2015 was a year of big change for me.
Most of the changes were not external. I did not move, nor change day jobs. My relationship with my significant other did not change. There were no births or deaths within my immediate inner circle.
Yet internally, there were earthquakes. I'm a planner, goal-oriented, organized. For years, I have given my time and energy to certain goals and activities. Sometimes my progress was fast and usually it was slow, but I kept moving forward and I never doubted what I wanted or where I was going.
In the past year or so, that turned upside down.
One of the amazing things I've found within the writing community is that many of us go through the same things at the same time. I was blessed to experience the excitement of my debut-novel year with other debut novelists. When I was having second-book doubts, I had other sophomore novelists with whom to compare notes. When I suffered a period of burnout, I found I wasn't alone there either.
During the past year, I've been reassessing my goals and commitments, and trying to figure out what's next for me. It's not just a case of trying to figure out a new road to reach longstanding goals. I've reached some of my goals, and others I'm not so sure I want to pursue anymore. It's the goals themselves that I'm questioning.
And then I see this post from Becky Levine
in which she says, "I’ve been feeling as though my antennae are out, [scanning] ... for the next big thing on my Life’s To Do list." And I see this post from Natalie Whipple
on a much rougher change in direction, a post in which she says, "It's funny, how you can accomplish all your goals ... and yet not have any of the expected results." And this from Jody Casella
on letting go and making changes, in which she says, "Shedding stuff from my house had a weird ripple effect. Once you shine a spotlight on things you've had for years and ask yourself: Do I need this? Do I want it? Really? You might find that everything, potentially, is a candidate for the recycle bin."
Change is in the air: good, bad, and in between.
I do want to acknowledge that there were a couple of external changes that also had an impact: some health challenges which are still ongoing, and a change in one of my closest friendships, in which my friend has had to step back to deal with her own health challenges. I've had to face the fact that time and energy are not inexhaustible, and so my incentive to spend them wisely is even greater than before.
I don't know what this new year will bring. I have more unknowns in my future than I've had for a long time. But I'm starting to see this as an opportunity, and I've also been reassured to remember that I'm far from the first to undergo a time of upheaval, reassessment, and exploration.
May we all have a good year, wherever it takes us.