2022 has been quite the year! I feel like I have grown so much and not just because I turned 30 this month. So content warning: this is a parade of highlights. I’ll talk about the struggles, but if largely happy recaps sadden you, look away. Happy New Year everyone, thank you for your support <3
2022 and work
This year I finally got to have my PhD graduation with the people I love the most after waiting a year because of lockdown – the send-off I needed to celebrate all that hard work.
After about a year and a half of frustrating rejections, I finally got a postdoc job, which has legit changed my life. My innovation fellow role at the Centre for Digital Citizens, based between Northumbria and Newcastle universities, is everything I wanted and more: the institutions are amazing; Northumbria in particular has been voted university of the year by Times Higher Education and it’s one of the UK’s top universities for research.
My boss and team are incredible, and they view my pole and social media presence as an asset, not an issue. I finally have funding to study issues I care about deeply, paying participants & receiving institutional support for my work. Personally, having a full-time job and the security of not depending on my body or on my social media during a cost of living crisis is a big help.
2022 and pole dance
It’s been a huge year in pole too. I got to teach more lovelies at Akila Pole Studio, experiencing crazy waitlists for the first time. I taught more workshops than ever, including my first one in the United States, and in California of all places. I became a Pole Junkie ambassador, a badge of honour since PJ has always been one of my collab goals as a poler and as a creator.
In 2022 I also competed internationally for the first time, pushing myself harder than ever before. I got injured, lost love for pole and made the very hard decision to step back from teaching regularly, because I struggled to do it all.
I got my love for pole back, performed again, started growing as a poler once more, learning new moves – something I’d been stuck with.
This year in content moderation
It’s been a year of professional satisfactions. Being invited to feedback on Meta’s policies in their London office after years of lukewarm interactions has definitely been a career highlight, together with other collabs I can’t reveal yet.
I published more research papers and got funding for projects – a first – and collaborated with more and more brands on my list.
My year in the news
Media coverage this year was truly wild – I’m so grateful for it. From stand-alone interviews with the BBC and Brut Media to a New York Times mention, all the way to being photographed by Rankin and having my posts turned into a Shoreditch exhibition, I can’t believe my research and story have resonated with so many people – read more interview highlights in my press page.
2022 in life, travel and struggles
2022 was a great year for travel too, largely thanks to my research. Rome (twice), Trento, Cannes, Amsterdam, Stanford, San Francisco, Durham, Newcastle – can’t wait to see where 2023 will take me!
On the personal side, things have sometimes been hard. I finished off therapy in February only to go back in October – but this time for less, and it helped. I thought I’d lost a friend, but we are now rekindling our relationship after almost a year apart.
I managed to attend some play parties and explore my bi side more- something I loved and really wanted after a long relationship – and had lots of fun.
I saw my fave band of all time – Guns N’Roses – live and made lots of lovely new friends. I went through a really hard time when I thought I’d stopped loving pole, but when I realised I needed to stop teaching and actively made that choice I felt less powerless. A sense of inadequacy still lingers, but I love pole more now.
Here’s to 2023
In short, I feel like an adult: I’m learning to identify what is good for me, what I need and what I need less of. I’m better at identifying red flags and at losing things that were great but that no longer serve me. So here’s to 2023, when I plan to launch a newsletter, hopefully perform more, go to more gigs, do more research, travel more, have more fun and finally become the mother of a baby sausage dog.
Find my recap in reel format below and on TikTok.
Pssst… grab my tutorials before they go back to full price!
ICYMI, I have a tutorial promo on my Buy Me A Coffee, where you can grab my Rock & Metal Pole bundle, my Pole Power bundle and my Off The Pole bundle half-price. Tomorrow’s the last day of this promo, so get them before they’re gone!