What I’m Taking Into 2020 and, More Importantly, What I’ll Be Leaving In 2019

Almost everyone can agree, 2019 was the sort of year that felt five or six years long. We know the math doesn’t add up. We ran the numbers and it was your standard 365 day long year, but every week felt like an eternity. So much happened. The news cycle has been nonstop. At some point the world caught fire and I’m pretty sure it never went out.

So it’s weird that looking back on the last year for me also feels like remembering a single blink, a million little things crammed into one moment that’s already gone. I made friends in the last year, lost friends, I finished draft one of a novel, took some time to look back at a NaNoWriMo project from 2012 (and oh boy is it badly in need of reworking from the ground up), wrote a bunch of fanfiction (one of them was even a commission!) and landed a sweet part-time writing dream job. My husband and I packed up and moved half way across the country, started an AP podcast, and paid off my student loans this year.

This year has been full.

And it’s been a year where I spent a not insignificant amount of time reflecting on who I am and why I do certain things.

Millennial humor is dark. We’ve decided that gallows humor is the most appropriate way to deal with… everything going on in the world. I’m mean to myself (jokingly) constantly. I say things to or about myself that I would never let anybody else say to or about me (not even jokingly). And it gets to me. Slowly. It’s funny or lighthearted at the time, but those nasty little gibes build up like a tower until my own poorly balanced brain chemistry decides it’s time to knock the entire thing down on me.

So it’s time to leave that habit behind.

I’ve started in little ways, replacing go-tos in my vernacular. “I bought this because I’m garbage,” turns into “I bought this because I’m awesome and I deserve it.” “I wrote this thing but I hate it,” is now “I worked hard on this but I know it’s not there yet, can you give me some notes?”

Hell, I’ll even continue hyperbolizing, but it’s going to be done with kindness!* I’m not the worst, I’m a gift to the world. I’m not stupid, I’m a misunderstood genius in my time.

I’m leaving the entire concept of being mean to myself in 2019 where it belongs.

2020 is the year of self confidence.

After all, I’ll need it to get past the first editing sweep of what is definitely the best thing ever written.*

Happy New Year! Be kind. Putting yourself down is so 2019.

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