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I wrote my first novel, Smudge's Mark, in a closet. No joke.
Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Best Gift of 2009 - A Pile-driver to the Head

You know, I spent most of 2009 waiting.

I won't bore you with the long list of things I had to wait for (and, if truth be known, some things I'm STILL waiting for) but as I look back on these things I can see some of the different emotions I've had in response to them: anger, fear, resentment, anxiety. Even self-doubt and at times apathy.

And all these feelings have resulted in some major fits of frustration. I mean, when you feel stuck, when you feel trapped, when you feel like you're dependent on someone else to be able to move forward, that's frustrating. That's really frustrating. Especially when it's freakishly happening in different areas of your life, on many levels, and all at the same time.

But the operative word here is "feel". Feelings aren't concrete, are they? They are subjective. They change. They are easily influenced by our surroundings, our situations. But for some reason we base so much of our lives around them. Hmmm...

Now, as much as I'm tempted to do it, I don't want to kick 2009 in the arse and tell it good riddance, which would be the typical response. That would only make 2009 another notch on my 'things that have disappointed me' belt. And I don't know about you, but I want to see my belts get smaller, not bigger.

Instead, I'm choosing to make 2009 my friend. I want to take all the stuff that happened this past year and use it. I'm seeing 2009 as the trusted friend who lets me know when there's something in my life that needs improvement. The friend who speaks truth into my life even though it may sometimes hurt. The friend who accepts me for who I am yet at the same time doesn't gloss over my ugly stuff. Yes, even the friend who tells me when my writing is off. Believe it or not, we all need friends like that. (And here, the operative word is 'friend'. If you have a true one who does these things for you, you'll know what I'm talking about. My advice is don't ever let that person go. They are worth more than your weight, combined, in every precious metal known to man.)

2009 has been that kind of friend for me. Oh, believe me, at times it felt like she was giving me a pile-driver to the head. But what she has taught me - what she is still teaching me - is invaluable.

She has taught me to be more independent. She has taught me to be more assertive. She has taught me to get my head around what I truly want in life. She has taught me that no one can make me feel a certain way unless I let them make me feel that way. She has taught me to take control of my feelings, not to let my feelings take control of me. She has taught me that even though I may have to wait, I am in command of what I do with that time. And that the time I have in every year that's yet to come is best spent wisely.

That's why I'm choosing to make her my friend instead of my enemy.

I hope 2009 was a good friend to you, too.