022 is ending and it brought a lot of changes to the lives of many - me included. I'm not able to say all of them were good, but they also bring opportunities of personal and societal growth, and for me at least, a little glimpse of hope.
Last year I wrote about a few things that were hopefully gonna happen this year and I got half of them right:
- 💍 I did get married! The love of my life and I did make it official. We had a nice, somewhat small ceremony and reception for family and friends, and everything was very emotional and beautiful. We already had been living together for 4 years, so the wedding did not represent a big change in our lives, but as a celebration of love it did it's job of being fun and keeping hearts and bellies full and warm.
- 🇮🇹 I did move temporarily to Italy, and lived there for 3 months. It was an interesting experience, I got to know a different culture, learn another language, and experience what life can be on another corner of the world. I also was able to get an Italian citizenship since my family is originally from there. That being said, those 3 months made me miss my home so much! It was one of those "you never miss it 'til it's gone away" type of situations. I missed the culture, the people, the food and the weather, not to mention the improved political situation after the elections gave me a bit of hope for the country. Ironically, I came back from Italy with an Italian citizenship but more Brazilian than ever 🇧🇷.
- 🚫📝 I did not write more on this blog, compared to last year. I only released 2 blog posts (about Plausible and GitHub Copilot) and updated my SvelteKit post this year. I thought the big changes were gonna bring me inspiration, but what they did was really suck all my energy away 😮💨.
- 🚫🚀 I did not release or develop any personal projects this year either. I had ideas and even toyed with some proofs-of-concept, but nothing concrete came out of it. They were pushed back to 2023!
This was a really busy year personally. The first few months I was busy planning my wedding, then later planning my trip to Italy, while working multiple projects at the same time to be able to finance all that. And while handling the anxiety of those things, I was also struggling a bit to get used to seeing people again after quarantine, and re-learning to socialize was being mentally draining as well. This difficulty socializing made me pursue another big thing: my ASD diagnosis. It was confirmed and I think that helped me understand myself much better. Things are improving 😊.
Coming from two years of pandemic and big changes due to that, the world seems to be entering a new phase now, getting used to handling Covid (which is still a very real threat) and starting to see the more lasting effects it has caused on society, with the psychological effects of isolation and loss, and with the bursting of economic bubbles that were formed during the pandemic.
The big boom some industries had when the quarantine started (mostly related to e-commerce and digital work tools) seems to have winded down, which is causing a lot of companies to downsize or shut down completely, causing mass layoffs. This is awful, of course, but my hope is that this serves as a wake-up call to make companies start considering more sustainable models of business instead of just seeking exponential growth over everything else.
Something else that's been coming for years, but seem to have reached a new milestone in 2022: AI-generated content. Both art-focused AI (like this blog post's cover image), through services like Dall-E, Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, or text-based AIs like ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot have been the center of a lot of discussions regarding the ethics and potential of such technology. On one hand, artists, writers and programmers might be worried that the AIs will make them obsolete. Plus, the potentials of spreading AI-generated content as truth could have (even more) devastating effects to democracy. On the other hand, some of them can really have a positive effect on our daily jobs, as I wrote about in the post where I shared my thoughts about GitHub Copilot. I do believe their use will have to be regulated sooner rather than later, so we can minimize the downsides without halting their progress, which is really mindblowing.
With such a busy and tiresome year, I haven't got to learning many new things, and instead focused on becoming better at what I already work with. I've worked a lot with React and NextJS this year. I've covered my opinions on both of them last year, and they haven't really changed.
WordPress is something I'd worked a little bit with in the past, but now I've started working more with it as well. It's definitely a different way of working compared to modern JS stacks, but it's kind of refreshing in a way. Plus, I believe seeing firsthand how this kind of stack works brings a new perspective and maybe even ways of improving how we build with the newer ones.
One of the things I get excited the most learning about is Atomic Design - not a tech stack, but instead an architectural concept. Seeing it being implemented in different kinds of projects make me really admire the pattern and I'm hoping I can apply it to other projects - including this website - and writing about it soon.
My favorite part of these "Year In Review" posts - the entertainment content I enjoyed the most in 2022!
Not much new on this section, as I've mostly rewatched stuff I liked this year (including Mr. Robot for the third time - still my favorite series!)
