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My Life, Last Year and This Year



2017 was an interesting year. It started and ended differently than I ever could have imagined. My life experienced things I never saw coming. It was a great year and awful year in so many ways.

I will probably always look back on 2017 as a growing year where I was tested over and over, and then again some.

I'm still not sure quite all what happened, or even how. Like maybe I'm in a little bit of shock still? I don't know. 

As I explained in my post last year I don't do resolutions. 

But my opinions have slightly altered since then. I have been setting a lot of extreme goals for myself these last few months. Some of them were things to help change my focus. Some of them were things I'd always wanted to do and I realized now was the time to start.

So, sometimes now I will stop and think, "How do I want to be different by the end of this month?"

I'll pick two or three things. And then work on them all month. I've always been driven, but more so the last while. 

2018 is here, and from here on out I'm going to continue on this learning and healing process of being more of who God wants me to be.

I changed a lot this last year.

In some ways I'm not even the same person I was before 2017. This thought has had me hooked for awhile.


What and how did I change? I'm no longer me... or am I more me? Or has just another side of me emerged as certain parts of me died forever? Or am I more me than ever? Or *shudders* am I less me?


Yeah, my thoughts have had quite the trip this year. 




I started my 32nd journal, beginning of 2018. I have been journaling since I was eleven years old, almost every day. Even when I wasn't dedicated to the rest of my writing, this I've always done. And in a way I believe it has helped shape everything I write. 

I love journaling.

This is a journal I bought because of the butterfly. I heard of the butterfly effect for the first time last year. It fascinates me on a deeper level. It has been constantly on the back of my mind this whole year.

How a little thing can affect so much! It's crazy.

And my life this last year has been affected in huge, bizarre ways by just a couple little things.

So, this journal kinda has a message for me... little things add up. Keep hoping, keep going, and eventually I'll see where they will lead to.

The little red hearts are stickers my grandparents gave me when I was nine. I used some of them, but had been saving them a long time. I decided to use some of them on this journal. ;D 



I want to tell you all the story of my 2017 life:



I was me. I had many friends. I was confident, even though I didn't even have every reason to be so. I loved color. I loved being happy. 

Good things were happening, one after another. 

Sometimes I wondered how things could be so good? How everything just happened. Sure, not everything was perfect... but I knew I had it beyond good.


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I laughed. I was goofy. I worked. I didn't really have a care.


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I read. Anything, everything. I used my words to make more laughter. 

Sometimes I considered my life the epitome of laughter. Once someone asked me who my favorite comedian was.

Without a thought I answered honestly, "Myself!"




But life changed. Perfection ended, I felt as if I had been drained of color and laughter and thrown into the darkest abyss. 

I went through a complicated breakup. My heart was shattered, my mind broken. That started things. But then my uncle died. Friendships grew rocky. Some pushed away from me, I pushed away from others.

The world felt crazy. My world had ended. And the world around me looked like it was ending, too (politically, socially).

As if everything good decided to end all at once. 

All I felt was a cold panic. I didn't know anything anymore. 

Who was I? What were my dreams? What was my purpose?




I decided to act like the pain didn't exist. 
That didn't work.

No amount of good thoughts could chase away the darkness.




I tried to dress up, like once. 

Forget about the world. 

Forget about what I'd lost. 

Forget about everything.


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And for awhile I just didn't care. 

I lost myself completely. 




But through this all I learned that one thing always remained constant.

Words.

For a short while after the breakup I couldn't write. But then I wrote like crazy. I threw myself into words. 

My words. God's words. Other's words.

I read. I studied. I wrote.

Slowly, I started healing.

Slowly.




I tried new things. I traveled less, experiencing more slowly.

I found myself again by letting my pain run its course.

By realizing the world wasn't ending, that I was just going through a season I may never understand.

It was OK to not understand. Some things we were never meant to comprehend.

But God understood. And He was pulling me through.



The process was slow. 

But slow is still something. 

