2016 has been an interesting year. Actually, every year, when coming to an end, can be categorized this way. For me however, this year has been a difficult balancing act. It was a year of learning how to be okay without my sister. To reach for my dream knowing I couldn’t pick up the phone to tell her. 2016 was my year to ‘thaw out’ from the soul freezing grief that I had been trapped in since 2014. I still have a ways to go. But I’m getting there.
It’s hard to see how far along your path you’ve traveled. Even when the people around you are cheering for you. Your eyes have to remain on the horizon, on the goal. Perhaps this time of year triggers something in us, telling us: stop, turn around, see what you’ve done.
I’ve made some friends, and I’ve lost some friends. And there were some people who I truly thought were my friends. It was painful to discover that they only wanted something from me.
When I made the jump to self publish, I had many people giving me their opinion on the matter. And for a moment, I listened to the ones who said: are you sure? You really shouldn’t do it if your book is not the best it could be; waiting another three to five years, can only help you. These weren’t strangers saying this, these were friends.
I stumbled. I got scared. And I started questioning myself. But my gut burned. I had done my best with what I had. Not just time, but with cost. I am not the best writer. I never claimed to be. But I love my stories. They’re good stories. They make me laugh, and cry, and I hope they do the same for others.
Before I say goodbye to 2016, I want to say: thank you. Thank you for the lesssons, thank you for the joys, thank you for all those I welcomed into my life, and thank you for the strength to let people go. And to 2017: I will work hard to be the best me that I can. I will try to let the memories of Berta come to me, while withstanding the crippling pain that comes with them. I will continue to write, and publish, and learn, and be happy.