Winter is dancing around us, and I’m eating more cookies and candy than I should be. I used to be pretty addicted to sweets, but I’m better now. I swear! Hopefully my teeth will forgive me for temporarily reverting back and devouring lots of pecan toffee. On the bright side, holidays are an excuse to eat goodies… and my vegan diet is only getting better, and I exercise regularly. I’m healthier and happier than ever before! Minus a couple sorrows… but we all have those.
Despite being away from the blog this month, I’ve been writing quietly about what happened. I suppose the big hint is that a certain someone won’t be around anymore. *fake coughs the name until a piece of toffee goes down the wrong way and causes real coughing* Everything is alright, but life is lonelier.
2016 has been an adventure. I want to love it for it’s another year of life, but it’s cast me plenty of devastation, and there will be even tougher times in the future! Yet I know that the future me will achieve our goals and find happiness, and she will look back to this time in our life when I wanted to give up but found the strength and courage to prevail. Even though I’m not progressing in my dreams as fast as I’d like, I’m returning to and becoming a more independent and positive person. So there it is: Yin and Yang working their magical balance of the universe, giving me the worst and best of times and making me appreciate each side all the greater. Accepting pain and accepting success is part of true content.
What comes to mind as my greatest accomplishments this year are:
- Finishing my first year at college, followed by a change of major from General Ed/Creative Writing to Culinary Arts: Baking. And during the culinary arts courses, I discovered that pursuing a college degree isn’t what I want right now (or ever, maybe?), and I decided to drop out to pursue my dreams in writing. I even waited to tell my family what I decided to do until recently, and I still avoid telling people what my plans are, but I know that dropping out of college was the best decision I could make. Is it terrifying? Absolutely. I feel as though I’m swimming up current, against the thrashing tides of society and expectations and my own insecurities. But this is the path I chose, and knowing that I made this choice empowers me. Everyone has the right to carving out their path, and this is mine. Finding out whether or not this is my life path is part of the adventure.
- Baking more and starting a mini business. My business tanked, unfortunately, when the management of the store I sold cookies and brownies at changed and no one kept sale records. I still made $50.00 though! Now, I spend my time trying out various veganfied desserts, and even made my first ever no-recipe dessert: vegan hot fudge! This made me so proud, because up until that I always used recipes for baking. I loved my hot fudge so much I wanted to make some and send it to family and friends for the holidays, but I didn’t know if it would last. Someday, someday…
- Going vegan. I started off as vegetarian for a month and a half, and finally made the switch with a push from Giovanni. Not only do I feel healthier (especially in the last few months), but I feel more connected to all living beings and the planet itself. And the meals I eat and the cosmetics I buy are more enjoyed, because I made the choice to go against the violence and exploitation the world is forcing us to accept as “reality.”
- Earning money for my writing. I actually made a mistake in which WordPress plan I bought (an entrepreneur plan instead of a personal plan), but the ad revenue I’ve earned made a positive impact on me. While it’s very, very, very little money (think pocket change), the idea that I made any amount from the words I uncage is my dream crystallizing before my eyes! I’m still far, far, far, far, far away from being the billionaire vegan writer who lives humbly and donates lots of money and brightens up the world, but I’m a step closer than when I started 2016.
- Finishing a novel. Well, technically finishing a draft of a book I started in freshman year of high school (which was based on a book I wrote in 7th-8th grade). The story is messy, and I’m not going to revise it anymore (for now), but I learned a lot and felt the gratification of finishing an enormous project. This novel is my gateway to new worlds, characters, and stories… and no matter what unfolds, I’ll always love these characters.
- Driving. I got my driver’s permit when I was 15 and practiced driving for two 30-minute sessions before abandoning it. I started driving again after high school, and one day I took the car after work to practice on my own and surprise everyone. Driving felt fine until a postal truck started tailgating me, and I couldn’t pull over to let it pass. I got pressured into driving faster than I was comfortable with and nearly crashed after picking up too much speed on several curves. Luckily the postal truck backed off (probably scared for his wellbeing), and I pulled over when the chance blessed me. I drove into a small town to turn around, and on my way home I drove over a curb and popped both tires on the right side of the truck. I didn’t drive again for a year and a half until this month, and I’m so happy to be back at it! Turns and other cars on the road still unnerve me, but everyone advises me that all it takes is time and practice. And breathing. I need to breath.
- Exercising regularly. During Spring semester, I took a boxing class and started getting back into shape, but then I didn’t exercise as much in the summer. Starting December 1st, I have gone to the gym every day of the week and only taking off weekends, and there is already a difference in my energy level, mood, and body. The lack of exercise definitely drove my depression, and I know that continuing at the gym is going to help my recovery.
- Finally, I started writing on the blog regularly in March to April and July to now, and since then I have grown from 0 to 71 followers! I’m very grateful to each of you for choosing to stick around. ❤
I’m excited to see where I’ll start in 2017 and where I’ll be at the finish line.
The world has sprinkled clues throughout my life that I have a connection to the number 21, so I truly believe that while it’s been difficult at first, 21 will be a good year, along with 2017. Cheers, everyone. ❤