The Super Epic Awesome Amazing 2019 Recap Post!

good morning, cyberspace!

As promised, today I’m coming at you all with my super epic awesome amazing 2019 recap post!!!

Let me tell you, folks, 2019 has been a year. As with all years, it’s had its ups and downs and laughs and cries, but goodness gracious, this one was a roller coaster. So much new has happened to me this year, and–more so than years past–I really feel like I’ve made some strides in growing as a person.

(not growing UP, of course, for I have decided to take a permanent vacation to Neverland and will ne’er return.)

Small as these strides may have felt at the time, small mental changes I’ve made to my everyday living have helped me grow into the person I’ve been wanting to become, and with any luck, I’ll carry these changes into 2020 with my head held high and my silver crown glistening.

So to immortalize these changes in ink and to engrave them deeper into my heart, I’ve decided to share some of the lessons I’ve learned over the past 365 days with all of you–my lovely, darling stalkers friends.

2019 IN REVIEW: WHAT I’VE LEARNED

LESSON ONE . . . I’m Not Sorry

We’re gonna start with the biggest one on the list here, because this is something that I’ve been struggling with for YEARS.

I believe I’ve mentioned this on the blog before, but I’ll mention it time and again–I am the world’s largest people pleaser. For nearly as long as I can remember, everything I’ve ever done revolves around others: will this make [insert name] happy? Is this what [insert name] wants? Will [insert name] like this? This has resulted in me not only being able to please anybody (because people pleasing pleases no one, as everyone often says), but it’s also instilled in me an automatic response of apologizing for everything. Every issue, every problem, every single wrong thing that may or may not directly affect me, I take on as my own fault. I accept the blame. I carry the responsibility.

It’s definitely not my most shining quality, and even though I know it’s a bad thing, it’s been engraved in my head for so long that it’s been nearly impossible to destroy. But the strangest thing about this whole people-pleasing thing is that I–foolish child that I am–thought everyone was like this.

I thought everyone had that nagging feeling in the pit of their stomach that they were the ones in the wrong.

I thought everyone wanted others to be happy, and therefore put others before themselves.

I thought everyone was like me.

But alas. What a foolish peasant I have been, because despite my beliefs, it turns out that people actually take advantage of us people-pleasers. I guess it goes back to the old adage where if you give someone half your sandwich, they’ll take your cookie, too, but I digress. After many days, weeks, months, years of struggling with constant apologizing and taking the blame for every little thing and accepting the fact that others walked all over my face like a welcome mat, something finally snapped inside me. 2019, folks. 2019 was the year for change.

It’s definitely taken time, and in some ways I’m still not completely healed from the years of letting people take advantage of me and my apologetic kindness, but I’m finally learning to say no. I’m finally learning to accept the fact that I deserve opinions and choices and ideas, too. And most important of all, I’m finally learning to say the one thing that my own brain has been screaming at me for the past four years: I’m not sorry.

(Huge shout out to my mom on this, by the way. She’s been trying to teach me this lesson for years, and I’ve only just begun to fully grasp how important it is. <333)

LESSON TWO . . . Sometimes Goodbye Is Okay

This one kind of clicks in with the above topic, but it’s a little more personal, so we’re not going to go into as much detail.

Sometimes goodbye is okay. People are people, and as people, sometimes we split apart. This is normal. This is natural. And as painful as it sometimes may be, sometimes it is good. 2019 has seen its share of hello’s for me, but it’s also seen its share of goodbyes, and–if I’m being 100% honest–I think some of them were way overdue. Although at the time it was extremely painful, I see now that separation can sometimes be a good thing, and if you keep holding on to what you had in the past, you’re never allowing yourself room for the beautiful things God has planned in your future.

(le gasp. we’re talking about GOD? << yes, peasants. yes, we are.)

LESSON THREE . . . Adventure Is Out There!

*sucks in deep breath* Okay. Now that we’re out of the deep emotional bits, LET’S TALK ABOUT FUN STUFF! Like adventure. Because that’s a thing that happened this year.

