2013 In a nutshell:
This year has been one of the most trying of my life. I have been down, and I have had ups, more so than one would imagine.
The beginning of 2012 I got a phone call that rocked my world—that my dad was in the hospital. Now at this time I hadn’t talked to my dad for about 3 years, not because of any petty anger, or falling out, because something far worse, not enough time—not literally, it always just seemed like my days got away from me, I could always call him tomorrow.
The doctor’s diagnoses came in—it was cancer. He was rushed to a hospital in L.A to remove the tumor, which me and my family rushed to meet him there. The surgery was a success the evil tumor was removed, but not before it had spread its evilness to other places.
The next year was spent with chemo, pills and watching my hero rapidly deteriorate.
In Feb 2013, I finally succeeded in talking him to come to live in UT with me and seek treatment here. After meeting with the doctors here and them telling me there was nothing we could do I made myself a promise; to knock as much off his bucket list as we could. And we did, not everything, but a lot. Sadly there is no happy ending to this story, cancer consumed him rapidly, and all I could do was to sit back helplessly (Which was the hardest thing i've ever done. I would have given years of my own to keep him longer.). I lost my dad June, 5, 2013.
That week I also lost several family members who decided not to honor his last wishes. I also gained some that I had lost touch with, ones that stood by me when I really needed them.
This year I’ve struggled with guilt, a great deal of self-loathing, regrets of all the time wasted, regrets of not enough ‘I love you’s’. And because of this the rest of my life suffered, first and foremost my writing. Sacrificed, which I am getting ready to release into the wild, has been a WIP for about a year and a half.
I have set several dates and goals for the release and not met any so far. To add to everything else I have suffered with some serious insecurity with this book. Through this year I have learned a lot about myself; I have grown; I have been knocked down, and every time I have gotten back up.
(This is an image from one of the last moments i got to spend with him. A special place he wanted to see, something he wanted to share with me. He made me basically scale the mountain to get this picture, lol.)
But then I realized something (this is how my dad and this year tie into this story.) I love my story, and I am not writing for the mass’, I am writing for a specific audience. I hope everyone who picks it up will enjoy it on some level, but I don’t expect it.
Even within the critiquing process there have been a couple people who don’t ‘get’ the story, or just flat out didn’t like it, others who have loved it—and that is OK! It doesn’t make me angry, or even sad. I’m grateful of everyone who took the time to read Kass’ story.
And I may never be that indie author who can bust out 3 to 4 books a year, and that’s OK too! Because I am alive, I have a very happy marriage, and very happy children who I adore and keep me busy, and young at heart. And most in foremost, if nothing else he taught me stuck; my dad taught me a couple things before he left, the first is that you can’t please everyone—so don’t try—the fastest way to run yourself down is by trying to please everyone. Second is to take it easy, we only get to be here once, so we need to evaluate what is important in our lives and give it the attention it deserves.
I can say that, in 2013, my dad gave me the greatest gift in the world, he taught me patience; he taught me how to prioritize what matters and weed out what doesn’t because it’s not worth the stress. He reminded me that his love always has been and always will be unconditional, no matter what, and best of all, he looked me in the eye and told me how proud he was of me—even though me—being my worst critic, had decided long ago that I hadn’t accomplished nearly enough in my 28 years.
He showed me that I have something that I am good at, something I love, and the potential to make it career; he reminded me that even though my kids don’t have everything in the world, they have everything they need, and they are happy and healthy and loved, he reminded me that, at the end of the day, I go to sleep with my best friend who will always help me up if I fall, who believes in me as much as my dad did.
I am a very lucky woman; I have a wonderful life, and maybe I will never become an NY Times bestseller, but if I can whisk just a few people into my make believe worlds for a few hours—then I have succeeded. That is what I started writing for. It is so easy to neglect or forget what’s important, or get distracted from why we’re there in the first place. Sometimes we need to take a minute to stop and reevaluate.
So, the next time I post, it will be a new year, and I hope all of you have a wonderful new year, full of laughter, love! I hope that you achieve those distant seeming goals. But most of all, I hope you take it easy. Do what you love and love what you do!
Now I will leave you with a song I used to listen to with my dad and one that serves as a good reminder when I start getting too panicked about life. ;)
Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014! I wish you all a Happy new year!
Love, Nykki Mills