As the month comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on everything I’ve done in these thirty days. I turned twenty-two; I finished my revisions on my book and I’ve prepared it to be sent out to my betas come October; I did a hell of a lot of researching when it came to self-publishing; I wrote, filmed, and edited a ton of videos for my upcoming YouTube/blogging series “31 Days of NaNoWriMo Prep”; and I started my senior year of college. Phew. That’s more than I’ve done… Well, ever, if I’m being completely honest. Productivity has never really been my forte.
This is also the first time I’ve ended a month feeling better than how I started it. Usually, I go into a new week, or month, or year with high hopes and big dreams, which then get crushed or brushed aside so that I’m left mopey and sad by the week’s/month’s/year’s end. Lather, rinse, repeat. But this month was different. This month I set out to get shit done, and, I’ll be damned, I got that shit done. Who’da thunk? Definitely not me.
So you’re probably wondering about that title. Not only is it a Disney Mulan reference, but it’s also topical, because for the past twenty-one years of my life I’ve reflected back on my weeks and months and years and I’ve been left disappointed in it and in myself. I’ve found myself thinking, more than once, “This isn’t what I wanted. This isn’t who I want to be. This isn’t how I want my life to be.” I wondered when I would be able to reflect back and be happy with what had happened to me. I wondered when my looking back would reflect the person I wanted to be. Well, it appears that time has finally come. As we close out the month of September, I can honestly say that my reflection shows who I am inside. And who I am is this:
I am motivated. I never thought I was, but it turns out that I just needed to realize what I was motivated to do. Sure, I love a lot of things, but writing is my passion. Writing is my heart and soul. And once I decided to dedicate my time to my writing, everything turned around for me.
I am strong. I used to think I was weak. I thought that I was small and pitiful and couldn’t get things done because I didn’t have the strength to do them. That isn’t the case anymore. Now I know that I can do any and all things that I put my mind to. They might not be easy, but if I work hard enough, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I believe in myself.
I am happy. This was the most shocking thing of all. Happy? I didn’t know what this word meant. Sure, I understood the concept. I even thought I felt it sometimes, in those moments spent with friends and loved ones. But I was wrong. That wasn’t true happiness. It was the facade of happiness. An impostor. But this? What I feel now? This is happiness. This is self-fulfillment. This is everything I’ve ever wanted. I don’t need to be the next J.K. Rowling. I don’t need to be famous or popular or any of the other things I was sure would give me true happiness, if only I could find a way to become those things. No, what I needed was to believe in myself. To take on some responsibility and work hard. Of course, I still hope to be successful. But hoping for success and hoping for fame are two very, very different things. Fame takes luck. Success takes hard work. I want to keep working hard and succeeding, and I know that if I continue doing these things, I will be happy.
So thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for accompanying me on this journey of self-discovery. There have been ups and downs, and I know that there will be more. Being happy doesn’t mean I’ll never be sad. It just means that the sadness won’t consume me in the way it used to. If I have a bad day, I’ll know that a good one is sure to follow. And through it all, I’ll be motivated and strong. I’ll push on. I’ll succeed, and I’ll be happy. My reflection finally shows who I am inside, and who I am is a strong, beautiful, amazing woman who’s destined to do amazing things.
I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish.