I had an incredibly tough year. I battled black depression, hopelessness, enormous amounts of self doubt, and the ingrained, automatic response to not let anyone grow too close to me lest I would be betrayed. I've clawed my way through two spells of injury-related PTSD that were quite frankly two of the toughest times I have ever endured in my whole life. I've fallen down so many times and there were a few times when I didn't think I'd be getting back up for quite a while. Overall, it's been one of the roughest years that I can remember. But it's also been the best year that I can remember and that's because of the many new friends I made, the previous friends that I grew closer to and the lessons learned.
I learned that not everyone is just waiting around for you to show a crack; a weakness that they can then exploit. It's okay to be annoyed that a sibling has interrupted your writing hour for the ninth time, as long as you don't let the annoyance rule you and your actions.
Betrayal and disloyalty are frankly, it's hell on earth; but the number of people who will betray you isn't as great as it sometimes seems. It's okay to let some people grow close to you. It's rewarding to take the step of faith to open up and find love and acceptance. Not everyone will hold it against you that you need help with something.
It might be an awful piece of writing in your opinion, but the huge grin on a child's face when you hand them a story you wrote just for them, is precious.
Handwritten letters and the joy they can bring are underrated.
It's not silly to smile hugely when a random someone from the other side of the world likes an Instagram post you made.
It's okay to say 'I need to deviate from my schedule and write something else today, because of the state my mind is in.'
Spontaneity is not a curse to having a well-ordered life.
Even if no one heeds what you've said, sometimes you have to (kindly) speak the blunt truth into a situation anyway.
It only takes a few seconds of typing to let someone know that they look good. Or that you noticed and appreciate something they did. Or to ask them how they are doing.
Giving someone your time is sometimes the most important, comforting and/or special thing you can do.
Communication can be a huge headache but it's usually worth it.
Hugs are underrated.
Having a God who regularly reminds me that He does indeed love me, and care about what happens to me, and has a plan for me... is absolutely amazing.
People really are the most important things in the world. We were created to have relationships- of all kinds: familial, platonic, romantic; and they are vital to the human psyche.
Every year, I find that there are even more things for which to be thankful. This year, as with most years, friends and family dominate my list. I am consistently amazed by how God intersects the paths of people. There is a long list of people I was especially grateful for in 2015 and whom I'm delighted to have by my side as 2016 begins.
Mom- who puts up with me and is there for me even on those days when she's POSITIVE I need my head examined.
My younger sister Erudessa- a beautiful girl inside and out and who joins enthusiastically in fandom talk. She is also hugely encouraging when it comes to my writing - and scolds me heartily when I don't send her what I've written.
My little siblings- an unending source of laughter and showing us what the world looks like through the eyes of children.
Mirriam- literally the best soul-sister and MuseTwin a girl could ever ask for. This Amazon will stay up until 2 in the morning with me, brainstorming and discussing everything under the sun, and then we'll get up after 6 hours of sleep and immediately dive off the deep end again into ethical and moral issues and how to deal with them in real life and writing. Never too tired to listen to me rant about something for the 20th time, or to kick some sense into me.
Kate- my beautiful She-Panther, ready at any moment for a prowl over every kind of subject in the galaxy, and who drags me into all kinds of emotional and mental pain via stories of every kind, but especially kdramas. Once wasn't enough in the year. Nope. It had to be four times. Or is it five now?
Jessica- my Tigress Jie Jie- a wonderful big sister who sends me hilarious random videos, watches over me, prays for me, cheers me up, encourages me to never give up on my dreams, and does whatever she can to help me reach those dreams.
My Pixie-girl Lizzy- I can't wait to see what gorgeous things she will accomplish in life.
My adopted sisters Elfie and Shelby- both of whom are precious in their own unique ways and some epic day, the three of us will be together in Real Life. We'll talk Merlin, Doctor Who and Arthurian Legend until we're dropping of exhaustion and it will be FANTASTIC.
My two 'outernet' or 'RL' friends, Alisa and Iassica, who have stayed friends through the years and whose gorgeous children I think of as my adopted nieces and nephews.
My dear blogging pals and email correspondents Deryn and TomWildRose. You girls never fail to put a smile on my face with your emails and comments. You're always there for me and willing to listen or hug me.
Friends I've grown closer to this year: Kirsten- the terrific Legolas to my Aragorn; Kendra- ever ready for another adventure in exploring the world via writing; Lisa- the Pickle who scolds me to take care of myself and who I drag into new fandoms; Liz- my 'college niece' who will sit and trade analyses with me by the hour; Ashley- I'll never be sorry I persuaded you to do NaNo; Christi Ella- my fellow female INTJ, partner of hilarious and thoughtful discussions.
People I didn't even know existed at the beginning of the year but who I now can't imagine my life without: Dabby the energetic Chocolate Bunny- Les Mis forever!; beautiful Laura Kitti- 20 pounds of crazy in a 5 pound bag was never so much fun before; Lauren- fantastic artist and fellow sarcastic commentator extraordinaire.
There is so much I want to accomplish this year, but above all else I want to make a difference for the better in the lives of people. To make people see different points of view. To leave them feeling that everyone, no matter who they are, matters in this world.
My quote for 2016:
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!