Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Reflections

A lot of things happened this year. I finished a manuscript, I turned 30, I experienced four different weather seasons, and pick up a new hobby (the violin). 

Most importantly I've learned a lot about myself this year. 
I learned lessons that have impacted me and will help me positively progress in life. 

But out of everything I learned this year, there are two things I learned 
which have forever changed me. 

1. I learned to stop comparing my life's path to others.
 Since deciding to pursue a career in writing I have battled with comparing 
my path to that of other writers. I was constantly comparing things such as, what publications 
others write for and the way readers respond their writing. 

I often looked at the way other successful writers got to where they are now 
and figured I needed to do the same to achieve a certain level of success.

I put myself through that a lot this year. But in the last couple of months I had an "ah ha moment."
As we all know each of our paths' in life are different. Yes there are plenty of writers in this world, 
but my approach is different. I can't follow someone's path and strive for their outcome. 
I have to stay focused on my own path and focus on my own results. 

In the end the old saying holds true: Be yourself because everyone else is taken.

Not that I was ever trying to be someone else; I just realized (what I've always known),
I'm different and have to do whats best for me and my writing career; 
Not what's best for everyone else.

2. I learned to stop living in fear. 
Stress and anxiety is something that I started dealing with in late 2008.
After a three day stay in the hospital, the doctor told me I needed to stop worrying. 
"Worrying about what?" I said to him.

At the time I didn't think I was worrying, but in the years since I've realized I do worry, a lot. 
Then that worry leads to anxiety, which then leads to stress. 

At the end of November I realized my worrying, anxiety, and stress comes from a place of fear.
Fear of failure. Fear that I will stay stuck in this same place (literally and figuratively).
Fear of not reaching my goals. Fear of never getting married. Fear of something horrible 
happening to me or my family. And the list goes on...

In realizing that fear had a strong hold on me, it's become something that I have
been praying off of me. Yes it's part of life to worry about things. 
But allowing myself to not get wrapped up in nervous thoughts of what could possible 
happen is a terrible thing to do to myself. 
Especially since we are suppose to "be anxious for nothing..." 

To stop worrying so much is something that does not happen overnight. It's a process. 
In addition to prayer it takes a re-newed mind to overcome it. 
It's a slow process but I'm thankful that I learned where the source of my worrying 
and stress comes from. And I am now able to work on overcoming it.

On another note: as we close out this year I want to say THANK YOU for supporting my blog. 

Whenever I think about ending my blog someone always emails or texts me and 
tells me how much they enjoy reading it. I take that as a sign to keep going.
So keep reading and I'll keep writing!

Also, thanks for supporting my Earrings, articles,
liking my Facebook page, and following on Twitter and Tumblr.

Chat with you next year!

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