Oh my goodness, you guys, 2019 was the year of adventures for me. I’m a firm believer in finding the little adventures in every day life–and I like to think that I do that–but there were also some pretty big things that happened this year which I feel are worth noting, such as:

  • starting to drive BY MYSELF (*internal screaming*)
  • starting my first ever job (which I actually feel like I’m starting to settle into, so yay for that)
  • ATTENDING MY SECOND-EVER NANOWRIMO WRITE-IN AND NOT MAKING A COMPLETE AND UTTER FOOL OF MYSELF!!! (I’m so proud of myself, guys. I actually managed to sit quietly and just WRITE. I also met some super cool people, but seeing as though I typically get horrible social anxiety when I have to talk to people I’ve never met in my life, I consider this entire experience to be a major success for me)
  • finishing the fourth and final draft of everlost (it still needs some smol edits, but as of right now, it’s ready to send to beta readers. . . [more info on my book baby is coming soon, I promise!])
  • participating in February Freeze Out (which was essentially March Hare Madness all over again, though admittedly much less crippling to my creativity. . .)
  • sending the fourth and final draft of everlost to my Alpha reader and my CP (getting to see the look of shock on my mom’s face when she reached certain points of the story were by far one of the best moments of the year. also this is the first time anyone’s read EV through to completion, so. . . *squealing*)
  • starting to write my second novel, SK, which I’m hoping to complete the first draft of in the coming year
  • ENTERING PITCH WARS!!!! (this is something I’ve wanted to do for SO LONG and I finally got the chance and!!!!! Nothing ever came of my entry, but I still had a wonderful time and am so extremely thankful that I had the opportunity to enter my work. it was nerve-wracking, though, I can’t lie.)
  • becoming CP’s with the beautiful, wonderful, absolutely AMAZING Phoebe! (we haven’t really taken full advantage of our CP-ship yet, but I have a feeling 2020 is going to bring some very CP-ish things our way!!! *rubs hands together gleefully*)
  • also getting to READ said beautiful, wonderful, absolutely AMAZING Phoebe’s book from cover to cover and!!!!!! Holy guacamole and cheddar, folks. That book is going to go places, mark my words. . .
  • holding a 3-year blogiversary giveaway!!! (this was my first-ever giveaway, and boy was it BUMPY. But we did it and it’s done and the winner loves her prize, so #SUCCESS.)
  • cutting my hair again!!! (I’m guaranteeing that literally none of you will remember this, but last year in December I had my mom chop my hair off after I’d been growing it out for two years. WELL. I’ve been growing it out for the last year, and I realized YET AGAIN that I hate having long hair, so I had my mom chop it off again. SHORT HAIR IS MY FAVORITE. SOMEONE PLEASE PASTE THIS REMINDER TO MY FOREHEAD.)
  • going to a COOKIE/POTTERY SALE!!!! (and there were also a bunch of other vendors selling their creative wares and there was a WRITER and I bought books and it was just the most magical day in all of existence, my friends. . .)

LESSON FOUR . . . All It Takes Is One Good Person

I guess this last lesson is rather short and sweet and to the point, but it’s something that I’d never really come across–or rather, noticed–until this year: all it takes is one good person to erase a whole mess of bad.

I guess it goes hand-in-hand with working a retail job, but I come in contact with a LOT of humans on a daily basis. Most of them are kind. Some of them are decidedly not. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned working retail, it’s that it only takes ONE good person to undo a whole day of bad. One good person. That’s it. And yes, sometimes the bad outweighs the good (in some instances, if it’s a really-rotten-no-good-very-bad day, then it requires some ice cream and Netflix to completely unwind again), but I’ve found that even one kind soul is enough to get me through some of the most annoying/mind-grating situations.

So to all the people out there who are kind and good and make an effort to not be a pain when you’re shopping, you, my friend, are most likely the one piece of good that keeps someone going every day.

