Reflections.

2013-12-27 00.53.51It’s been a few weeks since I wrote anything – and I do mean anything. Perhaps I needed a break after blogging almost every day in November. What I do know is that last year, on the same day, I was determined that the year I was heading into would be the year to end all years. We all wish that the next year is going to be amazing, that it will be filled with creation, learning, good fortune, and new experiences. My memory is short – this year I feel burnt out – but I’m starting to remember the things that made this year good. I did create some things.

I wrote a lot of things on this blog and learnt new things about myself and people – about resilience, being knocked down and getting back up, about the stripping away of confidence and how hard it is to build it up again. I’ve learnt that I’m too hard on myself, and that I also need to work at things if I am to be true to myself. I often find that I’m frustrated, because I feel that I’m less than I want to be, or that I’m not working hard enough. The contradiction is that I always feel better once I pick up that pen and write, or type something. Without fail, writing helps me to work things out. I haven’t lost that, even if at times this year I felt that I had.

This truly is a year that I’m glad to see the back of. Yet there have been wonderful things – being Freshly Pressed, having some amazing comments, adopting Chocolat and Marmalade, having a very Harry Potter Birthday, and the handful of trips in the UK this year (Southwold, York, Bolton/Halifax, Edinburgh). There has been magic and beauty, even in the hardest moments. The evening of Flossie’s death was hard, but we were all together and we made it through. There has been a lot of sadness but a lot of laughter too. I’ve realised that this year has shown me the depth of life, the reality of it but also the importance of believing in things we can’t see, like love, the choices we make, the importance of believing in yourself and the people around you. I’ve doubted my strength a lot this year but then there are always things that lift you.

I’ve also learnt a lot about introversion, and what my MBTI type is (INFJ – read here for an excellent blog post on what that means), and what I actually need and want. I love solitude – I need the space to think and process things. I’m not completely solitary, I don’t think that’s the point if you’re an introvert – some introverts love company (even a lot of company sometimes). I enjoy the company of people that take a considered approach to communication – no interrupting, plenty of quiet spaces for thinking, and no awkwardness if there are long stretches of silence. People who accept you as you are, and who you accept as they are. I think silence, quiet – are some of the most important things I’ve taken from this year. Especially when you’re a writer, or someone who creates, being at peace with silence or solitude is important. Respecting the space of other people who need that solitude to think and relax is important too.

So what do I want for next year? Simply – to learn, to write and to understand myself and the world a bit better. To make a difference to people. To spend time with my friends and family. To create and to build new dreams – for myself and for my family – especially since in February, I’m getting married. I hope that the dreams we have built together will continue to be built upon. We’ve all achieved things that we might have overlooked this year – I wish all my readers the best, and I’ll leave you with the wishes of Mr Gaiman:

‘I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.’ – Neil Gaiman.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. I look forward to getting to know you through wordpress, and am so happy I stumbled upon your blog.

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  2. Kendall says:

    That’s a beautiful quote. My husband is an INFJ. It helped us both understand why sometimes we need the things we need like solitude etc. Best wishes for your February wedding. May 2014 be the best year yet 🙂

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  3. diahannreyes says:

    Happy New Year! Great lessons, resolutions, and an inspiring reminder about the beauty of messing up- and how it’s really quite the opposite.

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  4. Ned says:

    That is a fantastic quote and this post really sums up a lot of the year for me I hope I can live the next year with my eyes and mind open to experiencing every moment and every learning experience

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  5. cardamone5 says:

    Dear Liz:

    Thanks for liking my most recent post. I’m glad you stopped by because it reminded me it’s been a while since I read any of your posts. For some reason, your latest posts are not e-mailed to me as others are, and I don’t venture into Reader too often. Do you know of a way to have your latest posts e-mailed to me?

    I love the darkness post. I identified with a lot of what you said. I too get exhausted by the constant pressure to be positive, especially in America where it’s almost illegal to be otherwise (my opinion.) I too am in the process of accepting that darkness is a big part of who I am, how I process things, etc. I love what you said about childhood being dark too, as mine was very dark. My current struggle is to rework my memoir about those dark experiences into a style that doesn’t constantly tell readers it was dark.

    Anyhoo, just wanted to reach out and tell you I am enjoying catching up on your posts. Oh, and congrats on your wedding. So exciting, and not dark 🙂

    Best regards,
    Elizabeth

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    1. Liz Ward says:

      Hi Elizabeth, I’ll check if you’re subscribed via email – I’ll add an email subscription widget to my sidebar so you can subscribe using that. If that doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll try and work out why!

      In some ways, I think the UK has less of a focus on the ‘happy happy positive attitude’ thing, but it still creeps in now and again. I’ve noticed it more often recently.

      Thanks – I’ve just put the first wedding post up if that interests you! Lots of literary details and photos to enjoy 🙂

      Liz xxx

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