2013 has been the year of assimilating those events for me. My Gap Year. My year of reassessing where my life is heading. Of being kind to myself.
From the early age of 5 when I learned my ABC's, I fell in love with the written word. And I fell in love with writing words. From my early beginnings of writing stories about poor, destitute orphan girls becoming beautiful and powerful princesses, I have practiced the art of writing, but I always knew that I needed life experience if I was ever going to write anything good. I was not going to be the young, ambitious writer who pens her bestseller while the ink from high school is still fresh on her fingers.
No, for me serious writing would come later in life.
This year I wrote my first book. I finished it! It needs a lot of work - the initial draft was the story as it came out of my head - without edit, without art. But it was my story, and as first novels often are, my experiences; raw and unedited. Real life is sometimes just as fascinating as fiction. And that story is just my first.
This year has taught me who I am. I have experienced extraordinary things in my first 42 years. I have been sheltered, naive, a child, but sooner or later that child had to grow up and come face to face with the harsh realities of the world. That's what I've done this year. I've faced the past, learned to be kind to myself, and given thanks for rich experiences that have given me a life full of drama.
I'm grateful for wise counsel this year from people who have come into my life in my adulthood - a sister-in-law who, by her own example challenges me to always be learning, who has supported me in my search for my authentic self, of personal growth; for my husband who loves me like I've never been loved before. He gives me that fundamental need, so that I don't have to go looking for it; and for Helen H of Tauranga, who helped me see myself in such a way that gives me confidence to step forward into the future, without bitterness and without regret.
Choosing to find the good. Choosing to fight back instead of turning and running in fear.
2014 is my new chapter. My Part II of my Book of Life.
Tomorrow we turn the page.
What exciting adventures lie ahead.