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2019 IN REVIEW: REVISITING OUR 2019 GOALS

All right, now that we’ve talked about what’s happened over the course of the past year, let’s talk about all of the things that HAVEN’T been done in 2019!!!

Or rather, let’s talk about the goals I made for myself at the start of the year, because those were unsurprisingly thrown to the wayside by April. If you’d like to check out the post I’ll be referring to down below, you can find that here, but I’m warning you, folks: the goals in there are VERY lofty. Please watch your step.

WRITING

i. Finish the first draft of The Girl and The Goblin King — FAIL

So this definitely did not happen. My plan was for The Girl and The Goblin King to be my bright new shiny book baby for 2019, but–as you will later see–this was not the case.

I do still want to write this story, though!!! Very much so, in fact. It just didn’t happen this year.

ii. Re-outline and write the fourth draft of everlost — SUCCESS!!!!

Quick!!! Someone ding the gong of success because THIS ONE ACTUALLY HAPPENED, PEASANTS!!!! I am so so SO beyond happy about this one. . . everlost is, without a doubt, the story of my heart, and I’m just so impossibly thankful that this goal was the one that actually happened. And not only did I finish the draft, but I actually sent it off to my alpha, who read the whole thing front to back and I just !!!!!!!! I’m over the moon happy about this one.

iii. A Super Secret Project???? — SUCCESS! . . . ish?

^^ it took me a ridiculously long time to remember what on earth this super secret project was, but then it hit me . . . it’s SK. My second Super Secret Project was SK. AND I ACTUALLY STARTED DRAFTING IT!!!

And this, my friends, is why TGATGK did not get drafted this year. Instead of focusing on my strange little hobgoblin children, I decided to go with my firecracker girl story, which I honestly can’t say I’m even mad about. My hope was that I would have the first draft of this book finished by the end of December, but I have a pretty good feeling that is NOT happening. But it’s okay. I’ve got a 2020 writing goals post coming out in a bit that’ll shed a little bit more light on my plans for each and every one of these projects!

iv. Enter Pitch Wars???? — SUCCESS!!!

Even though I’m kind of shocked about this one, I ACTUALLY DID IT, PEASANTS! And I could not be more proud of myself. I mean, nothing actually happened with it, as I mentioned before, but the mere fact that I entered and got my manuscript polished up in time and wrote a SYNOPSIS and a BLURB??? It’s so unlike me, it’s insane.

Actually, looking back on all these goals I had for 2019, I really only failed one of them. . . I guess this year really wasn’t a fail for the writing, was it?

BLOGGING

i. More short stories! — FAIL

So this didn’t really happen. I mean, I think I’ve posted a few short stories this year, but not near as many as I had initially planned for. The only one I can really think of was the short story I wrote for the NaNoWriMo Dare Squad, so . . . yeah. This was a fail.

ii. Restart and finish the Villain School 101 series — AHA. FAIL.

I’m not even going to try and explain how much of a fail this was. Just . . . no. Ignore my inadequacy, please.

iii. Blog Makeover! — SUCCESS! (I think?)

I did this! I mean, I think I did this? Technically the renovation was already underway (and possibly even complete??) when I posted this, but still. The blog got a new look and it’s cute and we’re keeping it.

(also please just ignore the fact that I virtually failed ALL of my blogging goals for the year. let’s go back up to the bright, shiny writing goals section, yes??? look at the success! LOOK AT IT!)

READING

I believe the only goal I had for 2019 was to read one book a month, and seeing as though I’ve read 19 books in 2019, I think we can count this one as a success! *gives myself a gold sticker*

(I mean, my Goodreads goal was 20 books in 2019, but I mean??? 19 books in 2019 is kind of serendipitous, so I’m not too upset about this.)

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TALK TO ME, PEASANTS!

