A year in your life is a pretty long time. It would be difficult to dismiss 365 days as an entirely crappy year, or adversely, a completely brilliant period of time. I don’t really know why we do this; await the eve of a new year to try to assess how we have progressed as a person. Are we any more self-actualised than the person we were 365 days ago? Do we really need to deliberate over these changes (or lack of changes)? Why don’t we take stock of our lives on our birthdays instead? I’ve just turned 44 so why didn’t I take a long hard look at my life earlier this month? However, if I’m going to do this look back over my year (and I am – I’ve got to write about something), I suppose this year I have made a start at attempting to really define myself as the person I want to be. But in spite of that and perhaps because of it, I have ignored a lot of my internal struggles. Either way, as years go, 2015 has been fairly significant for me.
This was the year I finally got my foot on the first rung of the ladder – the writing ladder (if you will). If you follow this blog or know me in any way, shape or form – you’ll be horribly bored of hearing that I finally got around to self-publishing my first novel in January. The book (and it’s 2nd and 3rd volume) was something I had been secretly working on for years but was never confident about sharing with the world. And I’m not really sure why, but last January enough was enough and I decided to put the damn thing out there and to hell with the consequences. Nearly a year has gone by since I took the plunge and even though I’m not on the best-seller list yet, the sales steadily improve. The second book is nearly ready and the third is ready for editing. Oh, and the first book is now in paperback so it’s nice to see something that I have written finally in the confines of a glossy-covered book. And even if nothing ever comes of it, at least it’s one job ticked off the bucket list.
As an unforeseen offshoot of the book, in February 2015 I started this blog. Like most authors, the blog only came about because I’d read that I was supposed to have one – y’know, give readers a taste of my writing style etc. And considering I didn’t even know what to write about at first, comparatively (if we’re talking views and visitors and interest), the blog has been more successful than the book. I think this may be because the blog developed into being the one place (apart from the innermost recesses of my mind) where I felt comfortable enough to be honest; to really give of myself. Sometimes I wonder if I give too much away but I have come to believe that if you can’t really give of yourself, then you can’t call yourself a writer. And people seem to like honesty – who knew. I had never really set out to be a blogger, but I have grown to love the blog. It’s my diary. But other projects and commitments have dictated that I can’t give as much time to the blog as I’d like – so maybe in 2016 I might be a little bit more elusive. Still, I’d like to think I’ll still be here in January 2017 and not become one of the many that simply fade away (I see that happen a lot). I still have a lot to say – I just need to find more time to say it. Either that or I’ll completely run out of material, burn out and retire from writing altogether. I mean, there’s only so much you need to know about me.
But perhaps that’s enough patting myself on the back. Every year of our lives will have its share of negatives. I’m still the emotionally scarred me that I was last December. I’ve done little to nothing to make inroads into fixing my bereaved self. However, I have become incredibly skilled at forgetting and ignoring. I’m super awesome at that. And then there’s that procrastinating part of my psyche that is still unwilling to take any risks and change my circumstances. I know life is short; I should know that better than most people but I am still unwilling to make the major life changes that would make my day-to-day life a happier place. Don’t get me wrong, I have a happy home life – within my nuclear family, life is hunky-dory. I’m not griping about that. But I’m still not doing what I want to do, being who I need to be. All too often I play it safe because the fear of failure looms heavy over me. Heavier than it should. And if anything has to change, it’s got to be that. Still, I’m aware of it and the awareness has to be a starting point.
So what about you? Has the dawning of 2016 seen you becoming the person you desire to be? Or are you one of those lucky, driven people who has that focused kind of mind which achieves its goals? Or do you have such a easygoing disposition anyway that you’re generally happy with your lot? And if you are one of those people, tell me how you do it. Tell me how to be happy with my lot. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, a great family and friends – so why is there always this missing, nameless thing just out of reach? I know one really ought to live in the moment and appreciate what we have, count our blessings. But I have always been of the mindset that the grass is always greener over there. If only I could just get over there. Anyway, I’m rambling here. I’ve got to learn that every step in the right direction is at least a step – a positive. And I’m sure I’ve been stepping in the right direction in 2015. I’ve got to be happy with the little achievements even if they are little. Lots of little’s make a big, right?
So readers, some of you I know personally and some of you I’ve met purely through your words and encouragement on a computer screen. 2015 has been great for that; lots of new and interesting people, people from the past reappearing, people from the present steadfastly standing by me. Either way, you all mean a lot to me and thank you. Thank you for sitting-in and offering your comments on my journey and telling me a little bit about yours. It would be a lonelier place without you. Y’know, a bit like Twitter (i.e., walking around your empty house and shouting to yourself about the unfairness of life). Anyway, whatever shenanigans you got up to last night, now sitting there reading this on your sofa on New Year’s Day, gingerly sipping a coffee swiftly chased by a big glass of Berocca and nursing your aching head (like I am), I wish you a Happy New Year, people. Really, I hope it’s 365 days of pure ‘happy’. You never know.