On 2018

Maybe I should wait until the new year to write this blog post. Or maybe we should never wait to act on things that excite us because life is short. I refuse to pass up life or my ability to express excitement, love, or even sorrow out of inconvenience or poor timing. When you do, you miss the moment and there is nothing worse than missing an opportunity. Even if it’s just to write a silly blog post about life in 2018.

When 2017 was at its end, I felt like I’d been hit over the head with a sack of potatoes. Like the light bulb went on and I realized how much I was missing out on. I’d buried my head in the sand so far that I couldn’t see past my own nose. I had so much determination and focus on my writing, work, and my family commitments somehow I managed to block out every other aspect of my life. While my writing thrived, everything else fell to the wayside. But one thing is for sure, I wasn’t really being the best version of me. It’s easy to become complacent with life. I’m not even sure when that happened. It was like one minute I was living it to the fullest and the next I wasn’t. Not in all the ways I swore I would. It was time for a change. Change doesn’t have to be negative, and although I fight it, it was time to start looking up again.

So I kicked a lot of bad habits in 2018. It started with losing some weight; which turned into more than a hundred pounds by the way and still going. I started to go out more. I’ve always been an adventurous person but I kind of forgot who that woman was. So I made friends with her again. I started saying yes to things that Miranda would have said no to. I wanted to be a yes girl again. I went on seven adventures this year traveling to all kinds of wonderful places. I love to travel and while I never forget it, I don’t always remember to make it a priority in my life.  I have one more trip planned before the year is up racking a solid eight trips for 2018. I went a writer’s conference, Napa to drink all the wine, a National Blowing Competition, I traveled through Cali, to Universal Studios, Los Angeles, Ventura, Hanford, Reno, Las Vegas, and I went to more then one festival this year. I’m going to spend the holidays in Reno with my aunt and uncle. Maybe next year I’ll shoot for nine trips. I’m already picturing spending my spring break in April at Universal Studios with my stuffed Racoon, Vincent Cheese. Do you think anyone would object? I do have a year long pass, so why not use it to the fullest, right?

I feel like I’ve been kicked around a bit this year emotionally speaking but also I know that I’ve grown a substantial amount. More than I thought myself capable of. Often the two go hand in hand. Emotional growth isn’t going to be all roses all the time. The friends I’ve made this year wouldn’t recognize the Miranda of last year even if they came face to face with her. Hell, my friends from years ago wouldn’t have recognized her either. They’d wonder what happened to the girl who took on the world. Well look no further, she’s back with a vengeance. She’s kicking ass and tossing names. She’s leaving behind anything that doesn’t push her forward. Walking away from relationships that are forced and one sided. Life should be shared with people not carried by one person or the other. It takes two people who want to be in each others lives, to actively make it happen. I know that the world isn’t black and white. But also, I’ll be damned if I’m going to contentiously repeat patterns.

Growth.

I’m sticking to it.

So what about writing this year? Well, I finished our third novel, and am actively querying it. Always looking for more beta readers as well, so let’s chat if you’re interested in reading it. It’s a dark Y/A urban fantasy and I’m in love with it. I’ve started and stopped the next novel several times. I think I want to write book two really bad and shifting gears to a different book is hard. I’ve blogged a lot this year. Far more than in previous years. I never want to stop writing because of life or whatever, so if I’m not actively writing a novel, then I’m blogging or journaling or writing notes or outlines. I’m always working on something. Lately, it’s been a lot of notes, and outlines which will work themselves into something amazing next year. Saying yes to life and all the things around me, means I’m filling that pool of creativity and experiences to pull from later. Same goes for you. Don’t feel bad about where you are with your writing, never feel bad. It does nothing for you. So, add to your creative pool and know that it will be brimming with ideas for later.

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The hardest lesson I seem to learn over and over again is only I can change me. And in turn, only someone else can change their life, no one can make them change or do it for them. It’s a hard lesson. We can’t fix people, especially if they don’t want to be fixed. No one can make someone deal with their past or present. Only they can do that for themselves. So instead, I’m taking control of the things I can, and breathing the rest of it out. Historically speaking I have a lot of anxiety issues. I used to have panic attacks and sorting out how to handle my anxiety has been a rough road. I use to have serious control issues. I needed an explanation for everything. If I could understand, then I thought it would help me let things go. Sometimes it does. I still gravitate to understanding, only now I focus my madness in educational pursuits. I try to understand how things work or I challenge myself to understand complicated sciences or mathematics. When I get overly stressed, I like to do math. I don’t always have the emotional focus to delve into a book or a movie, but math, science, cold hard facts, I can handle.

I’ve had to learn that in relationships of any kind, you can’t control what someone else does. Or who they are. So I breathe it out. I write down my frustrations or find a friend I can safely let my anxieties explode around. Then I sleep on it and I always feel better the next day. I’ve learned life is far to short to dwell on things that don’t work out the way I want. Every moment I dwell is a moment I waist on the potential for something new. My book didn’t get picked up by that agent – breathe that shit out. My budget didn’t work because my dumb ass forgot an entire month in the summer – cry a little, breathe it out and fix it. Life finds a way of working out. My heart gets broken over and over – Cry it out, write it out, let it go. Always easier said than done, but I know what I deserve in this life and it’s better than what that was. Chin up, life goes on with or without you, so breathe all the shit out. Learn from what happened, embrace the good and don’t dwell on the bad. Let it go, especially if there is nothing you can do about it. No point in reliving what you can’t change. Look forward. Life is filled with endless doors and each one leads to a new adventure and new people and things that neither of us can possibly begin to imagine. I’d rather look forward then continue to wonder about the past.

My 2019 looks pretty damn positive from where I’m sitting. I have a handful of amazing people in my life. They have seen me through Hell and back. Held my hand when I’m at my worst and laughed with me at my best. I have a job I love. Even on it’s rough days, I know I still make a difference in some kid’s life. That makes it all okay. I’m writing every day, even if it’s not quite what I thought I’d be writing at that moment. I’m still doing it. I’m damned determined to read another 70 books next year. Reading expands the mind and I get to live 70 more lives then I would have otherwise. 2018 has been some kind of roller-coaster. While it’s not done yet, I’m going to take every single day in stride. Winter break starts Friday afternoon – not that I’m counting or anything…

So cheers to the new year, to old friends and new. Cheers to today, tomorrow, and everything the future holds. It’s not going to be all roses, but I’ll do my best to find the silver lining. It’s all any of us can do. Enjoy what we have, embrace those we love, and dance anytime we get the chance. Because duh, dancing is the best. Also, sing along to that song, sing it loud and sing it proud.

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