And that’s pretty much it for my 2019 recap post, folks! The plan was to get this thing posted much sooner than New Year’s Eve, but alas. Here we are. I’m also extremely aware that my posting schedule has been nothing short of erratic over the past few months, but I just want to say an enormous thank you to all of you who’ve stuck around with me through this wibbly wobbly, timey wimey adventure. If there’s one thing I’m hoping for in the upcoming year, it’s to be of greater presence here on the blogosphere, both with posting and with reading all of YOUR lovely posts. But even I–the great and powerful Kenzie–can’t see the future, so I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

In the meantime, however, why don’t you tell me all of the wonderful things you’ve been doing during this delightful Christmas season!! Have you read any good books? Written any delicious stories? Have you eaten about 3,000 cookies and now feel like the approximate size of a bloated walrus? (because that is me right now and I need an intervention) Tell me all of the things down in the comments below! I want to know everything I’ve been missing! <3

As always, until next year. . .

_flings cookies in the air and disappears_



Featured Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

15 thoughts on “The Super Epic Awesome Amazing 2019 Recap Post!

    • MEEP! Thank you so much, Becky!! People-pleasing is HARD, and I know I’m still not fully out of the woods, but I’m getting there and growing stronger, and I think that’s what matters.

      MEEP! Thank you!!! I hope your new year is absolutely MAGICAL and grants you everything you could ever wish for! (productivity! chocolate! lots of cake! XD)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. KENZIIIIEEEEE. I LOVE THIS SO SO MUCH! What beautiful lessons to learn! Thank you for opening your heart to us and sharing how you’ve grown. Those are such lovely things for us ALL to remember. I especially love the reminder that it only takes ONE good person to change someone’s day. I try to be conscious of that when dealing with retailers because, yeah, I know how often you people have to deal with unpleasant people. :( We should all try our best to spread a little sunshine!

    AND OH MY GOODNESS. ALL YOUR WRITING ACCOMPLISHMENTS. AAAAAHHHH!!!!! CONGRATS. I am sooooo proud of you for taking on Pitch Wars. YOU ARE SO BRAVE. And you’ve been writing and rewriting and just allll the things! That is so fantastic.

    EEP. This post was a delight. (As are ALL your posts!) I do hope you have the absolutely happiest 2020, full of blessings and cookies! (And yes, I totally ate some 3,000 cookies during the Christmas season. #NOREGRETS)

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    • MEEP!!! Thank you SO much, Christine!!! I’m not exactly used to being so ‘down-to-earth’ and not sarcastic, so this was definitely an experience for me. XD AND YES!!!! The one good person thing really changed the way I view humans and the way I interact with them. I’ve been severely lucky in the fact that most people I meet are super kind (I blame my child-like innocence and puppy-dog eyes. XD *malicious laughing in the distance*) but sometimes you do meet the occasional stinker. But it’s seriously those sunshine people who make my job feel worthwhile!!! (also!!!! spreading sunshine is EXACTLY what I try to do, as well, so ASDFGHJKL!! WE ARE KINDRED SPIRITS.)

      Pitch Wars was definitely a writerly highlight from last year!!! And even though nothing came of it, I’m still so proud of myself for actually DOING the thing. I was very close to chickening out. VERRRRRY close. XD

      Oh my goodness, your comments are literal rays of sunshine, I can’t even…. THANK YOU, YOU BEAUTIFUL SOUL!!!! I hope the very same for you! (ESPECIALLY THE COOKIES THOUGH, BECAUSE YES XD.) And judging by your recent blog post, your year is going to be full of super exciting things, and I am SO HERE FOR IT!!! *flings cookies at you for inspiration* (and HAHAHAHA. HAHA. HA. I’M SO HAPPY I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE. XD)

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  2. YES. GOOD FOR YOU. DON’T SAY YOU’RE SORRY. It can be so hard when we get stuck in bad habits like that, and so much harder to not only be aware them but GET OUT of them. You should be really proud of yourself!!!

