A year of journey, and thanks.

This past year has been a journey, one that has grown me more as a person than I had ever thought possible. I self-published my first novel, something that I had always dreamed of. The whole process has been a substantial learning experience for me. When you're writing a book, very rarely do you think about actually "selling" your book. Sure, you think about your book selling, but not the process by which you spur on that effect.  It's not until you’re faced with the reality of needing to get your book out there that you start to consider the blood, sweat and tears side of publishing; book marketing.

But on a more personal level, this past year has thrown many challenges at me outside of my publishing endeavors. My mother temporarily moved in with my wife and I back in March. This of course coincided with us moving into our brand new house, something that was not planned for or expected. That has been a journey in and of itself, filled with many emotions. A journey that I'm glad is soon coming to an end. It's these life experiences that cause you to pause and reflect on your life. It's these moments that cause you to be thankful for the little things.

Life has a way of throwing a wrench into the best possible plans, but the key to success is knowing how to deal with the wrench and get life back on track after the smoke clears. We grow the most in adversity, in struggle. When things are going well, we tend to become complacent and start to take things for granted. I have learned to never do that, to never allow myself to fall into that trap. It is a lesson that I will never forget, a lesson that has made me a better person.

At a deeper level, I've learned what it means to be humble, to be truly selfless. These things are not easy by any measure. I thought I was these things before, only to find out very quickly that I was not and that I still have a long way to go. I have had many personal struggles in this past year, and I've embraced them, many with great reluctance. In the moment, it's hard to embrace the struggle. Sometimes, all you can do is get on your knees and pray for the strength to make it through, everything seeming impossible in that moment of overwhelming difficulty. In these moments, we move closer to God.

I am thankful for God. I am thankful for my wife, and I am thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful for my job, my "new" home, and life. I am also thankful for my first published novel. Each one of these things is a blessing, a blessing that cannot be taken for granted. I understand that now more than ever and I look forward to the next year. I'd like to say that it gets easier from here, but I'd be lying to myself and to you. I look forward to the new challenges and the new struggles and the triumphs that follow. Those are the things that truly shake up the monotony that life can become. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

PS: I would be lying if I wasn't secretly wishing for life to get a little easier in the form of record book sales ;)