2015: Step up to yourself

A belated yet happy new year to you! May 2015 bring joy and happiness daily.

I hope you all had a wonderful time, enjoyed some tasty food, spent time with friends and family and hopefully, gave yourself some time off. I know I did, and it was wonderful.

2014 ended on a nostalgic yet grateful note as I returned to my “homeland,” if you will. My roots, the region where I grew up. I attended my first wedding ever (I’m not counting the one I believe I attended as a child but have no memory of), and it was bilingual! I met up with another friend for a brief two hours, and that was just the beginning.

Before I met up with my childhood best friend, whom I hadn’t seen or talked to in about 9 years, she sent me a message once she found out we’d meet in a few days (it was supposed to be a surprise). Her words of reassurance erased all the doubts I had accumulated, and replaced pretty negative thoughts into ones of love. You might be familiar with the practice of justifying other people’s (usually negative) behaviors as due to a fault of your own. I have that habit, and her message highlighted just how wrong I could be.

On so many levels, I feel relieved. It was a review of a lesson I thought I’d already learned: “Don’t assume, it makes an ass out of you and me.” My assumptions were negative not just for me (“It’s my fault, I probably should write more often…”) but towards her as well (“She probably found another best friend…”). Like I can possibly know what goes on in someone else’s life! Spoiler alert: I can’t, not by a long shot.

The result became gratitude for her heartfelt message, her undying love for me and the strength of our bond after all these years. We spent New Year’s together, and after the initial shock of seeing her grown up, and attempting to breathe in her crushing bear hug, we rediscovered each other. Funnily enough, we “evolved” in the same direction. “You want to write a book? I wanna write a book!” “Wait, you think this too? So do I!!” It was a meeting filled with surprises, including her biggest surprise: not her husband, but her daughter. Her daughter! I’m an aunt and didn’t even know?? Wowzah!

The evening progressed too quickly. All of us were so enthralled in catching up on our ‘lost’ decade we missed the countdown and hurriedly clinked glasses as 00:00 came over us.

Thus, 2015 found me renewed, if you will. If I can have such negative thoughts towards myself for things outside of my control, let’s take a look at how I feel about my own life, and my writing in particular.

So I don’t update my blog every week, so what? At least I’ve started working on my book a little bit every day, even just 10 minutes before I go to bed, and I feel much better already. Who knew my prologue would get longer! I tackle small problems every day (“what should I call this, is that even a word?”) and highlight the rest for another day. Every baby step counts.

You won’t find me taking New Year’s Resolution, because I don’t believe in taking a bunch of resolutions at once. Apparently it takes 4 weeks to anchor a new habit, so the logical solution for me would be to take a new “resolution” (baby step) once a month. It’s a slower pace, but hopefully it gives you time to steady yourself in between. After that, to each their own, and do whatever fits you best.

Only you can do what’s best for you, so let’s all step forward and be the best version of ourselves we can be today.

Step up,
Ali J.

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