A Look Back… And Forward.


Last year I was way more than eager to bid 2009 a not-so-fond farewell. It was a hard year that tested me greatly, where I seemed to have lost more footing than I had gained.

Thankfully 2010 had a few more positives. The biggest positive of all was that I started to earn my living doing what I love to do, utilizing the talent I hope to someday capitalize upon in a much bigger, more creative way.

I’ve managed to “crush it,” and further define “my brand.” I created a fan page on Facebook which has already gained 77 followers, which I hope to double by the end of next year. I just have to be more active in the community and produce more quality content, and so far health issues have prevented me from doing either the way I need to do them.

Health-wise I’m still a mess regarding chronic pain, but it’s really my own fault because of a lack of exercise. I go full throttle for a few weeks then have a physical setback then remain fearfully sedentary to avoid further setbacks… which only means I get stiffer and more pain-riddled.

It’s a bitter, endless cycle.

I can only push my body as far as it’s willing to go, but I see the pattern of my being too easy on myself when I should push through some of these obstacles, no matter how little ground I gain.

The problem is I can’t do it like I would normally do it, so I don’t know how to amend my expectations. If I do one mile one week, I want to do two miles the following week, and three miles the week after that. If I’m not doing more, I’m not doing enough. Because let’s face it… it’s never enough as long as I’m still fat.

So crazy me I stop doing anything out of frustration and pain… which only leads to more frustration and pain.

Therefore I’m fully aware to blame that backward step wholly on myself.

(Not only must this change but it can change, and the power to do so is totally within my capability.)

I feel like I did make some huge strides in my overall health regarding my approach to food. Breaking the bonds with sugar and dairy, even if I did backslide and heave myself headlong into their influence, made me see how easy and fun it could be to adhere to a more cruelty-free diet. Not just on the animals I wasn’t eating, but on myself as well.

The changes in my body, though it hasn’t been the massive weight loss I wanted to achieve by this particular date, are undeniable.

I figure the diet, with a few modifications, can easily be followed again in the upcoming months. It will essentially be dairy-free, sugar-free, but with allowances for eggs and fish… and allowances for living in general. It doesn’t mean I can’t ever have dairy or sugar, I just have to be aware that they are highly addictive and can derail my progress if I don’t keep them firmly under control.

Moderation. Not deprivation.

By fearing to take one bite because I just “knew” I’d go back to eating it so indiscriminately, I ended up giving it too much power over me… and made it a self-fulfilling prophesy.

This too was my fault, and completely within my power to change.

I’ve made a lot of emotional progress this year thanks to the blog especially. I’ve learned where a lot of my triggers were, including many of the ones that keep me the size I am and the hermit I am. I’ve gone through some bitter trials by fire where I was tested on my basic trigger issues such as rejection and abandonment. Truth be told I’m not sure which came first, the dietary backslide or the emotional turmoil, but they definitely fed off of each other making the other one worse. This is my life cycle, and now that I’m aware of it, I know it can be broken.

I’m also self-aware enough to know that I, alone, cannot break it. I need help, and I need to stop being afraid to ask for it. This will come into play in the “resolutions” section of our program.

I think the biggest positive this year, even though it was the most painful lesson to learn, was figuring out what I’m willing to put up with just to be loved or accepted. I finally realized that I don’t have to lose myself in the expectations of another just to be worthy of their love or affection. This was especially true with my family.

I’ve long believed that I wasn’t “good enough,” that I had to work for acceptance because just being me wasn’t enough. It’s made me give away my power to everyone just so they wouldn’t reject me and ultimately abandon me. I let everyone else determine my value, while I carried the unnecessary baggage of their expectations of what I should do or who I should be.

Because of that, I internalized the negative stuff and let that define me. Everyone else got to decide if I mattered, because I couldn’t quite figure out that I matter “just cuz.” That’s why attention, and especially the lack thereof, has kept me on a sadistic merry-go-round of self-deprecation pretty much all year.

It wasn’t that people didn’t meet my expectations of how I needed to be treated, it’s that I gave too much power to being treated anyway at all.

These were very painful lessons to learn and quite honestly I’m still struggling with them. I have been figuratively scorched by these long-lasting patterns, so much so I am way too sensitive to slights – real or perceived – from new relationships where I don’t feel I’ve yet been able to create acceptable boundaries (which is why outside help is required.)

The good news is, I’ve learned exactly how much of myself I’m willing to let go now in order to have certain relationships… and I’ve been able to sever the ones where I had no hopes whatsoever of getting an honest connection in return.

Anyone who knows me knows this is *huge.*

Overall 2010 showed me in no uncertain terms what works and what doesn’t, and how so much of it is connected.

That’s why one resolution isn’t going to cut it. They all have to work together, like a well-oiled machine.

Because there are so many I feel a bit intimidated, as if I know I’m putting too much on my plate and some things are just naturally going to fall through the cracks.

That’s why one of the most important resolutions is to keep my eye on the bigger picture. Looking back I can say that I didn’t do all the things I wanted to do this year. But that doesn’t invalidate the year, nor take away from the major accomplishments I did pull off – which I think are pretty darned impressive in the whole scheme of things.

Not being able to check everything off neatly at this time next year won’t make me a failure. The most important thing is that I learned as much from the setbacks as I did from the successes.

Which I kinda think was the theme of 2010.

Progress. Not perfection.

So here are the goals for 2011, in no particular order.

