So much has happened this past year, and I’m so grateful for everything the Lord has given and taken away, as well as for how much He has allowed me to grow. I’ve had so many new experiences. Some of them were exhilarating, some of them nerve-racking, and some of them heartwarming. This year, I…
…wrote a resume and cover letter
…did job interviews
I did an interview over the phone that went well (although I didn’t end up getting the job). I did a video interview that went terribly. (There were awkward pauses, and my mind went blank at all the wrong times.) I had an in-person interview, where the guy who was interviewing me constantly got distracted because it was rush hour, and people wanted pizzas. Yes, that is the job I have now. There wasn’t much “interview” involved. I didn’t answer one of the questions how I would have, had I really cared about getting the position (I’ll tell you guys about it in a future blog post), but then again, fast food restaurants will pretty much hire anyone.
…got a job
I got a job at Pizza Hut. The hours are flexible, pay isn’t great, but I hope to gain experience and learn new stuff there. My training begins today, and my work hours will be decided in the future. Even the role isn’t very clear. It might be customer service, it could be making pizzas, or it could be a mixture. I’ll tell you about everything in more depth in a later blog post.
…got a phone
I got my first phone in October. (Or was it November?) I’m so grateful for it, as it has allowed me to have more independence both physically and on the internet. Getting a phone made doing many things way easier. It’s been so helpful to me both personally and in relation to my writing journey, and the connections I’ve made I hope will last for many years to come.
…got a driver's license
It was nerve-wracking. It was not fun. I still don’t like driving. However, yes, I do have a driver’s license, and yes, I know how to drive. I’m not the best of it and have terrible anxiety on crowded roads, but I have a driver’s license for ID and emergencies…and if my family wants me to drive them somewhere that doesn’t have a thousand other vehicles around.
(You can read a more in depth blog post about getting my license here.)
…joined a writer community
I joined a writing community…and then left. It was a great experience! I got to see what other young, Christian writers are doing, and I got to meet some people I still keep in touch with to this day. (Okay, it’s only been a few months, but it feels like I’ve known Jessica for a lot longer.) I’m so thankful I got that opportunity, and while I don’t plan on returning, it taught me a lot and allowed me to meet two people I’m very grateful for.
(If you want to read a more in depth post about my experience with the writing community, you can find it here.)
…made new friends for the first time in many years
I spent almost all of my teen years on the road without any constant in-person relationships. There was one period where we traveled with some friends, but we’d known them for years earlier. Now, (almost 18), I live in a house with my family and still don’t have any (constant) in-person relationships. I was also saved right before we started traveling. That’s not a very important note, but it’s something to consider, because it changed the way I view relationships and just life in general. Anyway…
I made new friends this year! I’ve gotten to experience new relationships as a Christian, learning to interact with new connections on my own, while using my own discernment and (not) social skills. Hehe. I’m still learning; it all feels new, especially with the fact that these are online-only relationships, but—I can’t even explain how it feels. Being able to encourage and be encouraged by fellow believers, getting to learn from other people who live in other parts of the world, hearing their stories, and listening to the way they view things—it’s…heartwarming, I guess? That doesn’t even begin to explain it. There’s something on a spiritual level that connects all of the different members of Christ’s church, and being able to meet these people and talk to them is such a privilege. Being able to revel in Christ’s love for us together, even though we just met…so amazing!
All right, the happy rant is over. You may move on XD
I didn’t know what Inktober was until just right before it began. Anyway, it’s a drawing challenge, where you try to draw something for all 31 days of October. The rules aren’t strict, and it’s mainly something you just do for fun, and that’s exactly what it was—fun. I got to explore different realms of digital art I hadn’t before. I also discovered that I love the spray paint brush on MS Paint 3D. All in all though, it was a pretty relaxed challenge, and I came out with some pretty cool pieces in the end.
(If you want to read the in depth blog post about Inktober, it’s here.)
NaNoWriMo…I don’t even know where to begin. Unlike Inktober, it was not a relaxing challenge. It was not always fun either. After 31 days of drawing each day, I dropped the digital paintbrush and picked up a pen (okay, my keyboard) and committed to writing an average of almost 2k words a day. It was tedious, and I felt like I wouldn’t be able to make it at times. But having an accountability partner who I could chat with and who was very encouraging throughout made everything a lot easier.
