Butterfly and Chrysalises by Julia FolsonIf you’re familiar with my blog, you know I wait to set my annual resolutions until the Lunar New Year celebration at the end of the month. Although last year, you may recall, I pledged to make fewer goals and focus on a more spontaneous approach to life and work.

As it turns out, the visceral strategy worked well for me given what lie ahead. I’m a firm believer in authenticity, so I won’t sugarcoat my journey. Sadly, 2013 was difficult. As a matter of fact, it was one of the hardest years of my life.

I’m lucky (and grateful) to have made it through to 2014 and January will be a month of breaking through the cocoon to hopefully discover it was all worth it. As I do that, I’ll also take a closer look at my business, my career and the path that connects them.

I’m currently a part-time freelancer. I love writing about things that not only excite me, but captures the history, beauty and reality of the world around us. Over the next few weeks, I’ll determine where I’d like to see my writing take me and how to make that happen in a smooth, semi-sane manner.

A full-time (day) job is not only necessary, but welcome in my journey right now. So deciding how my freelance business will proceed is an important conversation. Do I wish to mimic the paths of my fellow freelance writing cohorts? Or do I cut my own path?

Last March, I said a change is gonna come. It wouldn’t happen overnight, but it is happening. Throughout the year, I followed J. August Richards’ advice and I tackled new problems by doing new things. Although my health was not at its best, I still managed to pitch and land my first feature (1,800+ words) for an arts & culture magazine. I participated in the 50th anniversary March on Washington in D.C., and I sat on the beach in Venice, CA, and said goodbye to the city I loved to call home. As J. would say, I did #epicshit. πŸ™‚

I also covered two stories at the last minute for a friend going through tough times, met many amazing people through countless interviews and travel, and witnessed inspiring performers deliver brilliance on stage including Jonny Lang, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and The Undertaker. So despite 2013’s difficulties, I recognize that I have it in me to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

By no means do I want to repeat 2013, but I hope 2014 also brings new problems, new approaches and new achievements. So here I go, breaking through, preparing my new self to fly and see what lies ahead.

How have the trials of 2013 prepared you for the journey of 2014?