Looking Back & Looking Forward.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”
~Albert Einstein

Usually when it comes time to write an end-of-year post, I begin with something like “How have the months flown by this quickly?” or “It seems like it was just January, yet here we are in December.” This year? Not so much. 2011 has been very long, very difficult, and very emotional. If it was at all possible, I’d choose to erase about three-quarters of it from my memory. But, of course, that’s not actually possible at all, which means every moment that I’d give anything to forget will always be a part of me. I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be. We are amalgamations of our experiences, good and bad alike.

And, as this year has shown me, even among the terrible, the tragic, the break-your-heart-into-pieces, there is always a ray of light to be found. For me, that’s all of you. There are no words to describe the endless gratitude I will always have for the kind comments, the unwavering support, and the beautiful friendship you’ve offered. You all have been the stars that illuminated a very dark sky, and I am thankful each and every day for that – and, even more, for you. There is no doubt about it: I don’t know how I’d have gotten through this year without the amazingly special people in my life. Losing Gram was like losing a part of my heart, and that combined with the highly-emotional querying rollercoaster and some other difficult situations – well, suffice it to say that I truly cannot wait to close the door on 2011 and walk through the one that leads to 2012. My greatest wish for you all? That you run through it, too, leaping forward with hope, faith, and inspiration.

Speaking of inspiration, this year hasn’t been entirely difficult. It certainly had wonderful moments, too. There was writing Dear Ellie and editing it down to almost half its original length, a Herculean task that originally seemed insurmountable. There were visits to New York to see very special people who make the world a better place. There were times spent with friends and vacations with family. There were good books, good movies, and good music. Every one of those things, each one of those people, has been a blessing, and perhaps being set against such a difficult-to-comprehend backdrop makes those blessings shimmer even more brightly.

2012? It has to be better than 2011. I’ve written before that I’m not usually about broad, sweeping resolutions when the calender flips and we enter a New Year. I’d rather make every day the best it can be. That still holds true, but it’s always good to set some goals, too. So, in 2012, I hope to – and will work toward – achieving these starbursts of faith:

*Continue querying literary agents for Reflections of Me, using my newly-updated database and working each day to find someone who believes in my books enough to offer representation.

*Write two new manuscripts – the third (and final) journey in Sofie’s story and another based off one of the ideas on my ever-growing list.

*Read fifty-two books, ideally one each week.

*Travel somewhere I’ve never been before (would especially love to see Nantucket!) and go back to some of the cities I love so much, like Atlanta and Nashville.

*Enjoy life. Embrace every moment, find joy in something each day, even if something small, and believe that things can, and do, get better.

My hope for us all is that 2012 will be a year where dreams come true. Where passions are discovered, journeys are taken, and goals are reached. Where love and light fill each day. Where ordinary moments are extraordinary. Where we find blessings we’d never imagined. Where every memory is a gift. Where, instead of waiting for luck to find us, we make it for ourselves. And, most importantly, where good health prevails for everyone, because, as my mom always says, if the New Year is healthy, it’ll be happy.

Wishing you all the very, very best. Here’s to a future that glimmers with hope. Happy, Healthy New Year, everyone. Much love to you all ♥


12 thoughts on “Looking Back & Looking Forward.

  1. I think this is my favorite blog <3 So beautifully and eloquently crafted, it speaks to your heart.

    I wish you the very best and brightest for the New Year, and know great things await you on the other side of that door!

    • Thanks so much … as always, your kind words are deeply appreciated. I hope your 2012 is bright, beautiful, and filled with only the very best, as well. Here’s to a door that opens to joyous and exciting things for all of us!

  2. What a wonderful reflection on the past 12 months. Some hard times, but … that’s life, I suppose.

    “Enjoy life. Embrace every moment, find joy in something each day, even if something small, and believe that things can, and do, get better.”

    If you only keep one resolution, let it be that one. Everything else will follow. :)

    • Definitely a lot of hard times in 2011 … but that means 2012 can only be better, right?

      I absolutely agree with you 100% – as I was making a list of goals, that’s the one that stood out. Sure, I plan to work every day toward the others, as well, but to me, that one encapsulates all I hope this year to be. Fingers crossed!

  3. I LOVED our beach trip this summer! It was one of the high points of my year, finally getting to chat with you about writing and the frustrating publishing industry. We definitely need to hang out again. :)

    I know this year has been difficult, and I have faith that 2012 will bring lots of great things for you. <3 Happy New Year!

    • Same here!! Whenever I think of 2011, our OC trip will always be a memory that brings a smile. It was such a fun day, and yes, we definitely need to plan another! Maybe we can meet up somewhere halfway in between, too, since we aren’t that far from each other when you’re home.

      Thanks, as always, for all the sweet words and for being such a great friend. Happy New Year to you, too – looking forward to hearing about all the wonderful things 2012 brings for you!

    • Right back at you, Katie.

      Ahhh, and I would LOVE that. I miss the South so much – can’t believe it’s been two and a half years since that road trip! – and am just itching to go back. Getting to spend time with you would make it even more wonderful!

  4. What a wonderfully positive post! I especially loved “My greatest wish for you all? That you run through it, too, leaping forward with hope, faith, and inspiration.” I’m wishing you the same thing.

    • Thanks so much, Hope – wishing you the very same! Here’s to a 2012 filled with lots of good health and happiness. I’m so thankful to have met you, too. You’ve become a fast friend and I’m looking forward to Panera and all our future hangouts! :)

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