Also, here’s one thing I didn’t mention before: NaNoWriMo really taught me a lot about going through life in general. I’m someone who tends to look at the immediate present, extrapolate that years into the future, and get depressed about the results. But that’s not a good way to look at things. NaNoWriMo forced me to stop being so future oriented. As Adam (the guy I did NaNoWriMo with) told me, you just have to take it one day at a time. And that’s what I did. Instead of thinking “I have to write 50k in one month,” I just focused on the 2k I had to do that one day. Then, I repeated the cycle. One day at a time, and I’d reached 56k by the end of November. I’m still future oriented, but I’ve found a better way of viewing things. Also, just trusting the Lord throughout and knowing he can throw a plot twist at you that no one could have predicted.
So, while I’m glad I took up the challenge and learned a lot from both it and Adam, I don’t plan on doing it again next year.
(The blog post I wrote about NaNoWriMo is here, while the one about how I prepped for the challenge is here.)
The writer community I joined (but left) nudged me gently into the world of Instagram. I got to reconnect with a few people, as well as have a starting point for my platform. Right now, I like to share encouraging things I’ve learned from writing, updates about my WIP’s, and general things about my writing life. There’s a whole community of young Christian writers on there. They’re really supportive and encouraging, and it’s great to know that there are other writers out there writing for God’s glory.
…moved into a house
After traveling for years, my family and I moved into a house. There were a variety of reasons we did this, and I’m not going to get into them, but yeah…we live in a house now. It’s a rental. We don’t plan to stay here forever, and things could change, especially with me (the oldest) growing up.
There are pros and cons of having a house versus an RV, but I’m glad we did this. I’ve been able to get a job because of the fact that we’re currently stationary. We’ve also unpacked some things that we weren’t able to have in the RV. One of these things are a sewing machine, and I’m excited to start working on the skirt I bought material and elastic for.
…started blogging seriously
Yep, this very blog you’re on right now. I started it on September 6th, and since then, I’ve been consistently posting every week on Wednesdays. Topics range from writing, to my books, to life as a young adult (or is it old teenager?). Oh, wait, it’s adolescent—though I will be a young adult in less than two months. I like to lump all the categories together as “life as a young Christian writer and creative.” It’s been really fun, and I’m loving the responses I get from you guys 😊
I guess another part of this “blogging seriously” thing is my newsletter. I used to do automatic emails that went out whenever I created a new post. However, I recently switched to writing an actual newsletter. At the top, you get a short snippet of the week’s blog post, as well as a link to the actual post, then there’s usually some updates about my life and writing. After that, there’s usually a sneak peek of what I wrote that week, but it totally depends on what WIP I’m working on, as well as what stage I’m in. Oh, and I sometimes add one or two of my IG posts from the week to the newsletter. People can click on the images to get to the posts and read the caption, even if they don’t have an account. I just added this in like two weeks ago, so we’ll see how long it stays there.
(If you want to get my newsletter and be notified whenever I post, you can sign up at the bottom of this page.)
…got a blogging accountability partner
It wasn’t my idea. I wasn’t auditioning for more friends. However, Micah (who I knew of from my time on Ydubs) came along and started chatting with me on Instagram. I really loved his extroverted, joyful personality and the way he wants to just live for God, so Instagram chatting turned into emailing, and eventually, he offered to become blogging accountability partners. I accepted (even though I’m pretty good at holding myself accountable). We started a Trello board together. We’ve been blogging together for a total of…um, less than a week, but it’s been fun. If you click on Micah’s picture, you’ll be taken to his website, where he talks about writing, shares encouraging stuff, and talks about his favorite food—crackers 😉😂 I’m kidding, Micah. Well, you did write about crackers, but I really admire your love for the Lord. I’ve been reading some of your posts. They’re very encouraging.
So much has changed this year. I feel like I’ve grown a lot both spiritually and mentally, and I attribute it to the new experiences I’ve had this year. Getting to meet people on my own has definitely been a big factor. However, there’s also the fact that I did NaNoWriMo, and then just that the Lord dealt with me a lot on my perspective on growing up. I’m overwhelmingly grateful for what He has done in my life this year. As I go into 2023 (which I kind of don’t even want to say, because we humans decided to split up time into sections and give these sections values), there’s a lot of hope. Lots of hope with some fearful excitement mixed in. I know that the Lord is in control. Thus, I’m going to walk into 2023 courageously, knowing that He’s on my side and leading the way, the entire path already planned out. All I need to do is follow in faith.