Wednesday, December 31, 2014

At the End of the Year

Hello all! It's been quite a while since I blogged, thanks largely to the fact that I took the month of December off from serious writing and just kind of chilled out for a month. It was good and I enjoyed it; now I'm ready to get back to blogging, editing, and the general craziness that is the life I'm still trying to figure out.

Today is December 31, 2014. We are on the very last page of the year, and tomorrow we start a new book that is 2015. Today I've been taking time to look back on this past year and several things stuck out to me about what I have done and what I have learned.

  • I learned what it means to be "in one's element".
A dear friend of mine had a party back in October for her birthday. It was a murder mystery party, where everyone played a character and we all tried to figure out who the murderer was and why they had committed the crime. The character I played was a woman named Finn Burgundy, the obnoxious, insufferable manager of the Moonshadow Playhouse. I enjoyed playing Finn immensely, and found myself losing some of the inhibitions I so often carry. I was loud and I was prideful and I was having a wonderful time. We broke character to eat and I just enjoyed myself. The people around me seemed to enjoy me, too. I met so many amazing people that night, and everything just seemed to come easy. I felt like I was home, making people smile and laughing until my stomach hurt. I have a hard time remembering another night where I felt so complete. Whatever it was, something made that party, that night, feel like home to me. I want to find that feeling again. I wasn't worried about what anyone thought or if I was too loud, or anything. I was just being myself and I felt like that was enough. I want to trap that feeling and hold it forever.
  • I learned about my tendency toward jealousy.
I went to a camp in the summer where God really worked in my heart. However, during that time I had to battle jealousy that threatened one of my dearest friendships. It's a long story, but let's just say there was a boy who was very kind to both my friend and I, which we later realized was simply because he liked my friend. I was hurt, honestly, and I was very jealous. God also had me deal with that, and I apologized to my friend for my actions and attitudes, which she was amazing about because she's a wonderful, understanding person. Earlier on in the year, I struggled with jealousy which set a prejudice against an acquaintance of mine to the point of making me slightly hostile towards her, which she did not deserve at all. This year has proven that I am an extremely jealous person.
  • I learned the reason behind my jealousy.
In all honesty, the two situations mentioned above were strikingly similar. Both involved boys. At first, I thought that I was simply desperate for love, but only today have I seen the underlying reason. It's my self-esteem. I automatically jump to the conclusion, if I feel rejected, that it is because I am not good enough and that someone else is better than me. I used to think it was harmless, but this past year it has caused hostility toward an innocent acquaintance, and me to harbor bad feelings against a friend. It was certainly not victimless. My self-esteem problems drove a rift between me and others, which I will not allow. I hope to learn to love myself better in the future, and thus prevent anyone else from being hurt.
  • I did things this year I did not believe possible.
This was the year of impossible things for me. I stretched myself beyond what I thought was possible for me and with good results. Some were little things. I had my first dance. Some were big things. I finished not one, but two novel drafts.
  • I faced my fears this year.
I faced heights, crowds, strangers, rivers, angry friends, and most of all myself. Thanks to God, I overcame, just like He promised.

At the end of the year, I like to look back and draw a bottom line. I look at what I've done and what I've learned and I wait for a sentence to come to mind. One little, perfect sentence to sum up the past year of my life, something I can think of and remember.

This year, as I thought, only one sentence came to mind.

This year, I was very, very brave.

As I look back and think about those words, I am almost proud of myself. Brave is never a word I would use to describe myself, but when I think of this year it's the only word that fits. I was brave. I am brave. I faced the unknown and I fought well.
I'm very nearly proud. Of course I failed this year. Of course there are things I should have done that I didn't, or things I did that I shouldn't have. There are always those things, and I aim to do better in 2015.

As far as 2014 goes, I was brave.