As we close out 2019 I want to take a moment to reflect on the successes I've experienced this year. It's all too easy to fall into the trap of seeing all the goals you didn't complete, and all the places you feel that you're behind, which is why it's so important to acknowledge the places you've succeeded and the way you've changed your life.
Sometimes, we all need a little reminder that we have what it takes to build the life we've always dreamed of, and no matter how we feel, we move a little closer every day. So, here is my reminder to myself, and hopefully my little wins will inspire you just a little bit too.
I suppose I should start with the biggest win. I have officially written over 25,000 words of my (hopefully) upcoming novel. The idea for the story has been incubating for years, with some of my earliest drafts living for a few chapters as early as 2015 but it wasn't until late 2018 that the characters and story finally began taking true shape, no longer the shadow of an idea but a living, breathing, thing. As real to me as the sun or the moon... and just as magical. I'm about halfway done with the draft at this point, and can't wait to continue following the story.
It's the strangest feeling, though I know the story is one of my own creation, sometimes I feel like I'm as much along for the ride as any reader would be. It reminds of how creative genius is described in Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic, which is so incredible to experience.
The other big career moment this year was when I was offered a paid contributors contract for a website I'd previously been writing for for free. I would've been happy to write for them free of charge forever, but apparently they had bigger and better plans!
The biggest financial win was paying off over $5,000 dollars of debt this year, bringing me so much closer to the financial freedom I've been dreaming of for years. This is an extra big deal because for years I felt really trapped in my debt, letting my whims and worries control my finances instead of taking charge of them myself.
I wish I could take full credit for jump starting the effort at long last, but what really set it off was finding myself quite suddenly having my wages garnished. Months of super tight finances later I realized that if I didn't take control soon, I would find myself living a much harder life for a very long time and I'm proud to say that I'm halfway there and will finally be debt free in just a handful of months (but more about that in a couple days).
Two incredible things happened this year, or at least things that felt incredible to me.
Firstly, after months of waiting and specialist visits and some incredibly long and boring tests, I was finally officially diagnosed with ADHD. People have been suggesting that I might have it since I was a small child, but up until July I was never sure. I'm now in the process of finding the correct medication/dosage, which has been as arduous as the diagnosis, but finally being able to function a bit closer to normal is really great.
Related to that, in a round about way, this year I also I lost 20 pounds, finally hitting the 140's for the first time in 4 years. I never realized how often I was impulsively eating until my brain was finally being treated for it's impulsiveness. For years I felt like the person I saw in the morning wasn't me. Like my face was stuck on someone else's body. But finally, I recognize what I see. And sure, it's not perfect, but I'm happy.
Finally, on a much more personal note, this year I dated someone who wasn't right for me. The relationship was draining and difficult and left me often feeling like a shell. So, eventually, I left them. It took me longer than it should've to acknowledge the issues and to acknowledge my own worth. But in the end, I learned so much about who I am, and I'm so grateful for the lesson.
This past year has laid a lot of the groundwork for so many plans, big and small. It hasn't been easy. But I'm proud of what I've accomplished, and I can't wait to see what happens over the next 12 months.