HEALTH

Make healthier choices in my diet. No restrictive diet, aside from portion control, is required; I already know what works and what doesn’t.

Gently push myself just an increment more than I did the day before. True lasting progress is in the extra little effort you build off of day by day. I may can only walk around my apartment for five minutes to start with, to condition my body to be more active and more mobile. The next day, just walk a few steps more.

One degree can make all the difference.

I’m also going to get back to a natural approach with managing my pain, from the food I eat to the way I treat my body. This will include an introduction to things like acupuncture, although I should say here I’m quite apprehensive about it. Which is kinda why I’ve put it off for four years.

Rediscover what I love about food – the sheer creativity of finding healthier ways to eat. This will include a weekly (or at least semi-regular) podcast where I talk about what recipe I’m trying for the week, and what vegetable I’m learning how to love in a new way. I’m actually kind of excited about it, I have ten or so recipes already archived and hope to start no later than this coming week. This will likely coincide with Meatless Mondays, and will get more advanced as I get more comfortable in the medium.

This will help me “crush it” with my

CAREER

I have so many things I want to do in this section I’m almost afraid to list them all. But here goes.

1. Write more, especially screenplays. This year I aim to finish one feature length screenplay and a complete series of hour-long scripts for a TV drama. That’s roughly 13 with a Bible and hopefully synopses for following seasons.

2. Read more, dividing my time between classic novels and screenplays. I’m tackling the 100 Books to Read Before You Die list, as I’m almost shamefully under-read. I won’t even tell you how many of these books I have read, but suffice it to say it’s in the single digits. I realize some are going to be easier than others, but like Stephen King says if you want to be a writer you do two things: read, read, read and write, write, write.

3. Get my work out there. Stop tinkering around trying to make it perfect and just trust my talent. I don’t need any other validation than that. I have something of value to sell, I just need to actually believe in it enough to sell it. (this is the scariest part of the business for me, which is why I’m stuck at the almost-sold level.)

4. Network. Because I’ve never mastered #3, part of me feels like a huge phony who would fall apart amidst the very people whose ranks I wish to join. I have zero self-confidence, only because I’ve never *really* put myself out there and tried to test the waters to see if I can swim. And ridiculously I have had plenty of validation to do so, even with a stack of rejection letters just like every other writer in the world, but because *I* don’t quite believe I have what it takes, nothing has ever been good enough and will always believe the worst. Which is why #5 has sent me into panic attacks for the past week and a half.

5. Move to California to really give my writing career a chance. *shudder* This will include making and saving money, neither of which have been my strong suit as of late, in an epic way heretofore unrealized in my own life up to this point.

But just because I *haven’t* done it doesn’t mean I *can’t.* At least that’s what I keep telling myself as I’m breathing in and out of a paper bag.

PERSONAL

I’m going to find a therapist where I can work through some of my trigger issues. I think we can decisively say what’s wrong with me, but I haven’t quite mastered what it takes to get past it. And I need to get past it. Nothing else will work in my life until I figure out how to stop responding to the problems of my past.

Like the old saying goes, keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.

N’ I’m kinda over it, to be quite honest.

I’m also going to give myself more openly to my relationships. Most of the time I hold back, afraid of being hurt, and as a result have superficial relationships where I don’t completely trust anyone. Then I wonder why people can’t give themselves more wholeheartedly to me, and use that as an opportunity to beat myself up s’more. It’s all quite pointless, really. Relationships don’t work that way, and I miss out on good people in the meantime. So I need to stop worrying about what I’ll get in return – good or bad – and start striving for more genuine connections.

I just need to believe I’m worth it. And the only way to do that is to work hard on all the things I mentioned on this list of goals. With those achievements will come self-confidence.

So that’s it. I’m kinda scared but kinda excited too. I never thought, really, when I wrote a similar blog at the end of 2009 that I’d have made the progress toward my ultimate goals that I have.

So bring it on, 2011. Show me what you’ve got.

Happy New Year, everybody! ❤

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6 thoughts on “A Look Back… And Forward.

  1. Happy New Year, Ginger! I wish you all the luck in the world with your goals (not that you really need it as you are a superwoman.:)] I have similar goals I will write down either today or tomorrow. Let’s be unstoppable together. ❤

  2. Wow, your post is inspiring. Congratulations on starting to earn a living doing what you love to do. They say if you love your work then it isn’t work. I hope I get to know that feeling some day. Your post is also inspiring on a personal level. I like the title unstoppable. It is so upbeat and positive when there’s so much negativity around us. You’re meeting your challenges head on and figuring out more about who you are. Way to go! I look forward to reading more of your posts in 2011.

    • Thanks so much for your positive feedback, Haley! It really makes the difference inspiring *me* to keep going, and in many ways teaches me a lot too.

      I’m actually going to be doing a blog about living in harmony with our purpose, and how our lives respond to doing those things which we are born/destined (?) to do. I’m beginning to suspect that *until* we’re doing that one thing that makes us special and stand apart, we will never truly have our life open to the richness the universe has to offer.

      It sounds both religious-y and new-age-y, but it’s a kernel of an idea that’s been kinda nagging at me lately as I contemplate jumping into the deep end of the pool with my career.

      Welcome to the blog. 🙂

    • It’s like that old saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” It’s not going to be easy but it’s not impossible either. Just take baby steps and you’ll get stronger as you go. 🙂

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