Identity. Gratitude. Purpose.
I have been thinking about these three words a lot lately. I realize they are the words that best describe my life as a blogger this past year.
This past year has been one of up and downs. It was also the first year I was able to write full time, though that had always been my goal. Despite this blessing being a lifelong dream of mine, I found myself in this place unexpectedly. Being in this position left me with a lot to process and figure out. The pressure I put on myself to find out all of the answers on day one was something that took time to get over.
As I reflect on it now I feel like I am in a much better mindset to see where I failed as well as where I succeeded. I had to admit to myself that success is an ebb and flow process of life and the product of a life well lived. This entire journey has been a long time coming.
With the ability to write full time came the opportunity to reinvent myself. Or rather correctly identify myself. I no longer had to name my day job as what I did for a living, especially because I use to do it solely as a means to have health insurance. Now who I am and what I do are the same. I am a writer who writes, and works solely to express the passion I feel within my soul. It is a rather shocking thing to acknowledge that after such a long time I am who I have always wanted to be.
My path to this point in my life took many turns but somehow I got here. Those who are spiritual will say that it was mean to be. I would like to believe that as well but if I am being honest, I only feel that way half of the time. The other half of my time I spend worrying if I am enough, if I work hard enough, if I am smart enough, if I really have what it takes to make all of the ideas that float around inside my brain twenty-four seven a reality? Or I am letting inspirational sayings and self help books trick me into a false sense of security?
The yin/yang forces behind these emotions keep me constantly negotiating with myself. It is a battle I am prepared to win at least ninety percent of the time, which brings me to gratitude.
I have enormous gratitude to be in a position to live the life I imagine, or at least begin on the journey there. I am grateful I have the love and support of my family and friends who see talent on the days I do not, and interest in what I want out of life. My blog has been something many around me have taken part in, one way or another, and as I begin this seventh year there is no one who has any doubt that I have already reached my limitation.
When I feel like a struggling artist I remind myself how lucky I am and that even if all of my wild dreams haven’t happened yet, I have done my best to do what I can when I can. As a person who lives daily with a chronic illness that is truly a gift. I am often so focused on not using that as an excuse that I do not give myself proper credit for what I have accomplished. That behavior is on the way out too.
Once you know who you are and are grateful for being there, the only thing left to do is fulfill your purpose in life. Having a purpose is so important to me because I do not want to ever feel that what I do is trivial, even though writing about food and entertainment can seem so on the surface. I truly appreciate the beauty of a good meal, the love of a new place, and crossing an item off my to do list. It is within these activities I am made to feel alive. I am aware how precious life can be, and that at times it can be too hard and too short. Therefore we all need to find the things that make us happy and take part in it with those you love. That is truly my mission statement.
Since I am focusing on this past year, as I celebrate this latest milestone, I have to also acknowledge a few others I have hit. I have two websites (Cafe Press and Zazzle) selling products using my travel photographs and expressions I love. I am currently working on expanding my product lines and hope to expand my website opportunities too.
It has been about a solid six months since I introduced #dinneralaDonna to my social media followers. While I have yet to blog specifically about this, cooking is a love I am currently nurturing to see where it takes me. I have big plans as I keep working to figure out how the food I prepare adds another level to my love of it. That is just something else to be on the lookout for!
Find Out Friday is going strong and I enjoy it more and more each week. I get a lot out of it and hopefully my readers do too.
As I begin year seven as a blogger and writer, I seek to be the best I can become and add value as well as a few laughs to my followers, family, and friends lives.
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