In 2022, I learned that a year can be summed up into six minutes and eight seconds. Three hundred and sixty-five days into 365 seconds into six minutes of highlights to look back on right after the ball drops in Times Square and Anderson Cooper takes yet another tequila shot.
(Almost) Every day in 2022, I took a one-second video a day using the nifty little 1SE app. Aside from some minor mishaps in February when I lost my phone and relied on a Target flip phone for a week, I essentially documented my entire year in one-second snidbits. Some videos were great, and some were awkwardly framed Snapchats I used when I forgot to take anything else. But, with few expceptions, every day was documented, and all my friends knew when I whipped out my phone, it was time to smile and wave for the camera.
Making use of my mediocre Adobe Premiere skills, I added my Spotify No. 1 song of the year, “Keep Driving” by Harry Styles, to the final video. In a fitting coincidence, the song ended right when summer started. Thus I chose my friend’s and I’s song of the summer, “Touch Tank” by Quinnie, as my second song, which transitioned into my personal song of the fall semester, “Mon Amour” by Zzoilo, right as classes began.
On a day-to-day level, doing one second a day didn’t change my life beyond taking up a chunk of my phone’s storage. But, at the end of the year, looking back at the final video, I realized how long and short a year truly is.
On Jan. 1, I was in bed alone with COVID-19.
Jan. 23, my first cousin got married.
March 1, I went to my first Taco Tuesday.
April 24, I saw the Mona Lisa.
May 3, I saw Lorde in concert.
June 20, I moved into a frat basement for the summer.
July 16, I took the last 1SE of my ex-boyfriend.
Aug. 9, I made a giant penis-shaped brownie.
Oct. 21, I celebrated signing the lease for a senior house.
Dec. 5, I double fisted at Celia’s.
And Dec. 31, I celebrated New Year’s Eve with my 2- and 4-year-old cousins.
A lot of 2022 felt like it sucked. Days after my cousin’s wedding Jan. 23, I moved back to Berkeley and broke down crying, trying to unpack my room. In addition to seeing the Mona Lisa on April 24, I also had the worst anxiety and depression of my life over spring break and started taking SSRIs the week after. And there’s nothing more humbling than the clip of my on-again-off-again ex jumping out my first-floor window July 16 after we broke up June 29.
I dreaded watching my completed one second a day. I knew it would bring up painful memories of before the big breakup and the months leading up to it, but I didn’t realize it would show me how positive the last six months of 2022 had been regardless of all this. Videos of my crying were few and far between, and instead, I got to watch myself foster relationships with my now best friends.
From trips to Newport and New York City, game days and many, many nights spent laughing in my friends’ rooms, my year in video didn’t suck. I mean, I even went bowling on at least four separate occasions.
Twenty days into the new year, I already have 20 clips reminding me of the good and bad times that have already passed. With my second go at one second a day starting with nights out at home with my best friend and a very dramatic video of me crying after missing my flight back to school, I’m curious to see, and video, where the rest of 2023 takes me.
One second a day reminded me of all the joy in my life without ignoring the sadness. 2022 was hard, and that is okay. I’m still not totally over June 29, and that is okay too. Even with moments I wouldn’t wanna relive, those videos also lead me to the really really good ones that I’m grateful to have immortalized and set to my very basic favorite music.