The second decade of the 21st century is ending (yes, I’m aware of the whole 19 vs. 20, 9 vs. 0 thing. I go with 0 is the lowest number, therefore 9 is the last of the decade). As we enter this third decade I am looking forward to a number of changes both big and small. I will start my full-time writing career this year. I will leave academia this year. We will move to a different place this year. Those are the big changes. And, they are quite big. And stressful. But, full of adventure and potential!
I have spent a fair amount of time this past year assessing and evaluating my life, my attitude, and my desires. Discovering that not only can I write fiction, but that I like to write it, and I’m actually pretty good at it has been eye-opening and mind-blowing. I have loved this kind of story as long as I can remember. I’m the kid who went through the children’s section of the library faster than the librarians could keep up. I discovered all those color fairy tale books…Red Fairy Tale Book, Yellow Fairy Tale Book, etc. I headed for the YA section as an elementary school kid. I ate up the science fiction, swords and sorcery, urban fantasy, etc. I loved thinking about how one would create such worlds, what kind of stories would happen in those worlds. I never thought I had enough ideas and creativity to actually create and write stories in those worlds.
Now, in middle age (OK, fine. Late middle age. Whatever), I am creating not one, but several different worlds, and dreaming up stories in those worlds. This is loads of fun! I wish I’d known about this before. But, then, I would not have taken the path that I have, and I know for certain that I would not have had the courage to let anybody read anything, never mind submit something for publication. I know now this is what I want to do and that I can do it and that I will be successful. I’m a much stronger person now then I was even a decade ago.
Heading into this new decade, I’m feeling almost like I’m a new person. I no longer care about the criticisms of people who are not close to me and not supportive of anything I do, unless that something is on a path or trajectory they approve of. I’ve removed several toxic people from my life. I’m publicly taking stands on things and some of those stands are not popular with a number of people who probably now consider me a “former friend.” Whatever. I prefer friends with whom I can vehemently disagree, discuss issues, and then go and have a wonderful time at dinner. I’m making sure that the people who are in my life are people I know have my back and I have theirs.
I’m starting my new year by traveling with students. If that doesn’t test strength I don’t know what will! I hope everybody has a great new year’s eve, and a strong start to the new year and the new decade!