You are probably sick of reading these.
Or maybe you’re like me and curious about people and so these are actually very interesting to read.
Either way, I’m not sure how many of you remember the end-of-the-year post I made for 2018, but if you want to read it, here it is: 2018 ~ A Year in Review
2018 was a fantastic year. Yes, it had its moments, but it was altogether positive. I ended the year on a relatively high note and was bouncing with excitement for 2019. You’ve probably already guessed it, but 2019 was a hard year. Not the hardest in my life, but definitely the second hardest.
For instance, I fulfilled all my 2018 resolutions. I wrote eight books in the space of a year. I tried many things out for the first time such as NaNoWriMo. I made new friends and deepened my relationships with them. I started a blog. I started looking into publishing for when I would have books ready for that. I started Irish dance lessons, eventually beginning to compete. I saw Riverdance.
Then came 2019. I had quit my dance studio because of issues that need not be discussed here and while I didn’t want to give it up, I had no idea what to do. I was in the same predicament as before. And another studio in Columbus that we had been trying to contact never replied. I made resolutions, as usual. And prepped for a writing mentorship program.
That mentorship was extremely stressful. I’m not going into details about why, but it wasn’t entirely my fault. But it was stressful and I all but killed my adrenals. This happened at the beginning of the year and the months following were awful trying to recover and get back to where I had been before. And for someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, it was hard. Very hard.
I also didn’t finish writing eight books this year. I didn’t achieve the splits—gave up when the end was in sight because of lost energy, due to that mentorship. I lost my drive for writing, for pretty much everything. Church camp was a bit of a disappointment in comparison with last year because of differences that will always happen; you can never have the same experience twice.
After a month of searching and finally contacting another dance studio, I was enrolled at Irwin Academy of Irish Dance and Music. I love my teachers so much; they genuinely care about their students and push us and encourage us to always be our best. I participated in dance camp, something I’d never done before. I got to participate in a FusionFighters workshop. I got to perform at different events the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day. I got to perform at the Dublin Irish Festival. And I was able to start competing again. It’s like I fell in love with Irish dance all over again.
I may not have finished writing a huge number of books again. I only finished three. But I am now half-way through the final draft of last year’s NaNoWriMo novel and prepping for querying it. And I refound my love for writing, writing a bunch of short stories and competing in NaNoWriMo and winning even earlier than last year.
Church camp, was in some ways, a disappointment. But in other ways, I would never have gone back and chosen differently. There were hard moments, but there were also great moments too, some of which are the best memories in my life. My friendships were tried and tested, but they held true and they are even more deeper and precious than before. That’s what life does.
Overall, 2019 was hard. There’s stuff going on in the lives of my loved ones that is very painful, especially for them. It’s hard to be brave for them and hope that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for them. Because when you’re going through things like cancer, divorce, etc., it’s like the world ended. It’s hard to believe that God’s in control when the world seems to shout in your face that it’s not.
This is why I love the book of Isaiah in the Bible. It’s full of this. It’s full of the sufferings of Israel and Isaiah’s cry for where is God. But God is there. And He will comfort His people. And one day He will wipe away the tears from our eyes and there will be no more suffering or death or pain anymore. This is why we have hope. This is why I don’t really care anymore that I didn’t fulfill all my New Year’s Resolutions. I only succeeded at what was really important—growing closer to God and those around me. In a way, that was 2019. I was full of hopes and dreams. But the only ones that were fulfilled were the ones that really mattered, and some I never dared to dream of came true.
2019 is almost over. And I’m choosing not to live with regrets. If there’s anything I’ve learned this year, it’s that if I’m going to regret not doing it, I better do it. Because you’ll never get the same chance again.
A lot of people are posting things about what they’ve achieved in the last decade. Well, in 2010, I was seven. A year away from when my life got turned upside down. Nothing has been the same way since. I would say that 2011 is when my childhood ended because everything that I trusted in proved no longer trust-worthy. I never saw things the same way. There’s been changes in my life that have been likewise dramatic and painful. But the first time for anything can only come once.
If I had a choice to go back ten years and do things differently, I wouldn’t choose that choice. Because my life would be pretty screwed. If I made my own choices all the time, independent of God, I most likely wouldn’t be here. Rephrase, I know I wouldn’t be here. And if I was, I wouldn’t be saying this.
God is full of mercy. We have so many songs of His grace and love, but we need more of His mercy. Because if it weren’t for Him, none of us would exist. And if He wasn’t merciful, there wouldn’t be any hope in the world.
But He does exist. And that’s why we have hope.
There is no hope in this broken world without Him.
I don’t have 2020 vision—I have to wear glasses or contact lenses—but I do know this. Whatever this next year brings, whether Trump is reelected or we get another president, whatever party they might be, or whatever else might happen, God is still in control. Even if the world ends next year or in 2060 like Isaac Newton predicted, He’s still in control.
And in the end, that’s why we have a hope and a future.
Wishing you all a blessed New Year!