Auld Lang Syne is one of my favorite songs. It was written by the poet Robert Burns and the phrase itself means, “times long past”. The idea of looking back on time gone is one that I think is especially important. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I minored in History. It’s important to see the triumphs and mistakes of the past so that we can learn from those who came before us, and from ourselves.
I especially like the nostalgia of New Years. I like looking back on all that’s changed in the past year, both the good and the bad. This past year has been quite a whirlwind for me. I feel like I’ve gained a lot of perspective, and have done many things which have made my life more fulfilling.
I don’t consider myself a brave person. Usually, I’d rather stay with the status quo instead of rocking the boat and perhaps not liking the result. But this past year, I’ve specifically challenged myself to do things that have been out of my comfort zone, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive.
March 2016: NYC Pitch Conference -I went to a four-day writers conference by myself in NYC. I was really nervous about being alone in a big city (I’m not great with maps…) and meeting with a bunch of people I didn’t know, but in the end, the conference was a huge success. I got to know a wonderful group of writers, and my manuscript was requested by four editors at the conference.
April 2016: A New Job -This time last year my job was draining the life out of me. Working in a call center and talking to people constantly was bad enough, but adding in a company that was floundering and constantly taking it out on their employees –It was a bad place to be. I decided I had to do something about it. I started spending all my time applying for other jobs and Dad happened to see one for an editorial assistant on Craigslist. I applied for it, interviewed, and had a new job by mid-April. This job has literally been life changing. I’m so much happier now, writing and editing every day, and have a more flexible schedule that makes for a much better work/life balance.
May 2016: A New Apartment -Tyler and I moved back to Maryland from Massachusetts in November of 2015, and we’d been living with my parents since then. My parents are wonderful people, as are my siblings, but living with 9 other people when you’re used to being on your own can be a challenge. We also lived in the basement — and I hate basements. Nasty dark places quite unlike my idea of a basement (I want a hobbit hole, really)
We weren’t really looking for a new place yet, but I found a listing online while I was browsing through apartments and fell in love. Hardwood floors, fireplaces, all set in an old house filled with character… It was exactly what I wanted. We moved in on May 7th and have been loving it ever since.
July 2016: A New Novel -I’ve been working on getting The Lights of Portballintrae published since September of 2015. It’s hard to write something else when you spend so much time querying and hoping for your book to be published. But if you wait around for the publishing world to get back to you… well, you might die first. So after starting and stopping several ideas I finally settled into the novel I’m working on now, currently called Adelaide. I’m loving working on a novel set in pre-War London, and I’m having a blast writing my smart and funny main character, Adelaide.
September 2016: We’ll Always Have Paris -My older sister April moved to Paris for grad school in January of 2016, and other than two days in June, I hadn’t seen her in months. After doing some research I found out that I could get cheap tickets –and I was gone. Katie came with me, as did my mother-in-law, Judy. It was everything you want a trip abroad to be: filled with good food, good walks, and good people. Also, filled with Paris. So yeah, it was incredible, and my travel bug has already been itching again…
All told, it’s been an incredible year. I’ve tried to make new friendships (with old friends and new) and also be more courageous at work, which meant that I was able to get a job promotion title from Editorial Assistant to Editor.
Looking forward I hope to travel more this year, (California and Ireland top my list) finish Adelaide, (hopefully have a first draft by July) and get an agent for The Lights of Portballintrae.
I hope to keep moving courageously through life. Here’s to a beautiful new year for all of us.