Another Year Gone By

The year is almost over, can you believe it? I’m not too sure the past few months even happened. They all feel like a restless dream.

But it’s the end of 2015, finally. A lot of things happened this year, worldwide and on a more personal scale. It seems to be the case for a lot of people that 2015 was a rough year to get through. I can agree with that. There were highlights, sure, but it seems the year was more swamped in stress and struggles than anything else.

But let’s catch up with the last few months, shall we?

October

I wasn’t around all that much in October with very sporadic posts. In the end, I didn’t get done everything I wanted to. I hardly did anything, it feels like. I didn’t even do my usual costume post, but I suppose I’ll do it now. I was Midna from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess this year, and wow was it a fun costume to make. Midna is such a lovely character and it’s pretty empowering to be the Twilight Princess for a night. I was pretty pleased with the outcome and had a fantastic Halloween.20151113_154432

November

November was, of course, time for NaNoWriMo. It was a very rough month. I made my word quota on the first day no problem, and then it all went downhill from there. I didn’t reach the word count goal for the entire rest of the month. There were so many days when I didn’t write anything at all. I ended up having 18,000 words to write on the last day. Normally, that would be eleven days of writing. Eleven days. Eleven days of writing all saved for the very last day.

You sure as hell bet I made it.

I almost died, but I made it.

nano win 2015

(It says I wrote 21k words on the last day but 3k of those were from after midnight the day before)

I will admit, I did cheat a little bit. I changed my timezone on the website so that it gave me four extra hours to write. From the minute I woke up until 4am, I wrote and wrote and wrote. Pounding out two, three, four thousand words between classes. Writing through meals. Writing more than a thousand words per every half hour. It was very very close. The last several thousand words were probably more gibberish than anything (I didn’t even have time to correct typos…) but gods above, I wrote 18,000 words that day and I never ever want to do it ever again.

December

December was an odd month. It passed by slowly and yet all too quickly. Christmas sprang up out of nowhere. We didn’t get snow until a couple days ago (we’re in Canada, for crying out loud, what nonsense). I saw family and friends. We got a kitten at the end of November and have spent the month cuddling and wrestling with the little stinker. My sister and I got matching tattoos, which was a first for both of us. I’ve baked so many cookies and read so many books and stories and have spent so many lazy mornings in bed.

20151203_162518-220151225_124028

And now we’re here. Almost in January. By the time this post goes up, I’ll be ringing in the new year with friends and 2016 will be just a few hours away.

I can’t wait.

I want to kiss 2015 goodbye. I’ll take with me the few good memories. I’ll carry forward the new friendships I’ve made. And I’ll leave behind all the rest because frankly I don’t want it. This year was far too much and not enough. It was a struggle and a war. There’s no promise that 2016 will be better, but at least we’ll all be stronger.

But as always, it’s resolution time. Last year’s resolutions:

  • Finish that book. It’s never too late.
  • Keep working on that bravery thing. It doesn’t happen overnight.
  • Find balance. In body and soul, mind and spirit.
  • Reflect more often, and be mindful of the little things.

For point number one, I was successful. Again, it was kind of by cheating. I wanted to finish the second draft this year but in a sense, I didn’t succeed. I made it to chapter 38, which was still four or five chapters from the end. But I was so frustrated with how hard I found it to rewrite every chapter that I decided to write the last few chapters as more of an outline than proper narrative. So I didn’t technically finish it, but I finished it enough for me to be satisfied and move onto draft number three. I’m also pretty convinced that a lot of writing is just learning how to cheat.

For the next two points, about bravery and balance, I’m not so sure I was successful with either of those. There was a lot of stress, a lot of inner struggle, and both peace and bravery were hard to attain. That’s all right. That’s what 2016 is for.

As for reflecting more often, I think this happened a lot this year. With the whole depression thing, it’s led to me spending hours in my journal, trying to figure things out, trying to find some hope in the madness. I’m not so sure I was mindful of the little things, but it’s another thing I can work on in years to come.

So for this year’s resolutions?

  • Work through the 3rd draft
    • Get some people to read it
  • Blog more (I’ve missed it)
  • Find balance and bravery, one step at a time
  • Build up my self-esteem
    • Start by admitting that my words and my self are important
  • Let go. Just let go. It’s the past. Let it go.

My resolutions are perhaps more detailed and extensive than previous years, but 2015 was rough and left a little more work to be done for the next year. I think these resolutions are worthy ones, and I hope to work towards them in the coming months.

Last but not least, a song to give you inspiration for the new year. This one is Battle Scars by Paradise Fears. It’s a couple years old now but I only stumbled upon it recently.

Happy New Year.

May it be a year of strength and success.

You can do this.

-Alex

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