    I have eaten so. much. bead. And then cake, and then cookies. I have too become a bloated walrus. I was planning on writing Christmas stories over the holidays but….I think I was still too brain dead after Nanowrimo, plus during/after two straight weeks of performing the Nutcracker, all I wanted to do was just sit down and craft or something. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness, yes!!! It IS hard, but I’ve been growing so much in this, and I’m so happy with where I’m going…. And HA! YES! I AM NOT SORRY! NOT EVER!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (oh my word, THANK YOU!!! <3333)

      DUDE, SAME. I mean, at least we're not alone? We can commiserate in our overabundance of delicious treats… And I mean??? NaNo takes a TOLL, man. We clearly need to fatten ourselves up again after expelling all our creative juices on NaNo. XD Oh my goodness!!! It sounds like you had a wild November/December! I would have taken a break from writing, too… (and I actually did anyway, so…yeah. WE ARE TWINS!!! XD)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. KENZIE!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

    SO TRUE about people-pleasing. I mean, I’m not really the people-pleasing type myself (more the “DON’T TREAD ON ME. *AGGRESSIVELY BITES ALL FEET WITHIN REACH*” type, but I digress), but I have friends and family members who are, so I know the struggle a little. I’m so glad you’re learning to say no and not apologize when you don’t need to and not be taken advantage of, because people DO take advantage of people-pleasers and it MAKES ME MAD. Especially because they’re usually the kindest, sweetest people (like you) which is why they try so hard to please people in the first place! We need kindness in this world, and we need to NOT take advantage of those wonderful souls who display it!

    Okay Kenzie I know you said permanent vacation to Neverland and all that but I have my doubts. Driving by oneself? Jobs? Pitch Wars?
    But oh yes congratulations on entering Pitch Wars!!! That took both hard work and guts, and you, my friend, have made me a proud stalker.
    That is, friend. You have made me a proud FRIEND. Naturally.
    *cough*

    But also EV!!!!! *counts the days till more everlost stuff*

    And DUDE THE GIVEAWAY. That was pretty awesome although I need to actually go read those stories and also now I have a half-finished story about a smooth-talking cowboy trying to charm a grumpy housewife into admitting that he is NOT a bad influence on her neighbor’s son whom she is secretly very fond of…and it’s your fault and I want to finish it but I don’t have time. Ack.

    It’s sooo true that it only take some good person! Which I shall try to remember for myself as well…

    I love the new blog look. Which I know it’s been around forever. But I do like it and you did it this year so it totally counts.

    And do NOT remind me how many thumbprint cookies I ate over Christmas… Bloated walrus, yes. Worth it, also yes. Those things are delicious, you know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MEEP! HAPPY NEW YEAR, SARAH!!! (I say exactly 22 days later, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.)

      Oh my word… You have literally no clue how much this means to me. <333 You are the sweetest bean, Sarah!!! Honestly, I WISH I was more like you??? Like aggressively biting feet sounds like a good way to go through life. XD But yeah, I definitely still have a lot to learn when it comes to people-pleasing and not apologizing and all that, but I'm finally learning and finally taking steps to help myself grow, and I think that's all that matters. (AND UGH YES, THIS WORLD NEEDS KINDNESS. Why do we constantly try to cut it down when it's shown???)

      UGH, I KNOW. But I swear I am naught but a child posing as someone doing adult-ish things. *rips off mask to reveal child-like innocence* SEE????
      OH MY GOODNESS, PITCH WARS TOTALLY FLOPPED. XD But I did it and I'm proud of myself for doing it and I MIIIIIGHT try again this year??? We shall see. Personally I think I want to just focus on querying this year, but time will tell.
      OF COURSE YOU ARE A FRIEND AND NOT A STALKER. JUST LIKE I AM NOT A STALKER WHEN IT COMES TO YOU. *coughs*

      I'm really excited to reveal more everlost stuff! I'm debating whether or not it would be prudent to reveal it BEFORE I get an agent/book deal/all that stuff that will never happen. I kinda want you guys to know some super secret stuff about it… UGH, THE DECISIONS ARE KILLING ME.

      UM?? This story is wonderful and perfect and you NEED to finish it. Just saying.