I smiled more. 

I found beauty in odd places. 

I found confidence, and it wasn't through choosing not to care like I imagined for awhile. It was through time and contentment and gratitude.

God stayed with me, I found my color and laughter once more.




And now I'm free. I'm no longer the same me. And yet I am. I am more me than ever, so happy and ready to see what may happen, even though I'm still taking life slow. Still learning, still moving forward.

Ever forward, toward my end.



I haven't actually talked about this with many people. I hate revealing certain things. I hate allowing my pain to show, or even parts of my personal life.

But I decided it was time to share this, as it is and will continue to influence the rest of my life.



Here are some highlights of the year, things that shaped and influenced who I am:


Last January at the peak of my great year, I did a lot of traveling to see friends. You can read more about that here


 Mary and I have been good friends since we were fifteen. She is now expecting her second daughter and I will be staying with her for a month in April after the baby is born to help her out.

See this post to see how much Anni has grown since last January!



It was a great time seeing and catching up with friends. 


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I especially loved the chance to go see my friend Laura in June. We have been friends since we were twelve. I loved meeting her awesome guy, too!


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 Friends seriously pulled me out of my dark times. Without them I'm not sure how I would have been able to handle this year at all. I wish I could post so many pictures, showing the many faces that helped brighten my own.

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Weddings!!!

Three of my friends married this last year!  


I was happy to be Alexa's maid of honor. We have been friends since we were 15.
I sadly had to miss their wedding;/



2017 was full of many changes.



I wasn't able to handle babysitting, and had to quit. It upset me a lot... but I knew it was best. 


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Yet God blessed me by allowing me to start again this fall!! I just love these boys so much, and enjoy taking care of them.



One thing I decided to do in 2017 was finish things. 

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I had this yarn for a long time... I finally knitted a blouse for myself. 

As you can see from the picture, I also tried henna.

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This is some flannel that's been sitting around for a few years. I decided it was time to use it up :D Gifts for friends ;)



Other things I finished this year that I'd started a while back:

  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • I finished reading A Series of Unfortunate Events, starting from book five
  • A few embroidered and knitting projects
  • My first novel, Perfect
  • My second novel, The Fur Slipper
  • I got my HiSet (GED) something I'd been trying to do for a long time.
  • And so many little things that I can't remember right now ;)

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I went to my first writer's conference

"Hay, have you seen my shadow?"
I discovered I have an obsession with shadows. I especially love doing what I call selfie shadows... I have a couple on Instagram.  



I also discovered that Havarti cheese and peanut butter tastes good together.



I decided to learn to do the splits. Still can't do side splits, but back and front are complete (more so than this picture).
It says "pregnant mermaid awareness"


I rediscovered my humor.

Here are two jokes I made up;

  1. Why can't a mouse ever stop talking? If he shuts his trap he will die. 
  2. What is the fastest berry? Barry Allen.


Other accomplishments:
  • I started reading again. Not as books many as I used to when I was a young read-aholic, but still a decent amount. 35 books to be precise. I write a review for every one on GoodReads
  • I drink a lot of water and tea, mostly Oolong tea sweetened with stevia
  • I wrote a guest post on GTW, a dream of mine for like forever 
  • I started a YouTube channel, The Whatever Girl
  • And a comedy Instagram page, A Cleaning Gal 
  • I joined an awesome community for YA book readers/ writers 
  • I won my first writing contest and I bought the Giver Quartet with the prize money 
  • I created a page for my stories
  •  According to an app I've been using all summer, I'm almost 50% fluent in German. I feel about 20% ;D 
  • I've taken up spinning! And some dyeing.
  • I wrote a story with a 2nd person pov. That was fun!
  • I road tripped twice this last year! Both times through Nashville TN. The first time I felt freaked out. The second time it felt wonderful!
  • I argue less? Lol, or so I think


Favorite Blog Posts From Last Year :
Henri Wetselaar  (By the way, this guy is free now! A higher court overruled his sentencing)



I'm really excited about my serial! I plan to make that a regular part of the blog. I already have two exciting serials planned for after the Lawrence Children is over. I do hope you all enjoy this story. :) I will be having a fun post explaining some back story once it is ended.



