Can you believe that the 2017 year is over? Within hours the finality of this crazy year will happen. At this time last year I was ready to take the world on. I was excited for the opportunities ahead. I was ready to write new chapters. And I did. So much has changed in the last 365 days. And during those changes, one thing I know for sure…I have just one life and I am determined to continue on this path towards my wildest dreams. Also, climbing mountains to reach those dreams can kinda really suck.

Hear me out, when climbing mountains the idea is to put one foot in front of the other over and over and over again until one day you look back and you’re on the other side. Here’s the thing, some mountains are mole hills – a cinch to climb. Some anthills – easy to jump over. Some just big enough to stub your foot – but conquer you do. And others – well, others are pretty darn steep that you find yourself rolling down the grassy side singing, “And I’m freeeeeeeee! Free fallin’!” (insert any meme you want here)

Those are the mountains we make the excuses for. You know those mountains, don’t you? The ones with a peak so high the clouds cover it. The mountains filled with dense forest you’re afraid of getting lost. The kind of mountains you see that require you to hang on to a rope to climb up. The mountains that test your every wit and will to survive.

I’ve had a couple of those mountains this year. Only because I was like the Israelites and couldn’t see what was right in front of me so I had to circle the same damn climb over and over again. I’m thankful though. If it wasn’t for the mountain climbing – and my stubborn nature – I wouldn’t have grown so much this year. Or aspire to grow even more.

I look back through the month and realize that the Christmas season is about hope, faith, love and dreams. It’s about the simple belief that miracles happen. A belief where hearts heal and hope blossoms. And as Christmas turns into the gearing up of the New Year hope turns into faith that the new year will be better than the last. It turns into New Year Resolutions, the hope and dreams of change.

I opened up 2017 with the dream to write. I made a lot of excuses as to why I didn’t. Stumbled a couple of times for so many different reasons. I didn’t write nearly as much as I wanted to. But, through this month something changed. I registered for a class being taught by the Judy Blume. I began writing poems again. I drafted a lot more blogs. And my novel has once again found life.

I realized this year I made excuses on why I couldn’t reach for my dreams. I blamed it on health. I blamed it on prior commitments. I blamed it on life. I couldn’t write because I was too busy with work. I couldn’t write because I was too busy with getting licensed. I couldn’t write because I was sick, or had a fractured shin, or depressed. I couldn’t write because I had mPact. I couldn’t write because I had other commitments. I couldn’t write because I had softball, a family function, or just too tired. I used everything under the sun to find an excuse to not step forward toward my dream. And because of it I continuously circled my mountain of fear with little faith I’d climb it.

Maybe it is the excitement that comes with a New Year. Whatever it is, my passion for writing has been rekindled. We have one life. ONE. LIFE. I’m determined to make use of my one chance. I believe my future will be shaped when I let go and take a hold of my dream. I intend to be disciplined in my writing next year. And all of that starts now.

What excuses have you used to stop you from attaining your wildest dreams? Why have you allowed it? I believe we all deserve to reach for the stars and take them. So, now, the question remains: will you?

For the love of self I’m daring to dream into the 2018 New Year. xoxo