Did you try your best last year?

Dear Reader, 

I recently received an email from a great person. Laura Simms is a life and career coach and just an all around interesting person. 

As part of her mailing list, we get her wonderful insights. Her last email discussed a question her father asked her when she was a child. 

Did you do your best?  Then that’s all you can do. 

She challenged her readers to ask that of 2018. Did we try our best?

Yeah, I did. I need the very best I could at the time and it was all I could do. 

What was my best? This was the year I stretched to my very thinnest knowing damn well I could snap back at any moment, making every breath its own time bomb. This was the year I set my writing to the side and I hated every moment of it, even though it was the right decision. I hated not creating new things and feeling stuck and frustrated and overwhelmed and resentful of everyone and everything. 

2018 was the year that I was superwoman. I wore a cape and saved everyone and everything I could. My empath self soaked up every emotion within a 20 mile radius. This was how I spent the year. At least that’s what I thought. But then I re-read my journal for the year and this is what was true. 

It was the year I published my first poem in the UK and still dealt with Harvey issues.

It was the year I had my own poetry show but also became a cancer caretaker.

It was the year I read the most (in a long time) but also the year I produced the least

It was the year I learned the most about myself and a person but it was also the year where I questioned what it was to be human

It was the year I taught creative writing classes or workshops but it was also the year I was distracted. 

It was not a bad year. It was the kind of year you want — equal parts exhilarating and damning. There was just enough of everything to make you appreciate the blessings you have and those that were on their way. 

2018 was the year that I realized I am no longer in survivor mode but in planting mode. I no longer have to make decisions that would make me okay for a day, a week, a month. I am in the part of my life where I can, should, and will make decisions and actions that will impact me and mine for the future. In short, I’m in sowing season. 

So I did my absolute best. I’ve been doing my best for the past couple of years. And now, I see how far trying can get you. 

Pretty. Damn. Far.

Happy New Year, 

-Icess

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