Stories on the edge of familiarity

2014: Grow (the latter half)

Ok. So. The last post finished at a pondering of the things I hadn’t accomplished. What about those things I accomplished? What do they tell me?

  1. I get things done. Big things as well as little things. Important things, and not trivial things.
  2. I am always moving forwards. In none of these areas did I just stand still or go backwards. Each of these led to growth, even if some took longer than anticipated to show fruit.
  3. In terms of the last thing: Patience is an amazing thing, and it can bring me far more than fretting and panicking ever could.
  4. I have the ability to set goals and work towards them such that I am satisfied with the work I have done.

In short, what I was able to accomplish gives me the shape of the foundation I will build upon in 2015.

The Platform (The Place from Which One Creates Their New Year)

*fidgets uncomfortably*

I just feel like this part is super obvious. Like I don’t need to say anything. But, gosh darn it all, I know that this is a super important thing to actually use words for, just like going over things that didn’t go the way I’d hoped and all. So there. You can do this, me! :P

Last year, my word of the year was Grow, and grow I did. I am now confident in my ability to publish a book in both ebook and paperback form.

The biggest area of growth, though, wasn’t my skills. It was myself. This is the first time in my life that I can say that I really love myself. Not in the “of course I love myself” way, but in a deeper way. I’ve learned a lot about the value in myself, and I’ve come to appreciate myself in a way I never have before. In other words, I’ve stopped trying to change myself into someone else because I like who I am. I like who God created me to be, and I trust that he made me well. :)

So, what I’m bringing to 2015 that I didn’t have in previous years is a better understanding of myself at my best, how I work best, and what areas to avoid or that will require special attention if they cannot be avoided.

This self-knowledge and self-appreciation has allowed me to learn more about others and appreciate them more fully than I ever have before. I am more willing to see what others see because I am confident that my point of view is seen, even if it isn’t by them. I am more able to give to others, because I have learned how to give to myself.

Not only has this affected my interactions with others, but also how I do things, the kinds of things I do, and the accomplishments that come as a result. It affects my health, my stress levels, my ability to do and think and say.

Basically, if you’re looking for how to hack self- or life-improvement, focus on what it means to really love yourself, both in theory and in practise. Everything in your life flows out of how you see yourself, so if you learn how to see yourself in a more healthy way, everything else in your life will become more healthy in direct proportion to that shift in self-paradigm.

So, my foundation on which I build 2015 is simply this: I accept myself. All of myself, with no exceptions.

Goals (Wherein One Decides What to Build in the New Year)

For 2014, my word for the year was Grow, and I didn’t have a Bible verse for the year (unless I did and forgot to write it down? Not sure). For 2015, I have both a word and a verse, to set my intention for the year.

The word for 2015 is Listen.

The Bible verse is Hebrews 12:13, which says:

“‘Make level paths for your feet,’ so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” (the quotes at the beginning indicate that the phrase is a quote from another part of the Bible. In this case, it’s Proverbs 4:26)

Another translation (the previous was NIV, this one is AMP) goes like this:

“And cut through and make firm and plain and smooth, straight paths for your feet [yes, make them safe and upright and happy paths that go in the right direction], so that the lame and halting [limbs] may not be put out of joint, but rather may be cured.”

In other words, my intention for 2015 is to listen for how I may make a level path for myself and others so that we may not be wounded, but healed. We’re all messed up in some way already. What I want to do is make it easy for everyone I come in contact with to heal. That’s the point of making level pathways.

Ok, now for the specific goals. I read a thing about making goals that says they are more effective the more specific they are. So. Specific, here we come…

In terms of writing, work, and school:

  1. Graduate at the end of this semester, after having accomplished all A’s in my last year of my degree.
  2. Save up at least $15,000 for the purpose of travelling around the world for a year in 2016.
  3. Find employment after graduating that will enable travelling in 2016, and will also continue during and after travel. Have this in hand by 11:59pm on May 31st, 2015.
  4. Get certified to teach ESL. Start the course in June.
  5. Redesign this website by 11:59pm on January 31st, 2015.
  6. Edit and publish Hidden in Sealskin by 11:59pm on April 30th, 2015.
  7. Create a Patreon page by 11:59pm on May 31st, 2015.
  8. Publish the paperback of Dreaming of Her and Other Stories by 11:59pm on August 31, 2015.
  9. Write (well, finish writing), edit, and publish These Other Doors by 11:59pm on November 30th, 2015. Use Camp NaNoWriMo as a help to get words done, if necessary.

In terms of relationships:

  1. Deepen familial relationships. Extended family counts.
  2. Gain 1-2 long-term friendships. They can be entirely new people in your life, or this can be a result of strengthening old friendships. Preferably the latter, as it’s easier to tell if the friendship will last past the initial excitingness when you’re already past that point. :P
  3. Meet 5 new and interesting men. *coughs*

In terms of myself:

  1. Take December 2015 off. Do only fun things during this time. Let them be a tool for discovery of what you want for 2016, if you need a purpose other than having fun.
  2. Do NaNoWriMo in November to exercise your creativeness while publishing These Other Doors. This means that These Other Doors must be written and edited before this point.
  3. Take a week off after publishing Hidden in Sealskin. The only workish stuff allowed at that point is a job search, if you do not already have employment, and you may not do any job search stuff on the weekends or after 5pm on weekdays. Take a break!
  4. Take a week off after publishing the paperback of Dreaming of Her and Other Stories. I don’t care if you think you need that time to work on These Other Doors. You need a break. So there. :P
  5. Take one day off each week. A whole day. No work, no school, no cleaning, no catching up on things. Only breaktime.
  6. Take holidays off. Your birthday counts.
  7. Read a chapter of the Bible every Sunday, no more, no less. It must be different than the passage looked at during church that week.

So, a lot more things on the full list than last year, but they break down to a much simpler list:

  1. Graduate
  2. Prepare for 2016
  3. Publish
  4. Grow relationships
  5. Rest
  6. Do things you like

Yay! I’m actually super excited for 2015. What about you? What’s your intention/biggest goal for 2015?

4 Responses to 2014: Grow (the latter half)

  1. Hey Thea,
    Looks like you have a great year ahead of you! I’m especially exited for you on three counts; preparing for your 2016 trip (because it puts you closer to being able to visit England and I’m looking forward to meeting you in person), strengthening your friendships (because everyone needs intimate friends) and your resolve to meet 5 new men (because you have waited to be happy with yourself before you looked and you deserve all the joy of love). Thank you for sharing this with us :)
    Lizzie xxx

    • Omg, yes, I can’t wait for us to meet in person! And I can’t wait to finally see England with my own two eyes! :D

      Thank you for everything you had to say in your comment. It made me very happy to read it. :)