Looking Forward

Normally I would have waited to post this until this blog’s “birthday,” but the end of this past year has brought me so many revelations that I could not help but post about them right now.

This year, I’m going to take a pass on making resolutions – not because I’m bad at making them (though I had a pretty good record for that in 2013) – in favor of creating a theme that I’m meant to follow for the rest of the year. Inspired by my friends Tina and Amy (who posted about her yearly “themes” on Facebook), I’ve resolved to sum up my hopes for the new year in only a few words, no more, no less.

My words for this year? Welcoming Forward. 

It’s not an easy task to be a welcoming person, especially for an introvert like me. My past year was easily filled with triumphs (I finished a book! I published it on my own!) but it also left me drained physically and emotionally, and I felt like I had to dig myself out of so many holes that were of my own making. It took a loss in the family and a few days away from the Philippines to make me realize that I’ve trusted the wrong people and welcomed a lot of unwanted attention into my life.

That’s the challenge for me right now: How do I follow that up with a year of welcoming forward?

It starts with knowing what I want in the first place. In my case, I have to draw up boundaries based on what I want to accomplish for this year. With my PhD, I want to wrap up my academics as soon as possible so I can move one step closer to my dissertation. With my writing, that means working on one major WIP and planning out my other projects for the rest of the year – including a short story and a collaboration in the works for the first half of the year.

But it’s not enough to just move forward, because I also have to consider exactly what I want to achieve by doing it.

First and foremost is my determination to get my life back on track. I can’t quit writing, and neither can I quit my PhD; I’ve already made my lifelong commitments on both of those accounts. Anything that takes me away from those two needs will need to fall away from me so that I can welcome more of what I need to move forward: the right love, the right encouragement.

And if I make mistakes along the way? I won’t give myself time to dwell on them. I’ll just take responsibility and move on.

That, for me, is the power of knowing what I want in the first place.

Life is too short and too fragile to waste time on the wrong people and the wrong efforts. I don’t want to be a coward anymore. I’m tired of putting myself in the hands of people who want to fix me. I want to clear the cobwebs inside my head. I want to learn how to draw lines in the sand, how to make more room for true friends and genuine courage.

I will not run cold. I will make room. I will move on. 

Love, Stella

One Response

  1. This is a very inspiring post, Stella. I'm also happy to know you're not gonna give up writing (because you write really good and I hope to read more of your works!). I hope your studies would also be cooperative so you can pursue the things you like to do. I'm really glad we've taken our writing buddy-ship beyond NaNo and into publishing and other collab works. Looking forward to all of it! 🙂

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Stella Torres

is the author of the adult contemporary romances Save the Cake, Crushingly Close, and Nine Years Away, as well as the short story “Be Creative” in the anthology Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Vol. 1.

In her previous life, she has worked in public relations, taught English as a second language, and even attended graduate school (twice!). She has lived in Indonesia, Honolulu, and Quezon City before moving back to her hometown of Los Banos, a few hours’ drive (with traffic) from the heart of Manila.

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