Odd numbered years tend to be better for me than even numbered years. And while 2014 wasn’t awful, it wasn’t great either. That being said, 2014 was full of learning experiences, and I have to be grateful for those. Perhaps, like literary fiction, 2014 will be better in review than it was while living it.
I learned that I needed to remember how much I love poetry and quotes. When I was a teenager, I kept a notebook where I dutifully copied poetry and quotes that I loved. I still have that notebook somewhere. As I got older, I started saving things I liked in folders in my email, and promptly forgot them. For years, I’ve loved upcycled notebooks and bought them, but then didn’t write anything in them. Well, I now have an awesome poetry and quotes book. I copy things down and doodle in it. Writing things I love in there is more immediate than saving them on my computer, and it feels more personal.
Journaling is fun and therapeutic. I’ve been a sporadic journaler for a few years, and even when I was doing more of it, it was mostly stuff about what I did during the day; nothing exciting. Recently I turned my journal into a place where I jot down all my thoughts. Things about stories, reflections on my day, positive things that people have said to me. And you know what? Just like that, not only do I enjoy journaling again, but I find that it’s a good way to process my day or my feelings on something.
Colored pens make everything better. Okay, they don’t cure world hunger or addiction, but if I’m having a bad day, doodling in my journal in colored pens makes me smile. It doesn’t matter if I can’t draw; as long as it’s in color, it looks great.
I learned that no matter how many friends I have, there’s always room for more. I’m an introvert, so in my mind, I only need so many friends. I mean, there’s only so much time in life. Despite my intentions, I ended up making a new friend this year, someone who will undoubtedly be around for the rest of my life.
Books aren’t written; they’re rewritten. I know this, but I still have to learn it over and over again. I just have to keep editing until I get it right, and every time, it will be a little better than it was last time. That’s okay. The best things in life take time.
Criticism hurts, but it won’t kill me. I joined a fantastic writer’s group, and got some feedback that really stung. After I got over licking my wounds and eating 41 pints of ice cream, I took an objective look at the criticism I received. Some of it, I still disagreed with, so I filed it away and decided not to edit anything based on that. Other parts of the criticism were spot on, and I made some changes based on that. Once I got over tripping on my own ego, I realized that I was presented with a unique opportunity to improve.
I strive to be a lifelong learner, and I’m very excited to see what’s going to happen in 2015. What, if anything, did you learn in 2014?