Looking back on an...interesting year.

Created: Thursday, 29-Dec-22 17:54:07 UTC

2022 has been an interesting year. It's been full of ups, and downs. To be honest with you, the easiest way to describe it would be that "2022 was a tough year." Whether that's the fact I lost three jobs this year (and I genuinely thought it may have been four at one point), or the fact I broke my leg with such seriousness that I haven't walked in six months, 2022 really has been full of tough lessons that I would say needed to be learnt.

To be honest with you, I got the idea of writing this blog post after watching the first season of Super Pumped, a TV show about the early years of Uber. So in part, this was inspired by Susan Fowler. (And also by the year post-mortem I wrote a few years ago)

At the start of the year, things were looking bleak. I was working an e-commerce job that I really didn't like, and was stuck in another contract I had reluctantly signed at a time where any money seemed like good money. I joined the e-commerce company because I heard cool things about the brand, my dad was sick and so it gave me a source of income, as well as the rest of the time to a) work on the game I had reluctantly signed up to do, and b) look after my dad who was suffering from a prolactinoma, a sort of non-cancerous tumour in the base of his skull.

To be honest with you, this is the part of the reason Covid was so hard for me personally. I was worried about getting it incase I got it, made my dad sick, and ultimately killed him. When he got Covid, it was like my worst fears realised. But fortunately, he survived - but I still felt like I would be responsible for his death if I wasn't cautious.

You may be wondering why you're on a broken, unfinished website that I clearly made. Well, the reason for that can be found in February this year. Previously this website had no back end (you can see it on the Wayback Machine here), it was just manually updated webpages that also sort of...didn't work. (But it worked better than this did) I knew that the e-commerce job was a six month contract that would end in February, and so by January I was looking for new work. I was sort of reluctant to look for an actual job, because I was still legally on the hook for the contract work, but I needed something permanent.

I ended up interviewing at a few companies, including one interview at a company my friend worked at. It really wasn't for me, but they seemed to hate my CV despite giving me an interview, which made the interview relatively awkward. One of the things they brought up was that I should redo my website with a backend in mind. I explained that I was not a web developer. They turned round and effectively went "then you'll never get a job." (The company has since folded for being in significant debt, but I digress) I decided that in my spare time I would try and learn proper web development to make my website, rather than my basic knowledge of CSS and HTML. I settled on CakePHP because Ruby on Rails seemed too powerful for what I needed. I also couldn’t attempt to set up a server on my own, so I decided to do all the updates on the live site. And that’s how we got here. I’m going to make updates when I can be bothered, and will properly look into it when I next look for a job.

In April I got offered a job adding sprites to gambling games, but the role seemed kind of dull, and the pay seemed kind of low. To be really honest with you, the main issue was that I could no longer afford to relocate, as a result of having no money saved up from having never had a decent paying job, and maxing out my overdraft with the bank from issues I had at University. I ended up having to renegotiate the poor paying contract, and they ended up removing that from me. Resulting in my second job loss of the year.

After finally learning my worth, I had another contract offer. This one was okay paying, but it was really an area I had no knowledge of, and we ended up drifting apart. So I count that as job loss three. Now we move on to the big one. In August I accepted a job at an airline entertainment company on the Isle of Man. They were happy to pay me to relocate, so that covered all the deposit costs, etc. I still felt like I wasn’t good enough for this role, however I was also tired of living with my parents, getting paid either nothing, minimum wage; or below minimum wage. I was suddenly on the hook for a lot of money because the house came unfurnished and so I was responsible for buying furniture, cooking utensils, etc. I was very, very stressed.

This stress ended up resulting in me not paying attention to where I was going. My head was spinning. How would I make friends? Would I be rejected in the first month and not paid, leaving me on an island with more debt and no friends? What could I do to keep myself entertained with no money and no furniture? I was extremely stressed, and ended up missing a step at the entrance to a bar, which resulted in me breaking my leg. The kind of injury is called a stage IV tibial plateau fracture, and is commonly found in car crash victims my age, rather than…stressed individuals.

I spent all that effort and money into moving away, and now I needed someone to look after me. My fracture was so severe I was going to be flown to Liverpool for specialist surgery. I wanted to visit Liverpool again at some point (I’d been for my brothers graduation back in 2010) but not like this. When I was in hospital in the Isle of Man, I looked up whether I was entitled to sick pay. I’d moved there on the Monday, and broke my leg on the Saturday. It turns out I was not. This just made me even more stressed. My life was a nightmare. I had to have an ex-fix applied for my flight to Liverpool, basically resulting in giant rods and pins sticking out of my leg, but then things seemed to get worse. A fire had broken out at the hospital I was due to be transferred to. I felt like I was going to be stuck in hospital forever.

Two days later, it turned out that the fire wasn’t that severe and I was flown to Liverpool. Somehow I spent more time in Liverpool than I had in total in the Isle of Man, and half of my time in the Isle of Man was spent in hospital. Luckily for me, my company are amazing. They paid me for the month I was in hospital, and gave me tasks to do when I had the time. Unfortunately, living up several flights of tight stairs and not knowing anybody on the island meant moving back in with my parents. I had to move in with my mum, who I hadn’t lived with for nearly 10 years, because her block of flats had a lift, while my dad’s building didn’t. I thought it would be two months, but two months quickly turned into four, and four may very well turn into six. I suppose the only real benefit to this is that I don’t end up spending my pay cheque, and have nearly cleared out my debts.

I’m hoping I can finally get to independent living by the end of January, but it still hurts a lot to walk and I’ve only just started walking unaided. I tried walking down the end of the road and back, but could only walk there, and needed a frame to help me walk back. I also couldn’t walk for two days after. The injury also resulting in me missing out on the office Christmas party, which is a massive shame because that was in Singapore and I would have got to meet all their employees from around the world. It also would have been my first time abroad since Central America eight years ago. (I don’t really count the Isle of Man as abroad, because although it’s technically a separate country, it’s also so similar to, and relies on the U.K. that I don’t really see it as abroad).

So yeah, that’s the story of what I genuinely think may be the most stressful and challenging year of my life. I’m 26 now, and the number 26 is the closest I have to a lucky number, so here’s to hoping things improve in 2023!


Tags: Post-Mortem