A Look Back At 2018

Best of 2018

As another year comes to a close, one thing that struck me is how our perception of things can become quite skewed. Only a few days ago, I was having end of year drinks with a friend of mine when she began to count the number of years we’ve known each other. “I can’t believe how long we’ve known each other!” she exclaimed. “And can you believe how much has changed since we first met?”

That was when I paused and looked at her – and suddenly I was almost on the verge of tears. Because I honestly did not feel I’d accomplished as much as I’d like to over the many years, if any at all. I quickly glossed over her question, but the bad feelings stayed with me for the next couple of days until I forced myself to address it. And to be honest? It’s not true at all.

Sometimes the goals we want or have achieved aren’t as traditional or as visible as the goals of others. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that they are amazing goals because they’re our goals. We achieved them and no one else. And they are steps along the ladder that will take us ever closer to the Ultimate Goal that we’ve been working for.

And you know something else? I sat down and started jotting down a list of things I’ve done in 2018. And I realised right away how foolish I was for thinking I haven’t achieved very much at all, especially this year. Because I have. You know how everyone on Twitter has been joking about how long 2018 seems to be because it’s been packed with so many events? Well, that was how it felt like to me personally too. So much has happen, it feels like there’s been two years packed into one. I’ve done a huge amount, kicked so many goals and achieved so many firsts – and I’m proud of myself for it.

So just what have I done? Well, in 2018 alone I have:

  • Plucked up the courage to travel on my own for the first time in years
  • Visited Finland and saw the northern lights for the first time, fulfilling a promise made to my lost love
  • Healing and learning to move on
  • Skied for the very first time (and fell many times!)
  • Drove a husky sleigh! (And rode a reindeer one!)
  • Fulfilled my dream of being a traveling writer across two continents (Europe and the US)
  • Discovered the beauty of the Bohemian National Park (Czech Republic) and Yosemite (in the US)
  • Witnessed the beautiful sights of Prague for the first time
  • Attended the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House in London AND saw Hamilton in NY!
  • Witnessed Jeremy Irons perform in a play on the West End!
  • Saw the Mousetrap performed for the first time!
  • Visiting Stonehenge for the first time. While hungover.
  • Attended the Writing Excuses Retreat and met so many amazing writers, including Mary Robinette Kowal and Brandon Sanderson!
  • Honed and refined my writing craft more than ever
  • Visited NASA’s headquarters in Texas!
  • Met a TON of wonderful writer friends, including many fellow PitchWars mentees all over the world
  • Visit San Francisco, ate clam chowder, and cycled the Golden Gate Bridge!
  • Meeting and hanging with my lovely #PitchWars mentor and dear friend Jo Hathaway, in New York
  • Seeing the stunning ancient Mayan ruins in Belize and Mexico for the first time (also visited these two countries for the very first time!)
  • Attended the NY Comic Con for the first time ever – and snagged a ton of swag
  • Visited LA for the first time, cycled between Venice Beach and Santa Monica (and navigated scary LA traffic), hung at Chateau Marmont (very bougie, I know,but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am, in fact, a bougie person), and watched the sun set over the city from the Griffith Observatory
  • Got my eyes lasered! And came out of it with better than 20/20 vision! Score!
  • Visited Melbourne for the first time since I was a child and got to spend precious time with my dear childhood friend Joy
  • Watched some beautiful friends get married
  • Read some amazing books

Now that I’ve made that list, I feel totally ridiculous thinking I haven’t done much at all this year. 2018 was a wonderful year! Granted, there were still many things I wished I had been able to achieve, but at the same time I am grateful and heartened by everything I have managed to accomplish. I close this chapter with a mix of happiness and sadness, longing and contentment, and a determination to make the following year an even better one. 2019, I look forward to meeting you and all you have to give.

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