2018 | In Retrospect

Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but, most of all, endurance.
— James Baldwin
 
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I opened a Google doc to write this post at 11 AM two days ago. At 12:45 AM the next day I’d written these two sentences. I think that about sums up my 2018: wanting to be better and taking miniscule steps forward. Or maybe I’m just trying too hard to be fake deep.

Basking in ocean goodness in Gold Coast, Australia

I’ve struggled with how to describe the past year. I wouldn’t say it was amazing, but it wasn’t the worst year of my life either. It was full of change. I made a major life change with my move to Syracuse and I spent the better half of the year adjusting. I quit working exhausting retail hours and moved to a much more manageable substitute teaching situation. I made real moves to put my English degree to use with copywriting, editing, and social media work. 

I saw a therapist for the first time. I pushed my fears of driving aside and can now do the 4-hour drive back home without stopping 6 times for the mental break. I got a new coach and new training program but kept my eyes on the same long-term Olympic goal. 

Snowy Day in Syracuse, NY
October in the Dominican Republic

I struggled to find my footing. I found myself taking leaps and bounds forwards, and then tumbling back down to do it all over again. I let my personal creativity fall to the wayside as I funneled all my energy into work. I had a shit track season that culminated in frustration and contemplation.

I took a real break for the first time in years. I spent time with family. I got a massage, just for the hell of it. I spent lazy afternoons listening to the hum of the cicadas on long, hazy summer days. I started reading actual books, again.

Flying over Reykjavik, Iceland

Thinking about it all now, it’s hard to see the amount of progress I made. It’s hard to shake off the feeling of failure. The feeling that the strides I thought I was taking were really just baby steps in the grand scheme of things.

But maybe that’s OK. After all, baby steps are still steps in the right direction.  

This year I’ve learned the importance of gratitude and friendship. Learned to appreciate even the smallest of steps. I’m looking forward to making this coming year one of breakthroughs and discipline. I’ve got a better idea of who I want to be and it’s all about taking the little steps every day to get there.

I’m looking forward to another healthy year of growth.

Gemma

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