      EEP, thank you!!! Honestly, I'm growing kind of tired of it now. (I KNOW. I'M LAME.) But I kind of want something YELLOW instead of green, which is annoying, because this theme doesn't have anything yellow. UGH. I'm debating trying self-hosting, but that costs money and time and AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. XD

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Learning it say “no” is so good. And to not be sorry for all the things. I’ve never been one to feel guilty about all the things, but I can understand, I had a cousin who said, “I’m sorry” as an almost automatic response to everything. Even good things. We’d be like, “Thank you for (fill in the blank with something nice she had done,” and she’d go, “I’m sorry.” Took all of us working together to get her to realize that wasn’t extremely healthy.

    WOWZERS you got a lot done this year. Maybe not exactly the things you planned to do, but still awesome! I’m so thrilled for you and all your writing successes this year! Can’t wait to read Everlost someday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness, yes!! This is EXACTLY what I tend to do, as well! And it can be a really tough habit to break–and, as in both your cousin’s case and mine, requires a lot of loving support from trusted family or friends. (In my case it was my mom. She’s constantly helping me realize that I don’t have to apologize for my existence.)

      MEEP! It definitely feels like I got some good stuff done last year… And I really stretched myself and tried things that I’ve never done before, and that is something I really want to carry over into the new year!!! ASDFGHJKL I CANNOT WAIT FOR YOU TO READ EVERLOST!!!! Although I’m also terrified because WHAT IF YOU GUYS HATE IT but HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I guess that’s just something a writer’s gotta live with. XD

      Like

  5. OH GOODNESS, I relate to the people-pleasing and frequent apologizing. Like on a painful level. But I’ve been working on boundaries a lot the past couple of years, and it’s awesome to hear how you’ve been growing too! <3

    Also a thousand yeses to the "one good person" lesson. Thank you for that reminder! (Been there and done that in the retail world too, btw.)

    So many awesome writerly accomplishments this year, wow! I don't know much about any of your WIPs–except that I love the title Everlost–but CONGRATS. I hope your 2020 is even better than 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh!!! *hugs* It’s the worst. But OH MY WORD I’M SO HAPPY YOU’VE BEEN WORKING ON BOUNDARIES, TOO!!!! That is SO awesome!!! Maybe we can tackle this people-pleasing/apologizing beastie together. <333

      (Uggggh. The retail world is a monster. But also fun! But mostly a monster. XD)

      Oh my goodness, THANK YOU!!! I am so beyond excited for the stories I'm going to be writing this year, and I can't wait to share them with you guys!!! (also! I think I saw recently that you said you participated in your first NaNoWriMo?? How did that go????)

      Liked by 1 person

      • YES, LET’S DO THIS. *fistbump*

        (Lololol, yes and yes. Having that job was a great thing during one season of my life, but I’m soooo glad that part is over now.)

        Ahhh, yay, I’m so happy YOU’RE happy about your writing projects! That’s the best way to do this writing life. ^_^ Can’t wait to hear more about them! (I did!!! It went really well. My draft is a royal mess–what else is new with NaNo?–but I had a ton of fun writing it. And I hit 62k! So I’d say it was a success! How was your NaNo? Your post said you had your 2nd write-in… but was it your second year?)

        Like

        • AHA. Ah, yes. The royal mess that is NaNo… I definitely know what you’re talking about there…. XD *kicks smol unfinished firecracker child beneath carpet nonchalantly* OH MY GOODNESS!!!! 62k?? DUDE! You ROCKED NaNo!!! Unfortunately, I hit somewhere around 30k and that was it, but I’m still really pleased with the progress I made in my story!

          Actually, this was my fifth year participating! The first year I participated, I wasn’t a member of the NaNo site. It was 2015 and I thought everything was a scam and would take over my computer. XD In 2016 I wizened up and made an account, but my NaNo record has been consistently inconsistent throughout my entire life as a NaNoer. Maybe this year will be different?? XD

          Liked by 1 person

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