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Here We Go Again

December 29, 2018

Every year, I dread New Year's Eve.  It's my least favorite holiday.  I don't like the pressure to have fun (if you're a new reader, I'm not very good at having fun).  I don't like the pressure to improve oneself that comes with a new year.  I don't like the idea that the bleakest part of the year is also supposed to be a new beginning.  Gross.


The past couple of years, I've made a vision board for myself in January with goals for the year.  This year, I didn't accomplish many of my goals.  I did not even read all the books I promised to read.  I'll end the year having finished only 32 books (unless I just manage to squeeze another in during the next few days).  I didn't try something new/scary each and every month.  I definitely did not walk as much as I hoped.  I never accomplished my goal of giving up fast food for six months in a row.  Normally, I'd feel like a real failure.  This year, though, I still feel successful.  The most important goal on the board for 2018 was to begin my year of travel.  And I did it.  I also, not for nothing, finished my Young Adult novel, downsized a great deal of my stuff, and definitely smiled more. 


I can't feel failure this year because more than a year ago, I said I was going to do a crazy thing:  quit my job, sell my house, and start a year-long road trip around the United States.  I did all of those things this year...and I still can't really believe it.  As I write this, I'm in Texas.  I spent Christmas with my family in Nashville.  I booked a range of hotels and campsites all over Texas tonight.  I'm headed into a part of the country I've never seen before.  


I've spent a big chunk of my life feeling like a failure.  I set myself up for it more often than not.  For many years, I was a failure because I was fat and didn't lose the weight.  I was a failure because I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life.  I was a failure for never finding romantic love and because I had a hard time making friends.  I was a failure for not working harder at my writing and for not sending it out for publication.  I could only see the failures for so, so long.  Depression and loneliness and mourning made me feel I was not good enough.  It is almost an unbelievable dream to be approaching this really triggering time of year and to feel...not like a failure.  It's so small, but it is so affirming.  


For 2019, I'm not making a vision board.  Instead, I'm living a vision board.  




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