Plans for next year:

So, yes, I don't do resolutions. But I still have plans. And goals

I am working hard toward publication. I'm actually starting to see some good signs of that happening, hopefully soon. 

Also, I need to tell you all about my current writing project. I've been rather silent about it as it's hard to talk about my novels as I write them. They tend to feel/ be personal. 

It's called Let Me Meet Death Dancing. 

I've had this story in my mind for years. But not until this last year, going through a relationship, did the story finally make sense and I was able to see it enough to start writing. 

I'm a short story writer, but never has a novel felt so easy to write... the plot seems to be unfolding itself, the words coming out without hardly any trouble.

It's a novel about relationships, specifically but not exclusively breakups. Ava, my main character is a messianic believer. She dances, knits, reads history. And then one day she starts working for a family of eleven. Her life changes as she falls in love  makes friends that believe differently than her.

But her world shatters through a broken heart and death, and soon she finds herself tumbling through life unsure of how to move forward.

Currently it's around 50k word. 

My plans are to finish writing this novel this year, then return to my sci-fi novella series, A Series of Thoughts. I'd like to take the rest of the year to polish up those six books. You should be able to find a little bit about them on my writing page.

Besides that, my only other plans are to help my friend, Mary, in April. 

I'm hoping to go to Germany sometime this year. 

Depending on what happens with my writing, I may be doing more traveling for that, too.

I mostly plan to work toward a bigger picture. Little steps forward, constantly forward. 

And this post has grown quite long ;0 But I do hope you enjoyed it!


I want to thank you all for following this blog! My audience has tripled since last year. For that I am amazed... I don't know what keeps you guys coming to this crazy, colorful blog, but I do appreciate it!

So, feel free to comment on any of this. What do you think of my novel? What keeps you coming to this blog? What would you like to see more of, less of? 

Thank you, everyone! And may God bless our 2018 lives!!!



Comments

  1. Wow you did so much in a year! I'm glad you were able to find your smile and color again after going through a hard time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! I guess I did... I’m a very active person, and to be honest in many ways this year seemed slow πŸ€ͺ Thanks!

      Delete
  2. It was so cool reading how you re-found your purpose, I'm so glad God helped you through it. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’m glad you enjoyed reading about it. I was very hesitant to share at first πŸ™ƒ

      Delete
  3. Wow, what a beautiful story! God is wonderful, and is always caring for us, though we might not always feel like it or see it.

    Seriously, those jokes were great!

    I hope you are able to accomplish your goals, and always look to Christ!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! And you are so right. We should continue always looking to God, even if we never understand why. I feel often we may have to trust more than know πŸ™ƒ

      Delete
  4. I have that same long dark brown skirt, and I love it!

    You've accomplished so much in 2017!!! I loved hearing about it!

    And your jokes made me laugh 😁

    Here's to an even better 2018!!

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that’s so neat! I love it too πŸ€ͺ Thanks! I love making people laugh with me πŸ˜‚ Yes, 2018 already seems amazing!

      Delete
  5. What a journey!

    It's nice to see that you've made it through your ups and downs.

    Also, writing a story in the second person sounds intriguing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It’s has been something ;) Thanks! Hey if you want to read it, I’d love to have you do so! It’s about 2,500 words and called MY CLEANING GIRL

      Delete
  6. And well done on progressing through your language journey!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, it seems like 2017 was a growing year for a lot of us. I definitely felt it was that way for me, mostly in spiritual and emotional ways.

    I love seeing you accomplish so much and grow so much and share it all with us. I look forward to what's next for you in 2018! <3


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is interesting how so much happened for many of us πŸ™ƒ And, thanks, Alexa! I hope 2018 is good for you, too

      Delete

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