Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Year Long Challenge with a Happy Ending.

December 9 Challenge. Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?

This year has been nothing but challenging simply because it was a year in which I often felt lost and misguided, it was as if one day I looked around and realized that I had nowhere to go, I was completely stagnant with absolutely no prospects on the horizon. Part of the reason I felt this way was due to my confliction with the place I currently am in my life, my physical place, the location, 26,000 miles away from where I'm from.

An enormous uphill battle for me was to get settled into my adult life here in Seattle and more than simply finding a job and an apartment was trying to figure out how to balance a full time job (and sometimes a second part time job) and paying my bills on time while doing the things that made me feel alive, that sparked my passion, and allowed me release and relaxation. As time went on, this feat was turning out to be almost impossible because, as I juggled all these responsibilities truly on my own, I realized that I may have made a mistake, that perhaps this life in Seattle wasn't what I really wanted. I was having a hard time finding the reasons why I wanted this independence in the first place, it was such a driving and motivating force that got me here but then a mere two years later I was questioning everything I once thought I knew I wanted for myself. But being the stubborn person that I am, I didn't want to throw in the towel, I didn't want to give up everything that I started and go home with my tail between my legs, so I continued to plow forward, I made myself invaluable at my jobs and I planted myself even deeper into this life by buying a home and solidifying my place in the Pacific Northwest. I thought if I had reasons to stay eventually I would remember why I chose to leave the comforts of my home land.

As 2009 rolled around, four years since I came back here, I had created a nice life for myself with a steady job, a nice home, a loving relationship, great friends, a new blog, but still it wasn't enough, I wanted more and so I searched the recesses of my being and tried to tap into something that would make me feel alive again, something that would motivate me in the same way that allowed me to make the big leap to move and after months of seemingly futile options, last month I finally found it, it was both fulfilling and challenging and in the end I came out with a new sense of purpose.

The challenge I found for myself was called Nanowrimo, in case you don't know what is, it's a challenge to writers to compose a novel, 50,000 words, 175 pages, in 30 days. I found out about it two days before November began and decided to give it a try. Unbeknownst to me, my blog was basically my training for this. I spent the entire year writing short stories on this blog sometimes daily, sometimes every other day, sometimes once a week, but whenever it was, I was constantly writing and so I was prepared because Nanowrimo was my marathon and I came out at the end a winner!

I always knew I liked writing but this experience made me understand that I was capable of meeting a deadline, producing quantity, and creating a story. The entire experience was one in which my creation was truly one that was freely formed and knew no bounds. Every time I set pen to paper so to speak, it was a blank slate, I had no idea where the story was going, similar to watching an episode of your favorite show mid season, you already have a framework of what is going on and who the characters are, but as the music cues and the title screen displays, you eagerly wait with anticipation to see the show unfold and the next piece of the puzzle to be revealed, and it was in that way that I wrote my novel, completely unaware of what came next until I was writing it. I learned a lot about myself and what I'm capable of and I'm excited about where this accomplishment will take me.


Man of the Year said...

I heard about the challenge during one of my creative writing classes, I never attempted it though, but I think I will now because of your post.

M.J. said...

I'm so glad you have been able to find balance in your life through your writing. I know exactly how you feel. I have a good job, a great relationship, a lovely home, but yet often find myself unfulfilled.

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