Posted in Adventure

A Year In Review: 2019

The days are cold, the nights are long, and we are creeping ever closer to the end of another year…or the beginning of a new one, (depending on how you prefer to view it).

It’s sometimes hard to grasp how things have changed in the span of a year. What did we learn, what did we accomplish, what failed, and/or what were our experiences? Until we take a moment to pause, and hit the rewind button, we can’t always see the whole picture.

For me, a lot actually did happen, and I wanted to share some of the highlights.thumbnail_20190921_184506

Writing:

Firstly, back in February, I wrapped up the first draft of my first novel. At the time, it felt a little anticlimactic. Maybe I was waiting for a sign from the universe, that I had leveled up on the writing totem pole, or some such thing. But nothing like that happened. Instead, everything felt exactly the same. Currently, I’m nearing the end of the second draft, which already feels like a bigger accomplishment. Looking back, I can see that it’s the little tiny steps, (that may feel insignificant,) that grow into the big, monumental leaps. Patience, young grasshopper.

The other half of my writing time, was spent working on a brand new, cohesive, and detailed plot. I always thought I was a full-fledged pantser, but that’s changed. I’ve spent a lot of time studying structure and plot this year, and I’ve learned so much. For my next project, I don’t want to make the same mistakes. The way I intend NOT to do that, is by plotting, properly. ( I’ll talk more about my new story at the end of this post.) Basically, I took this year to go back to square one. Reviewing all the story principles the writing world had to offer, and take my time working on my projects.

Travel Adventures:

When I was younger, my family used to travel a fair bit. Now that everyone’s older, and has jobs, and other boring stuff, we don’t travel as much anymore. But this year, we went on not only one big trip, but TWO. (I know, I know, I might as well sell all of my belongings and start a new life as a backpacker in Europe.) They weren’t just any ol’ trips, friends. I somehow convinced my mom and sisters to travel across the country to attend the concerts of not only one, but two of my favorite musical groups! I honestly still can’t believe it actually happened. Seeing BTS live in concert, is not an everyday thing, you know. And even though my memories from that night are kinda foggy, I’m so grateful I was able to go. And to top it off, I also got to see Day6! After another online purchasing ordeal, we snagged tickets, for a much better price. The show was amazing, and we made a lot of crazy memories along the way. I’m so happy we went, even though it meant suffering through an eleven hour drive to get there.

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*Psst! Check out the vlogs of my travel adventures here, and here, on my sister’s YouTube channel.*

Though I never would have imagined crossing off two such events in one year, they still can’t compare to one even bigger and better thing; seeing the OCEAN again. Even though I dearly love my home, (that is far from any great body of water), I have always had a deep yearning for the sea. No matter how long time stretches between visits, that feeling never lessens. It’s a feeling that is always there. (I wonder if everyone feels that way?) I’m eternally grateful for the few days that I was able to sit on the sandy shore, soak up the cool mist, and watch the beautiful crashing waves. For me, being near the water is healing and I can truly feel the magnificence and majesty, of the One who created it.thumbnail_DSC03378

Study:

This year, I studied quite a bit, over a range of topics. Studying is no longer something that is “required” of me by someone else, but something that I now “require” of myself.  I really enjoy it and plan to continue always. Some of the topics I delved into were, plant science, the creation of the universe, herbal medicine, and WWII. It’s been so much fun choosing any subject that interests me, and dedicating my time to study it. I’m really grateful for the freedom I have to learn, and explore so many topics.thumbnail_20191222_141457

Life:

Another major event this past year, was the welcoming of a new life into our family! Babies are truly one of the best gifts in this life, and I’m so blessed to be an aunt again!

I’m also grateful for the precious visits with my family. Life can be rocky, and the future quite uncertain, but I hope that I will always remember to treasure and cherish the moments I have with loved ones.

Thinking back, 2019 was long, yet it feels like it ended in an instant. With each passing year, life feels scarier, and more unpredictable than the last. But I hope that we can all grow stronger in our FAITH, cling tightly to the TRUTH, and the love of CHRIST, and TRUST that tomorrow is in HIS control.thumbnail_20190627_202104

The Year Ahead:

An old decade is ending, and a new one is about to begin. 2020 sounds so strange, like it belongs in the title of a sci-fi film. It’s so weird… but we’re all in this together, right?

In 2020, if all goes according to plan, I’m going to begin a new writing journey. My next project is one that has been lingering in the back of my mind for several years now. Over time it has changed in subtle ways– new names, new faces and scenes, but at its core it’s still the same. I’ve held off from writing it, until I felt my skills were advanced enough to begin. Though I still don’t feel all that adequate, (and probably never will), I do believe I am ready to begin. I’m actually, even thinking of starting a new series on my blog. So early next year, I’m going to begin the first draft of my yet, unnamed novel, and I hope to chronicle that journey, here. Posting monthly updates on my progress, and sharing any wit, or wisdom I come across along the way.

A while back, I told my family I wanted to be published by the time I reach age twenty-five. And that number is not as far off as it once was (or as I’d wish it to be). But I’m hoping that by saying this aloud to the world, and having some accountability, it may propel me forward, and help me get down to business.

