Every year, for nearly a decade, I purchase the annual Swarovski Holiday Ornament for my Christmas tree. When I pack it away I always stick a note in the bottom of the box noting my accomplishments in the year it represents. Last year when I purchased my ornament I was stuck by sadness. 2011 had not been my best year, and I could not think of a single accomplishment worth remembering. I asked myself, “Who am I, and what the hell happened?” Anyone who has known me for even a brief amount of time sees how driven I am, so the thought of not having accomplished anything noteworthy in the span of a year is unfathomable.
What could I possibly do in one month that would be big enough to note for my future self to see? Skydiving would certainly be memorable, but that is not something that even remotely reflects who I am. It had to be something that made me no longer feel that I had lost sight of who I was.
A few days later, inspiration stuck while watching a movie that I felt failed to tell the full story and then ended poorly. I decided that before the year was over I would write a novel, inspired by the movie I had just seen, but told more of the way I thought it should have played out. Come the stroke of midnight chiming in a new year, I had completed my draft and had something worth writing on the note I would place in my annual ornament’s box.
Fast-forward one year and that book has been published and is actually selling to people who have never met me. Its sequel has been drafted and is being refined. In addition, while doing these things I conceived and gave birth to my daughter. All-in-all, 2012 has not been a bad year.
The lesson: I thought with the bad time I was going through I had lost myself. Things felt pretty bleak for me one year ago. Now I see I really am the same driven person I always was.
I’ll never stop wanting more.