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
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.
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.
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?
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!)
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.)
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. . .