Thank you for another year, and thanks to those who read my posts! I really appreciate you. I hope you all have a blessed year ahead!

~~~

Do you have any goals for 2020?

Did anything special happen this year? I’d love to hear from you!

As always, thank you for visiting,

Lady S

 

Posted in Adventure

Boy Bands, Big Cities, and Being Home

I’ve said before, that I live a quiet life. And I like it that way. Going to work, shopping and taking my dog for walks, are some of the only things that get me out of the house.  With that being said, though, even the calmest and quietest among us go off and have themselves a real adventure sometimes. And that my friends, is where this story begins.

A couple of months ago, a particular music group announced their upcoming, world tour. It piqued my interest, (mildly). The closest stop to me was two states away, and I thought it would be too much trouble to attend. But, as the date for ticket sales grew ever closer, I just couldn’t banish the thought from my head. What if we actually went? I tossed the idea around with my sisters, and we all agreed, that if we managed to snag tickets, we’d go.

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Sounds easy, right? Wrong. It is very, V E R Y difficult to acquire concert tickets for this group. And when March first rolled around, I had a glimpse at taking part in the literal Hunger Games. Suffice it to say, you’ve got to be quick, and brutal to buy these tickets, or you’ll end up spending an exorbitant amount on RESALE tickets, in the nose-bleed section. Not speaking from experience or anything, *cough*.

To make a very long story slightly shorter, we fought our way to the internet battlefront; and by the skin of our teeth, bought three tickets. I couldn’t believe it! (Though my bank account would beg to differ.) That now meant it was time to start the madness of booking flights, and hotels. After stressing over the ordeal, we finally did it. Travel plans and accommodations, complete!

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With nerves running high, the fateful day arrived. Bags packed, we boarded the metal tube, which would be hurtling us at top speeds through the sky, eventually landing us in a place miles and miles away from home. Airplanes are not my favorite things, and I was very happy to be on the ground once again. Even if it meant sitting in the back of a shuttle bus, with a driver who was a gold medalist at bumper cars. We may or may not have slightly rear-ended another airport shuttle, but no worries, nobody seemed to care.

Finally, after a long stressful day of traveling, we reached the place I was most looking forward to: the sea. There it was, just as I had left it years ago. Looking out at the crashing waves, and breathing in the ocean air, I was instantly refreshed. I felt cured from all the motion sickness, and travel headaches. It was windy, and cold, but I didn’t mind. It was a moment of complete peace and awe. (Desert dweller that I am, the sea will always hold a piece of my heart.)

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Fast forward a bit, to the next two days of shopping, getting lost, and facing the scary monster that is, big city traffic. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what it would be like, sitting in the middle of a six lane highway with thousands of other commuters all around, but it’s something you have to see to believe. Big cities are truly something to experience. The phrase, ‘concrete jungle’, is quite an accurate description. Navigating the vast metropolis is it’s own kind of jungle expedition. You’ve got to keep your wits about you at all times, and be sure not to make any wrong turns, or you could end up in a heap of trouble. Another thing I concluded, was that cities are dirty things. It’s not all glittering skyscrapers, and sparkling sports cars, (though there is plenty of that too). For the most part, those things only serve as an exciting facade, disguising the harsh realities lurking just beneath the surface.

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Finally, it was the eve of the “real, big day”. Concert day. I tossed and turned the whole night, thinking about everything I should’ve considered a long time ago. (Parking, for example.) Despite all the worry, the day dawned bright and early. And I attempted to soothe my frazzled nerves with a steaming matcha latte, from a nearby cafe. (That helped a little.) I donned my “fan paraphernalia”, and was determined to push through, and complete the goal of this entire trip. So an hour’s car trip later, we arrived at the stadium. Yes, a football stadium. This was no small concert, friends. It was a twice-sold-out stadium concert.

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Sixty-thousand, is a big number. And you only get a grasp of just how big, when you find yourself swimming in a different sort of ocean; one made of living, breathing, two-legged humans, wearing a whole lot of pink. There were streams, and rivers of people everywhere, all with one thing on their brains, BTS! Seven boys from South-Korea, who somehow, manage to gather crowds of thousands upon thousands from all over the world… (including me and my sisters). It was a crazy, overwhelming, heart pounding, experience. A memory, etched into my brain, that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

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I have to say that it was quite a show, (even though we were far away). It was so wild to see my favorite songs performed live, right before my eyes. And the cheering crowd, all aglow with their brightly flashing light-sticks, was almost more spectacular than the show itself. I don’t think anyone can get a crowd going, like BTS!

So was it worth the trip? Yes, it was. Would I do it again? Probably.  ❤

The concert ended (sadly) and we made it back to the hotel, ready for a few hours of sleep before an early morning flight. Still buzzing from the concert, and with the prospect of home ahead, we had a much more enjoyable travel day. Throughout the airport, we saw several other people who had been at the concert too. (Their headbands, and t-shirts gave them away.) We realized we weren’t the only ones crazy enough to travel for BTS, but in fact, just a drop in the ocean, (as you can see below)!

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After all of that, it feels a little strange to be back home, sitting at my desk, telling you all about my adventure. The trip wasn’t all fun, all the time. But the funny thing about remembering, is that the memory of something can sometimes seem sweeter, than when you first experienced it. I’m very grateful, and content to be back home, settling into my daily life. And I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to experience a trip like this. After you get out and see the world, exploring new places, and learning new things, you just might find that home is still, one of the best places on earth.

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“Under the same moonlight, our hearts are forever one.”

Thank you for reading.

Lady S

P.S. If you want to see more of this trip, here’s a video that just so happens to be about it. 😉