- Superstore was the best sitcom I've watched this year. I think it nails the comedy while also touching on important subjects, like fighting for workers rights and unionizing. Plus, I think it's the only series I've watched that acknowledged the pandemic and added it to its plot really well.
- Better Call Saul was already mentioned here last year when I watched seasons 1-5, but this year I've watched season 6, which was the last one. It was entrancing, exciting and bleak - exactly what you'd expect from the Breaking Bad universe. The finale was a perfect ending not just to this particular series but to the whole Breaking Bad universe. I highly recommend watching it after Breaking Bad though, as it spoils some of that series, even though it's mostly a prequel.
- Bloodborne... wow. I had never played a From Software game before, and it was such a journey. Hard, yes, but fair. I always knew what I did wrong when I died. I always wanted to try again and do a bit better every time. But the star in this game is the setting and atmosphere. It starts in a somber Victorian-era city, where you face some beastly humans and werewolves. Soon you're facing creatures that are a bit different but still fit in the same world. Eventually, though, the game descends into full-on Eldritch/Cosmic Horror and it's awesome. I've never seen a game capture that vibe so well. Every new enemy or boss you encounter is accompanied by a "what the heck is this?!?" and fighting them is always a box of surprises. Best game I've played in 2022 and one of the best I've ever played.
- Elden Ring was the game I was the most excited to play after playing Bloodborne, as it's made by the same company. I was not disappointed. It delivered great combat, exploration, soundtrack and lore, which combined into another one of the best games I've ever played. I wrote a more in-depth review of the game where I talk about what I enjoyed the most.
- Red Dead Redemption 2 is SO GOOD. You can play it many ways: as an old-west life simulator, a cowboy shootout action game, a hunting and fishing game, or even just explore and photograph the scenery. It has so much content, even after 50+ hours I still kept finding events and secrets totally unlike what I'd seen before. You can get completely lost in this game without even progressing the story. But you really should progress the story, as it's one of the best written ones I've ever experienced. The characters are the real focus here, as they're all masterfully written and you get really attached to them and care for what happens to them. I cried like a baby in the ending.
- The Last of Us Part II is a bleak, brutal sequel to what was already a pretty brutal game. The story is the focus once again, but the gameplay was vastly improved over the first game. They took a creative route when telling this game's story, making you experience it through two completely different points of view. This plays with your emotions, as the game's brutal nature may bring out strong emotions in you, just to invert those feelings completely by showing you the other side of the situation. I loved this game, but I'm not sure I wanna play it again, because I feel like it takes a toll on your mind. Still, I recommend experiencing it at least once.
- Rocket League is, year after year, my favorite game to just have fun. The formula is just so good and it never gets old.
New category! I wanted to write a bit about music since it's really important in my life.
- The Gods We Can Touch by AURORA is a fantastic album by a one-of-a-kind artist. It's a pop album, but dips a lot into many genres and sounds really fresh and unique. The lyrics are beautiful as always, plus I got to see a lot of these songs played live! Aurora is one of my favorite artists and this is her best album yet.
- IMPERA by Ghost is a monumental album from start to finish. It's incredible how Ghost is able to make each album sound like a completely different era, and coming from the disco-ish Prequelle, IMPERA is a punch in the face with golden era metal. A lot of it sounds like Ozzy's "No More Tears" era, with acoustic guitar riffs morphing into heavy guitar riffs. But it still sounds unmistakingly Ghost. Plus, it has a metal reggaeton song! That's awesome.
- Infinite Granite by Deafheaven was a lucky find. I knew a couple songs by Deafheaven and while I enjoyed them, the gutural vocals never really pleased me. In Infinite Granite, they were replaced by soft vocals, while keeping the hypnotic, multi-layered instrumentals that I fell in love with immediatelly. I still listen to it on repeat because it's just so pleasant to listen to.
I am hoping for 2023 to be a less exciting year, honestly. With so many changes this year, I want next year to be a good, chill year to recover and build up on what my life is right now. Hopefully, that means more time and energy to build nice things, and consequently write more.
I'm planning on refactoring the code structure on this website, adopting Atomic Design, and publishing that alongside a nice article explaining all about it. Plus, releasing at least one of the side projects that I've built the proof-of-concept for this year.
Above all, I want 2023 to be
Thank you for reading all of this! I hope you've had a great 2022, but more than that, I wish you a very cozy 2023!