So much has happened in the past year. I keep looking around and asking myself how it came to be January. Surely, there are a few months to go before the new year. As it turns out, the calendar didn’t skip ahead; time simply passed at an unbelievable rate.
For me, this has been a year of change, a year in which I went after some of my dreams with a vengeance and other dreams found me. Many of the changes this year have been wonderful, amazing things that I thought I would only have in my imagination. To have them become reality, well, there are no words for how that feels.
I am so blessed to be a full time writer. I have wonderful fans that have made it possible for me to do what I love. I have a wonderful family, and I’ve been able to spend time with so many of them this year. I’ve been able to relocate back to Georgia, and reconnect with old friends. I’ve also been found by Prince Charming, which has been a wonderful thing of its own.
In all of these beautiful things, there are been some costs. That chemistry degree I worked so hard for? I’m not really using it. The family I have on the west coast? I don’t get to see them as much. That dream I had of living in a 600 sq. ft. home? Gone. Prince Charming couldn’t fit in there with me (not happily anyway). The idea of living deep in the mountains? That’s mostly gone as well. The dream of living on a house boat for a summer? Unlikely to happen. One dearly loved friend? No longer in my life.
There are so many good things in my life, and I’m very happy. But, I find myself mourning some of what I’ve had to relinquish. Oddly, some of the losses that sting the most are of things that shouldn’t be significant. That small house? It shouldn’t have hurt to let go of that dream, especially because it died due to Prince Charming, but it does. From time to time I think about what my life would’ve been like had I pursued that living situation. In my imagination, it’s simpler, quieter, and embodies the peaceful retreat I strive for in a dwelling.
In reality, that small home is very different. Its a sign that Prince Charming and I missed one another. We never did connect. It’s quiet because I’m hermit like, and when left alone will often forget to spend time with other humans. It’s simpler because there are fewer things in my life, and I know I’ll miss many of those things.
There really is nothing about that dream dying that should bother me so. I know I would think I was happy in that small house, but I would really be so very lonely. You see, what I have gained far outweighs what I might perceive as a loss. I have gained Prince Charming, someone I would not wish to do without. I have gained more friends, more family, and a life I adore. Perhaps it lacks the simplicity and quiet, but I think, a few years from now, I will have no regrets.
Then, why does it hurt?
After more brooding than I care to admit to, I think it comes to a simply reason. I was attached to that dream. It was what I created when I had a more complicated life and was dissatisfied. It was what I created when I dearly wanted to be left alone to be myself. In that creation, it came to mean something more.
That small house came to mean much more than a home I wanted. It turned into a symbol for having control over my life, my dream job, and the simplicity I’d found so hard to achieve. Somehow, over a few months, that little home turned into a sign that I’d achieved many things I’d been trying to accomplish for so long.
In putting all of those emotions and desires into something as simple as the place in which I live, I did myself and my dreams a great disservice. Instead of working for each of those things – the life, job, and simplicity I desired – independently, I rolled them into one dream. One that was all too easy to crumble.
The end of the year often makes me reflect on time gone by, what I wanted, what I achieved, and what I let go. This past year was a time of growth, where many things changed, and I consider it a year of beginnings. It was when I focused in on writing, new relationships, moved back to Georgia, and learned about myself.
It was also a year where reality looked me in the eye and I had to make choices about what I wanted the most. In hindsight, there are things I could’ve done better, but I have no regrets. Those choices brought me to where I am today, and I like this place, even if there are bittersweet moments.
Next year, I want to embrace what I began this year, continuing writing books and loving life. With that as a starting point, I want to grow. I want to be strong enough to let dreams be themselves rather than infusing them with deeper meaning that could be a achieved in many forms.
Next year, I want to give life to more of my dreams, and keep them true to themselves. Next year there will be more beginnings, and hopefully only good endings. If I’m lucky, I won’t have to abandon any dreams. Now that would be something.