I used to go into each year hoping that the next year would be perfect. I’d set all these goals and envisage what the year before me would hold. The start of a new year holds a lot of symbolism. It’s an end, and a beginning. It’s a closed door and an open one. I used to get bogged down by all of the things that had gone wrong in the last year, and hope that the next would be unmarred by anything negative. The sad fact is that I often summarise each year by the things that went wrong. That was the year I left my job. That was the year I had a mental health crisis. That was the year that I [insert negative thing here]. I was almost of the thought process that if something went wrong, then that year was a right-off and there was no redeeming it. Which seems insane when you think about it. It’s like there was some part of my subconscious that was telling me if everything wasn’t perfect, then there was no point. I’ve had this mentality since I can remember, and I think it was exacerbated by my education choices, and then career choices. It was only since leaving teaching that I realised my self-worth was based entirely upon what others thought of me. I used to say that I didn’t care what people thought of me, and I did genuinely believe that at the time. But, looking back, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Moving away from a career where I was being constantly judged all of the time, and usually by people who did not practise what they preached, and into something where I am my own boss has been a learning curve. This year had been my fourth year running Sarah Jules Writing Services. It started by accident as a way to stay the hell away from teaching, but became something I could never have imagined being lucky enough to do. I am surrounded, constantly, by the things that I love, stories and lessons.
Over the last year, I’ve met some of the most incredible people because of the work I do. I’ve supported people from all walks of life to share their stories and experiences with the world. I’ve also worked with some people that I would definitely rather not work with again. This is part and parcel for any career. I am lucky enough that the vast majority of my clients are amazing to work with, but there are always one or two difficult clients that slip through the cracks. While the nature of my job means I can’t thank my wonderful clients by name, if you’re reading this and you’re one of my clients, know that I am truly grateful to have worked with you. I’ll include an infographic summarising the work I’ve completed over the course of 2022. I’ve worked on some inspiring projects, some fun projects, and some challenging (in a good way!) projects. Without meaning to, it seems that I’ve moved more into the ghostwriting side of Sarah Jules Writing Services, which is what I absolutely love to do! Ghostwriting is my passion – fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, I love them all.
The start of this year was challenging for me, personally. Those of you who have been around for a while will know that my mental health has been difficult over the last few years. I was diagnosed with depression and generalised anxiety disorder just over four years ago, and since then it’s been a trial and error regarding treatments and medications. We had a stressful time towards the start of the year; I won’t bore you with the details, but times of stress impact my depression and anxiety and I didn’t cope very well during this time. I had a mini-mid-life crisis, as I’ve come to call it. The good thing was that I was able to go straight back to the doctors and discuss other treatment options with them. I got put on a different anxiety medication and since then, things have been awesome.
A highlight of the year was my brother’s wedding. It was an absolutely fantastic day! And, not to make it about me, but I nailed my speech. A couple of years ago I was too much of a wreck to be a bridesmaid for one of my best friends, but my brother’s wedding gave me concrete proof that I’ve come a long way since then, which was very needed.
As a long story short, otherwise I’ll continue my self-indulgent rant for ages, you have to take the good with the bad. One ‘bad’ thing doesn’t taint a whole year. I am going into next year knowing that there will be things that I’d rather not happen, but also knowing that I’ll cope with them as best I can (which is all a person can do). I also go into next year knowing that I will make tonnes of awesome memories with the people I love. I will continue doing what I’m doing with Sarah Jules Writing Services, because it seems to be working, and I WILL FINISH AND PUBLISH BOOK TWO: DON’T LIE. Did I mention that I published my debut novel this year? No? Ooops!
FOUND YOU was published in October and has been doing better than I could have ever imagined. People I don’t know, and who have never interacted with me, are giving it 4 and 5 star ratings, which is incomprehensible to me. 2022 has been a year of ups and downs. It’s been a year of self-growth, of rebuilding my self-esteem and self-confidence, and even in the difficult times, I can look back and see what I learned from those experiences. I am very lucky to have family and friends (including Buster) who love me, a partner that is 100% better than I deserve, a job that I love, and my health.
My Goals for 2023 are a continuation of what I’ve been doing this year…
- To learn from (but not dwell on) past mistakes.
- To put my mental health first.
- To do more things that make me happy.
- To spend more time with loved ones.
- To write and publish my second book.
Take the good with the bad. Remember that life doesn’t have to be perfect. Do the best you can with the tools you have available to you. And try to make some decent memories along the way.
I’d love to hear what your goals for 2023 are, and also what you’ve learned from 2022. Thank you again for your continued support over the years. I wish you all