Here’s to Year 22 (Using My Jelly Beans Wisely)!

I turned 22 today!  It is a little bittersweet, though, because #1 I haven’t achieved as much as I thought I would, and because #2 I am, after all, still alive and well.

(I’m well as long as you overlook the fact that I’ve felt very miserable this week due to allergies.  And they have been pretty rough.  They even settled into my ear and I lost hearing for a couple of days.  Yeah.  That bad.  But, hey, I have mobility and am generally well aside from sniffles and occasional hearing impairment.)

Today I’m a year older, which means that I have to go through the trite crisis where I feel like I’m not achieving anything and set goals for my 23rd year.  I am only human.

I watched the following video recently, and it has been a marvelous reality check for me.

What am I doing with my leftover jelly beans?

I would like to say that I’m writing and publishing and devoting time to nourishing fellow writers.  That isn’t the case.  I stalk people on Facebook.  I spend hours on Pinterest.  I play The Sims 3 and Don’t Starve (which, just so you know, is amazing!).  I spend hours chuckling at memes.  I avidly follow the Vlogbrothers on YouTube.  I watch The Walking Dead and Downton Abbey religiously.

I do other things, too.  I’m not a complete louse.  I am a full-time student (and I usually take more hours per semester than I should).  I have two part-time jobs.  I do freelance writing on the side.  I’m active in church.  My free time is such a waste, though!  Sunday I was very sick (enter allergies), so I stayed home from church and played Don’t Starve for 12 hours!  I could have written a short story in that time, or edited chapters of my manuscript, or researched literary agents.  Argh!  Why didn’t I?!  I would have felt better about myself!

I know this isn’t my typical post.  I’m getting real with you, but I’m doing it for me.  I want to be held accountable for those jelly beans that I’m squandering.  I believe that all of my time is a precious gift from God, and I do not want to be wasteful.  By publishing this, I am admitting that I need to make several changes to be more productive.  I’m not going on a social media fast or anything like that, but I am going to pay more attention to the time I have to spend and the choices I make about how I spend it.

Accomplishments as a 21-year-old:

– Snagged an awesome job at the UNA Center for Writing Excellence

– 3 semesters (33 hours) closer to my B.S. in professional writing

– Inducted into Sigma Tau Delta (an English honor society)

– Completed five short stories

– Began (finally!) editing my manuscript

– Settled on a manageable blog design and domain

– Began working as a freelance writer

– One of my short stories was accepted for publication

– Started living on my own

Goals for year 22:

– Get as close as possible to publishing my manuscript (the traditional way)

– Read more (at LEAST 2 books per month)

– Attain B.S. in professional writing

– Get TESOL certified

– Decide between teaching abroad/MFA/master’s program/”real” job

– Apply SEO techniques to this blog and attract more followers

– Write a novel

– Publish more short stories 

– Conquer the NaNoWriMo challenge

Here’s to year 22!

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