Releasing 2013: A gentle look back

Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I would love to say it’s because I was so caught up in the holiday happenings. But, the truth is that I’ve been sick. Really sick. The good news – after too many days in bed, breathing treatments and antibiotics, I have rejoined the living – just in time to ring in the New Year!

There is an interesting things about being really sick, a time between feeling well enough to be upright and do things and so sick that you aren’t able to keep your eyes open – this is the space I’ve been living in for a few days. And it is in this space that I was gifted with the clarity needed to move forward.

2013 was an interesting year, filled with hope and opportunity as well as pain and regret. It was like the years that preceded it – 2010 through 2012. Each of these years gave me some of my highest highs and lowest lows. These years shaped much of who I am now, as well as the “me” I want to cultivate in the future.

I started in writing in 2008 when a collection of characters decided to be heard and “forced” me to write their story. That story was promptly shelved, but in it lead to many other works.

In 2009 I started to blog, connected with others online, and discovered a world of other creative, bright, introverts like me, anxious to connect but unsure how. I made some of my deepest friendships and learned so much. I sold my first nonfiction titles, hit a few milestones and wrote more books.

I was happy, alert, alive.

2010 brought my first book to print, my first book chats, and more sold books.

It also started a toxic path for me – one that slowly, over the next several years, shifted focus and became muddled, drained and blocked.

2010 brought illness, death, distance. I survived; but I cannot say that I thrived.

2011 and 2012 were about finding myself again. Figuring out how to release the blocks. Writing more books, etc. I wrote some great books, sold a few more nonfiction titles, learned about micro-publishers, and released my fiction. It was exciting once again. I met book bloggers, readers, and other writerly friends. I had a few more firsts – first book signing, first major presentation at a conference, first writing conference attendance.

I was happy – and I wasn’t. I was satisfied – and not. I was writing – sort of. But I was also still blocked, in a stupor and unable to find the joy writing had previously brought me. More than once I nearly quit. More than once those closest to me helped me through the turmoil beginning to define my life.

Which brings us to 2013. This was the hardest, best year of all. I took a job that nearly killed me. Left the job. Became more lost. Gained clarity. Everything about 2013 represented the highs and lows of the preceding years. Relationships changed. I laughed and cried. And still – I wrote books. Published a few more. And made my goals.

The last week of 2013 had me in bed, reviewing the pattern of life that had been mine for the past 5 years. I would like to say there was some great epiphany – but it wasn’t like that. More a subtle acknowledgement and releasing of the pains of the past years, gratitude for the highs and a preparation for the future.

The past five years, with its highs and lows and life-defining moments have all been necessary and nothing I would ever change. It is through these experiences that I’ve grown to embrace with an authentic heart my life…Me!

I am excited about the upcoming year. Excited and clear.

It is an amazing feeling.

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