I'm not looking back.
A wise man once said "the past is to be learned from, not lived in." If we are always facing backwards--wishing for the past to be our present, we are doomed to be swallowed up in feelings of negativity, sorrow, depression, and worst of all, a sense of hopelessness. We look at our today through the eyes of yesterday and only see the things that are "wrong," not "right" with life. And we face our tomorrows with the wrong perspective. We don't exercise "faith" that a better day is just around the corner.
Heard the old expression "fake it 'till you make it?" Starting in October, right after the death of my dear father-in-law, just five short months after my sweet mother-in-law died, also unexpectedly, I felt a sense of loss, not only for them, but for myself. I feared I'd fallen too deep to pull myself out of the mire, so every morning in the shower, I pressed a smile to my lips and verbally stated "fake it 'ill you make it, girl." Everyone I greeted, I smiled, whether I wanted to or not. By the end of the first week, I became "lighter"--the mantle on my shoulders didn't feel as heavy.
I also gave myself permission to be selfish. I. Matter. The hardest thing was spitting out the word "no" when I wanted to say "yes," especially to family. But this is a necessary evil to self-preservation. I respected myself enough to recognize when I'd reached boundaries physically . . . and emotionally. After a month of practicing these two simple steps--smiling when I wanted to cry, scream, or murder someone, and putting myself first when my mind and body begged for respite, I'd climbed out of my dark hole. Abandoned the depression I didn't even realize I suffered, and found a renewed, personal strength within. Do I still have "down days?" You bet, and coupled with the holidays and my recent losses, more than I want. I let myself have those moments--those walks down "memory lane" and even allow a few cleansing tears to fall. Then . . . I "fake it 'till I make it," which happens much faster now.
So 2016 will be the year I sprout my wings once again. Covered in dust (as is much of my house) I will shake them, spread them, and begin to fly again. Granted, I may strap a parachute to my chest for safety measure, after all I'm not as young as my mind wants to believe, but I will take risks, stop being afraid of failure or success, and believe that the best is yet to come.
If I could pass one word of advice along, it would be when you are having a particularly bad day, to stop and think of the worst day you suffered in your life. And then, remind yourself you survived that day, and you will survive this one as well. "Fake it 'till you make it."
In closing (which sounds like I'm standing at a pulpit and not dressed in my jammies at noon in front of a computer), I want to share one goal I did manage to accomplish before 2015 slithered off to the great abyss where all past years go to die. I published my third book!! Yes, that's right. I'm re-inventing my author wheel after a two-year dry spell with my New Adult novel, "Damaged - The Guitar Hero." The prequel to my Designer Genes series and the first book in the new spin-off series, Battle of the Bands, "Damaged" is Jesse's story. The rebel twin from Designer Genes who was ousted from The Program and demoted in social ranking, forcing his brother to enter the "mating ring" to keep the family's dark secret hidden. Of course, there's always a twist, and she's beautiful . . . and forbidden.
This book was frightening for me to publish, because at the end, I etched my sworn commitment to finish my other books in various throes of creation. I did this to force my chocolate-filled ass to stay in the author chair this year, and hopefully for many more to come, and take ME and my career more seriously. I'm ending my self-inflicted notions of doubt, along with my self-claimed promise to not compare myself to others, listen to criticism that does not matter, or succumb to the crippling fear of "what it," because "what if" isn't something I can control. I can only control how I face my life--one day at a time, and if necessary, one hour, or minute, until the next one comes along.
As always, thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful, prosperous, and healthy New Year. And remember, be kind.