As I sit down to write this post, my last one in 2014, I think about the story rejection I just received this morning. It was from a publisher who had my novel for six months after requesting the entire manuscript during an open submissions period this summer. Yes, I know rejection is part of a writer’s life, and I know I’ll be okay, but right now, it’s really disappointing. It hurts, and of course, the nasty thoughts cloud my head: “You suck!” “Your book sucks!” “Your book is never going to get published!” And I think the worst one floating around is, “You ALMOST had it!”

Almost is such a nasty word.

I don’t want to dwell on the disappointment, but I also don’t want to ignore it. I don’t want to stuff the feelings away. Instead, I’ll embrace it. Grieve over the “almost” and move on. After all, tomorrow is a new day and even better, a new year.

Once again, I’m naming my year. It’s something I started two years ago. In 2013, it was ACTION. 2014 was a year of FOCUS. Now, it will be the year of PEACE. When I was going through possible words, I debated between peace and surrender. When I told a co-worker, he said, “Well, to get to peace, you need to surrender. To surrender, you need to be at peace.” So, I guess it depends on what path I want to take.

I chose peace because to me, it means assurance, contentment, and comfort. Whatever choices I make, wherever I am with my life, I want to be at peace. It’s about wanting what I already have.

As I look back at 2014, there’s so much I am thankful for:

I got a raise and promotion.

I traveled to Mexico to build homes for families and evangelize to communities.

I got to visit my family in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

I got to see my sister and her family.

I attended so many awesome concerts! And I saw Tori Amos for the first time ever!

I was put through many tempting, distracting situations especially with guys, but in the end, I stayed on the right path and prevented myself from getting hurt. That’s so much growth right there!

I continue to keep an open heart when it comes to relationships and knowing my worth and not settling.

And despite the rejection this morning, I’m really proud of the stories I wrote this year. I mean, I wrote my first TV spec script and submitted it to a writer’s program! Even though I didn’t get in (there’s that almost again!), at least I tried.

And I’m going to keep trying with everything. It’s a new year full of possibilities, and no matter where I land, I want to feel peace.