Happy New Year everybody! It’s hard to believe that 2020 is officially a wrap! After a year that will surely be one for the books (not that we expected any less), I thought it’s probably about time I offered up some 2020 reflections, the highs, the lows, and everything in between! Then tune in next week for a fun forward-looking post where I lay out my writing and publishing goals for 2021!
First up in my 2020 reflections: the high point! The best part of this year definitely has to be publishing my very first novel! This was truly a bucket-list item for me and after years of putting it off, it only took the whole world collapsing to finally get my butt in gear! In all seriousness, in the midst of a year that saw so much pain and suffering, it can be really tempting to want to downplay our accomplishments and milestones out of fear that celebrating them will seem coarse or unfeeling. As someone who works in the healthcare field, I can very much relate to that feeling this year! But in times like these, it’s more important than ever to celebrate the small victories if only to better cheer each other on over the hurdles! So if you’d like to learn more about my proudest moment this year, take a look at Chaos Looming HERE, or go ahead and place your order for wherever books are sold HERE!
Next up in my 2020 reflections: the low point! Boy was this a tough one. As I’m sure it was for a lot of you, 2020 posed some truly unprecedented challenges for me personally. From beginning my first year of clinical medicine, travelling to military hospitals around the country in the midst of a pandemic in the hopes of learning patient care, to traversing the ups and downs of self-publishing, there were many low points. But I have to say the hardest for me (as I’m sure it was for a lot of you) was the separation from friends and family. Whether through imposed quarantines, or required travel, 2020 was definitely a lonely year at times. But I truly feel so blessed to have always felt the loving support of my family, even when we couldn’t be together, and I will always feel grateful for the friends who became like family along the road on this crazy journey.
Ooh, biggest hurdle. Ok, so for this 2020 reflection, I have to cheat a bit and include a broader more encompassing category, and that was most undoubtedly climbing the steep learning curve that is the self-publishing process. From writing to editing, marketing, to promotion, there was so much to learn this year and I’m so grateful to the many seasoned authors who have come before, lending their wisdom through books, podcasts, youtube videos, and facebook groups (a list of my favorites coming soon in a future post!). But despite the struggle, I have to say that I’m so excited to be on this journey and to have you all following along at home! Here’s to a new year filled with just as many mountains to climb!
Top Learning Points
A 2020 reflections post wouldn’t be complete without a discussion of some of the lessons that I took away from this year. Again, so many to choose from, but we’ll just start with a few!
- The “waiting game” is a losing battle. It’s easy to postpone our goals, pushing them down the ride with the determined air that “now’s just not the right time.” And while I’d be the first to agree that for everything there is a season, I learned all to clearly this year how it’s a mistake to assume that life will ever become easy or that there will one day magically be enough hours in a day to accomplish all we hope to. We have to make the most of the time we have, because our dreams are worth it.
- Every challenge can be turned to our benefit. If you’d told me at the beginning of the year, that I would be essentially taking a two-month hiatus from medical school in the middle of my clerkship year, I would have been shocked, appalled, and more than a little hysterical. In truth, that time was definitely incredibly difficult for me personally. But looking back, I am seriously so grateful to have had that experience. I grew closer than I’d ever expected with two dear friends as we crashed in an AirBnB together. I was abe to take a much needed break from the chaos of the hospital. And even more than that, I was able to finally write the book I’d been dreaming about for literal years. So while I’m definitely not trying to diminish the real pain and suffering that people experienced this year, I’m just saying that there’s always something to be gained and more to learn.
- It’s ok to be multiple things. I can’t tell you how many mini-cises I had this year, agonizing over my dual interests in medicine and writing. Whether it was guilt for working on one passion when I felt I was neglecting the other, or just the very real time limitations that accompany life in medical school, there were certainly many a tearful midnight journaling sessions. But at the end of the day, I realized I needed to give myself permission to be a complex, multi-faceted human. I am not just one thing (a doctor, a student, a writer, etc.). I am a whole host of things, and that’s ok. Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to not have everything figured out, to live a complicated life, and be ok with a little messiness. That’s a lesson I’ll definitely be taking into 2021 with me.
Well, that’s about it for my 2020 reflections. Check back next week when I’ll be turning to the year ahead and developing some writing and publishing goals for 2021!
In the mean time, what are some of your high points, low points, hurdles, or lessons learned from the crazy year that was 2020? Comment below!