This was the year the pandemic felt “over” enough that everyone I know began jet-setting again (curiously it seemed like the aforementioned “everyone” summered in Italy?). For me, as accustomed as I am to constant movement, I spent much of 2022 alone, writing from my bed. The deadline to turn in the book nearly flattened me and I wrote much of FLAWLESS in what felt like a semi-conscious state. But for the tireless researchers and interpreters and fact-checkers who kept me going, that book would not be finished.
I turned 40 in the small window of time after a major Omicron wave and before Russia waged an unprovoked war on Ukraine. Friends from seven cities across the country flew in and donned costumes for my 1994-themed party, because in retrospect my 6th and 7th grade years represented points in culture that lasted with me a lifetime. (Yellow Ledbetter, anybody?!) In the final minutes of that most merry and warm celebration, the lights went out on all of Abbott Kinney, the much-frequented, boutique-filled party drag in Venice. We read it as a sign that we properly captured all the energy on the block that night. I desperately clung to that serendipity and energy through 2022, especially the night of the midterm elections which … hoo boy, what a relief.
There’s so much I wish I would have captured better, but I really spent so much of this year just participating in life as fully as I could, and trying to keep up with my children after losing my long time nanny and friend and housekeeper, whose absence is felt every moment in our house.
Interviews That Will Stay With Me: With Daniel Pink about how understanding our regrets teaches what we value the most in life. With Pico Iyer, on the meaning of home, and the strangers who make a lasting impact on us. With Julissa Arce about her book, You Sound Like a White Girl, a case against assimilation. With Dr. Becky Kennedy, about connection-first parenting. A celebration of Girls Generation and their legacy.
Pop Culture That Got Me Through: The January 6 Hearings, seriously must watch TV. Better Call Saul. Sheng Wang’s comedy special. Fire Island.
Favorite TED Talks: Shankar Vendantam, about how our future selves are strangers to us. And Dan Harris, on loving ourselves to truly love others.
Proudest Moment: My littlest one, Luna, being chosen by her classmates to give her preschool graduation speech in Mandarin and absolutely nailing it.
Nerdiest Accomplishment: Becoming a USA Today crossword puzzle clue! 13 Down, Journalist Hu
Favorite New Friends: Doree Shafrir. Dan Pink. Zach Woods.
Products I loved: The Grapefruit Mangosteen candle from Enlighten Candles. Boba Milk Tea mochi candies. My new Nissan Leaf. The AstroPoets substack.
Disappointments: The Butter Tortilla scented candle from HEB. Honest Tea is folding?! The Elon takeover of Twitter. Conversations with Friends, the series. That trash Harry Styles+Florence Pugh movie.
Firsts: Consuming an ostrich egg, encounter with a Zonkey (a zebra-donkey), Costco vacation, becoming an NFT, selling my own NFT, fight with Hot Rob, having a back house, visiting TV writers rooms, attending the big TED.
In no particular order, this year I…
Attended three weddings, in person
Swam with dolphins
Bought a house and sold a house in the same week
Ripped and replaced the insides of the house inside of a month
Made back-to-back trips to Texas and consumed so much queso and P Terrys
Talked TSA into letting me take 16oz of queso through in my carry-on
Read books with second graders every Tuesday
Took tennis lessons every week
Sprained my foot, but just at home, not from tennis
Glamped in the Santa Ynez Valley
Hard launched my man/mancrush of 2+(!) years by having him play Who Said That? on NPR
Hung out with my parents a lot — they lived in the guest house for four months of the year
Saw our podcast company double its revenue
Got an electric car
Learned how to TikTok from my child
Advised two TV writers rooms
Enjoyed a lot of live music again: Leon Bridges, DEVO, Lisa Loeb, The Violent Femmes, even … Wilson Phillips(!), a real full circle moment since its greatest hits figured in that 1990s-themed birthday party, naturally
Adjusted to parenting alone after our nanny of seven years went home
Traveled 25,228 miles to three countries, 13 cities, and spent 40 days away from home
Became a set mom and hung out in motorhomes on location for a week, wondering what I’m doing with my life
Read 19 books in full, but started six others
Finished writing my book, oh my god.
Saw it in print, as a galley anyway
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