Hello spring. I’ve never been happier to see a new season, a new year.
2018 was, let’s say, not the best year for me. There were good days, but honestly some were the lowest I’ve ever been. I couldn’t read, I could barely write, I definitely couldn’t blog.
Because, essentially, everything changed.
My six-year relationship (and marriage) fell apart. I’m waiting for the divorce to go through. I found a new apartment, and I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life, and where I want to be.
A lot of the time I’ve felt like I’m blundering in the dark, simultaneously stuck and also thrown back to square one, while everyone else is getting their shit together and moving on with their lives, and I’m just trying to keep my head above water. But I also feel like I’ve learned a lot, and grown as a person, and y’know, aged 10 years or so.
I’ve wanted to write for so long, but couldn’t. So this post is very overdue, and yet also right on time. I haven’t felt ready to write about what happened, it was all too new, too raw, I was still trying to process what had happened. I still am. But now that it’s almost April (wow), I feel like I have a bit more perspective on what happened.
And you know what? Despite all the shitty, dark, painful times I’ve had since everything blew up last September – I don’t regret a thing. I don’t regret leaving him. I don’t regret moving out asap and couch-surfing with my amazing friends for two months. I don’t regret applying for new flats while still applying for jobs, and finding a great new place to live. I don’t regret all the soul-searching I’ve had to do ever since, as I try to get back to ME, and dig through all the layers of pain that had built up over the years, and which had just become normal.
As cheesy as it is, I feel like I’ve found myself again. I feel more like myself than I have in years. And I now have a clearer idea of what my boundaries are, and what I really want (and don’t want).
There’s still a lot to process, a lot to wade through and figure out, both in my past and for my future, but I can honestly say, as the sun shines through my window here in London, and the birds are singing in the blossom trees outside, it really feels like a new beginning, and I feel more excited than I have in years.
I’ve gotten back into writing, which makes my soul happy. I’m starting to query HONORS again, which is nerve-wracking but thrilling. And I FINALLY finished the first draft of my Revolutionary War novel, THE DEVIL’S BELT, which I’ve been waffling on about for three years now, and stopping and starting so many times I wasn’t sure if it was ever going to be done. But I did it, and I did it in my own hand-writing, in a notebook that fit into my uniform pocket at work, so I could write in my spare time. And my inner perfectionist rejoiced when the last word fit on the last line of the last page. * wipes tear * It was beautiful.
It’s still very rough, and needs SO MUCH more detail and emotion woven through it, but to know that the first draft is there, it’s done, feels so great. And hey, just to be able to say, that despite all the shit that’s happened recently, I was able to buckle down and write my second novel? I’m proud of myself, if I do say so.
I couldn’t help but think of my dad again, who never got to write the novels he wanted, since he was working too hard for his family. But he’s the one who inspired me to write this story, when he took us to that Revolutionary fort and we walked in the footsteps of those men who were massacred trying to protect their home. I’ll never forget those goosebumps, and I felt similar ones once I finished the first draft. Now I hope I can do justice to the characters and their story, and do justice to my dad, who – I still can’t believe it – has been gone seven years now.
So to anyone who might be struggling, or feeling lost, just know that you are not alone (believe me, I FEEL YA), and you can get through it. There will be happier days, and you will feel better.
Just keep going, one day at a time, one word at a time.