Here we are, folks. It is not only another new year, but’s it’s a whole new decade. I don’t think I ever felt as much of an impact in past years when I moved on to another decade (well, except the whole Y2K madness because everyone was on the edge of their seats). There’s a budding type of feeling that I can’t quite put my finger on yet. This new sensation has me thinking about the reason this decade change feels different for me. It’s obvious that I am beyond ecstatic for my first novel to be released in this year, but there has to be more contributing to my excitement. Hmm, let’s analyze together.
If you have followed my posts, you would know that The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is my favorite book of my lifetime. I fell in love with it in 9th grade when I was forced to read it, thank God. Fast forward to this past decade and the movie The Great Gatsby was released. Not only was I thrilled about an updated movie version being made, but it also starred my favorite actor, Leonardo DiCaprio (Leo, if you are reading this, please reach out so I can finally meet you! Ahem, life goal). I ended up loving the movie for more than just the facts above. The movie was beautifully done and is one I can watch repeatedly, as well as endlessly listen to its soundtrack. It’s pure genius, people! Therein began my heightened interest in the 1920s.
The decade of the 20s were always interesting to me, due to the stylish dresses and bags, as well as that little thing called prohibition, but after I watched that movie, my fascination exploded. I read books about it, watched more movies and shows set in that time period, and listened to more music of the time. So, of course I find it humorous that we are entering into a 20s that I can experience. And I know I’m not alone since there are loads of Roaring 20s parties being advertised in my area this winter. But is this fascination the reason I feel different changing over to this new decade? …Nah. It just must add to the fun. My reason has to have deeper meaning.
When I think back on the last decade, I’m hit with the fact that I have changed drastically; probably more than ever before in adulthood. Now that I am in my 40s, I speak my mind more, have more confidence in myself, and do not care as much what others think of me. I am what I am and if you love it, great; if you don’t, that’s OK too. I especially have changed my views on what life satisfaction means for me, though.
See, I’ve always been a driven person and have had a successful career as a therapist for the last almost 20 years, but in the last few years I’ve realized there needs to be something more in my life that I was doing for a purpose. I didn’t realize I needed something more and especially did not know what that something was, until recently. I think the key to my deeper life satisfaction has been to integrate my artistic urges into the work I do as a therapist (which I have done) and to devote more personal time to my art as well (also, check). It fulfills my soul. Writing my novel has increased my satisfaction (not that I wasn’t satisfied before, but this is a whole new unexpected level). It ignited a fire within that keeps on shining bright. It’s a fire that can’t ever be put out and was dying to grow and be seen. Who knows how big it will get? Not me. And just like in Survivor, fire is life (yeah, I still watch that show).
I’ve noticed much more happiness and grounding in my life since I started writing my novel, especially when being more mindful of dedicating time to writing it in the last 3 years or so. Part of that shift internally has been to actually recognize the identity I have as an author; to be brave enough to say it publicly. The identity opened many doors emotionally and physically (seeing that my book will be in my hands this year!). I can’t wait to keep finding out where my writing will lead me. It was, after all, the genesis for the change. I’m doing more art than ever before and am back in touch with old art forms I did as a child. I also will learn new art skills in the near future because I obviously need more to do! It ends up that The Difference made all the difference in my own life, not just main character Rachel’s life.
Yes! This. Is. It. The reason I’m excited for 2020 is for the HOPE that exists! There is hope and anticipation in my new career as an author, with a fresh new set of years gleaming before me. It’s just like the green light in Gatsby, except I can and will reach “it.” I never thought I would have any other job besides counseling, but here I am, entering a new decade with a new career. I learned in graduate school that people have 3 careers in their lifetime. Within my therapy career I have had 2, so maybe this is my 3rd one. I’m not saying I want to stop doing therapy because I love it and can’t live without it actually, but it’s just that there is more in me to pay attention to now.
Where will my author career lead me in this decade? Already in this last year, I’ve started my website, social media, and this blog right here! I also will be starting my 2nd novel. The new identity of author has led me to meet new friends, to learn new skills, and has led to the best gift of all; a publishing contract. So, it’s exciting to see where I will be led in the future. I couldn’t predict the treasures that I’ve already received and I can’t tell you what will happen with every step I take in my life path… and that’s what makes it wonderful. I’m just going to follow the lead of destiny while riding on hope (and hard work, determination, etc. of course).
So, this was not at all a typical blog about my New Year’s resolutions, your resolutions, and how it’s hard to keep them. Being ordinary is not my gig. In saying that, maybe you can think about your fire for the decade ahead. I encourage you to think in these terms instead of the hyped up, over commercialized dreaded little word “resolution.” It has too much pressure attached to it, and who wants that? Instead, just follow your urges and your heart. It may lead to places you’ve never dreamed of, just like it did for me.
Now go on and put on your flapper dress while you celebrate the 20s. I’ll see you in the speakeasy. Happy New Year!
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