How Did 2019 Go, Anyway?

 In Kell's Blog

Hey everyone!

This is my first post on my brand new (ish) blog, and I’m super excited! I can’t wait to share more awesome posts with you. But this first post is a boring one just talking about the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE WORLD, THE AMAZING KELLYN ROTH.

Okay, you’ve got me – I’m not really the most important person in the world. But hey, I got you to click on this blog post. *shrugs* That was cool. Don’t know how it happened, but it did.

Now that I’ve got you here, want to hear about my year?

Good, because you have absolutely no choice but to read on because … um … I have something I haven’t told many people about which I shall share more about in this post.

Okay, but seriously, my boyfriend is not clickbait. He’s a human being. Also, you’ve already clicked.

THIS IS WHY I DIDN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS (& it’s new, too, so I haven’t gotten a single chance to, but you know).

I thought I was going to keep this aspect of my life private (maybe even forever) (well, not literally) (but as years from now I’ll announce I’m pregnant or my husband died or something, and you all would be like, “I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW YOU KNEW A MAN!”) (or alternately nothing would come of it, and I just wouldn’t say anything), but he said it was okay, and I’m already very guilty.

Relationships are serious, especially relationships like this, and people on the internet don’t understand that. *glares at you, expecting you to take this all very seriously even though I have cracked way too many jokes already*

I feel like I’m already developing tone issues, and I’m just 200 words in. Why am I blogging again? I can’t blog. Blogging is hard, and wrapups are hard, and I’ve already told you the only thing about 2019 that wasn’t either ironically dramatic or sadly floppy.

Image result for i'm fine hercules gif

Let’s just talk about 2019.

What did I say I was gonna do in 2019?

It’s best to start with promises I never should have made. (How could you do this, babe?) (man, that was the most obscure reference I could have made.)

I frankly did not do well on my goals! Which is something new for me. I always have done well with my goals – and so it was shocking to pull them up (for my guy, actually) and realize – wow, I didn’t do them.

(Apologies for the blurriness – it’s just screenshots on my phone with text written over them.) (I’m writing this post long after midnight, okay?)

At first this made me sad – well, I had known all along that I didn’t do what I wanted to in 2019 (shocker!), but this was a confirmation.

But when I think about it, at least I know now what I can’t do – and I know that I can weather a storm. Or 50 storms. In fact, y’all are welcome to throw storms at me (please don’t), because I can take ’em as long as God exists! (Which He always will.)

It’s also taught me that I can’t do everything (more on that later) and even when I feel like everything and everyone is against me, and I just want to give up and die already, there is always something to look forward to. (And even if there’s not, there is a God, and He does love us.)

What did I do in 2019?

That was my rough estimate of what I did and didn’t do over the year, but here’s what I did do overall:

  • Wrote & edited Flowers in Her Heart (35k).
    • Took waaayyy too long. Like three or four months longer than I intended?
  • Edited The Lady of the Vineyard (40k).
    • This actually went well.
  • Edited Souls Astrayย (65K).
    • Okay, this went really well, too.
  • Wrote & edited From Now ‘Til Foreverย (10k).
    • Again took me too long, but yeah.
  • Wrote Love Once Lost (70k-ish).
    • Ohhhhh, boy! This first draft is such a hot mess. Not even sure I can stick with the (somewhat daring for Christian fiction) plotline I chose. Eesh.
  • Wrote A LOT of Alone in Berlinย and A Broken Loyalty, and bits of Ivy Introspective, At Her Fingertips (mild rewrite), A Prayer Unanswered, and a bunch of other stories.
    • Did not finish any of them.
  • Wrote a bazillion outlines.
    • I always have ideas. I don’t always finish the ideas, but I do have ideas.
    • IDEAS A-PLENTY. (I wanted you to read that in an old prospector voice, as in mining for ideas, but as I tried to figure out how to do that, my brain exploded, so pardon me for not making that clearer.)
    • I need to sit down and write them in the future, though.
  • Rewrote The Dressmaker’s Secret basically from scratch (70k) & prepared it for publication.
    • It took too long. Like, literally, how was I working on this for so long?
    • This was probably the best thing I did all year, and I am immensely pleased. Everything about it makes me smile. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so happy I get to share it with you! (IN JUST A WEEK!)
    • So yes, even if I try to rain on my own parade, eh. It was good. It was great, even! I love this book so much. #slightlyconceited #butImeanitslikebraggingonyourchild #howcanyounot
  • Wrote a few short stories.
    • Most of which are kinda random and not shareable.
    • Also, I didn’t finish more than I didn’t write.
    • But some of them were really fun and kept me writing!
  • Published Baby Mine (short), Souls Astray, The Lady of the Vineyard,ย Flowers in Her Heart, From Now ‘Til Forever,ย and Eddy and the Tidepools.
    • All flopped launches by my estimation.
    • Also, the blog tour kinda flopped like none of my others had, too.
    • More on that later!
  • Went on a birthday trip that was the ROCKIN’ BEST.
    • But I was sick the whole time.
    • Like, realllllly sick.
    • I mean, I couldn’t talk for a bit? I have never lost my voice before!
    • (Honestly, losing my voice was amazing, and I had so much fun making my friends laugh with my old man voice. Definitely memorable, even if I was kinda miserable.)
  • I was also sick a lot this year.
    • Darned unhealthy lifestyle.
    • I need to sleep/eat more. That’s one of my 2020 goals (say I as I write this at almost 1 in the morning) (at least I’m working hard on something?).
  • I feel like I completely lost my zest for life and drive for writing for quite a bit.
    • I was just barely surviving, y’all.
    • I’ll be honest – Satan was messing with me, and I wasn’t taking it well.
    • (It’s okay. God tends to win.)
  • Join YWW Author.
    • This is a program through the Young Writers Workshop, and it’s amazing.
    • Brett Harris and Kara Swanson co-run it, and they do an amazing job!
  • I straightened up my Instagram!
    • Yay! This took forever, and a lot of help from Kara Swanson, but I think I’ve actually got an idea of where I’m going with Instagram.
    • Basically, be yourself and try to take pictures in the sunlight. #mybesttips #notverygoodtips
  • I’m prioritizing the right things … ish.
    • I tried to make this blog something it wasn’t ever going to be, and nope. Sorry. This blog is sacred (in … the least strict sense of the word …). No one touches my blog.
    • But I’m trying to figure out the smartest ways to write, market, and basically do all the writer things for the most effectiveness! I’ll try to keep you all updated as I can.
  • I’ve had to think about my relationship with God a lot & pray a lot about various things.
    • Which is good because you don’t want to be passive!

Okay, that doesn’t look so bad, you say.

You actually have a super charmed life, so shut up, you say.

Well, for a normal human being. NEED I REMIND YOU THAT I AM NOT A NORMAL HUMAN BEING?

Don’t you know that Kellyn Roth’s are supposed to be infinitely more productive than normal human beings?

Don’t you know that I must berate myself for every failure even if God doesn’t see it that way?

Don’t you know that my own ego requires me to succeed on a higher level than anyone else?

But in all seriousness, it was more the mental state I had the whole time. I was just really sad! I’ve talked about losing my grandpa before – several times, in fact – but it really did just … scare me.

I hated it. I still hate it! Even writing it down – he is dead, he is gone – makes me tear up. I have mostly made myself okay with it, because life goes on, but … there it is.

I don’t think I can ever describe with words what his death meant to me and everyone around me and my life and just … everything. Suffice to say, nothing feels the same anymore.

I guess imagine someone removing your backbone and asking you to keep walking and talking and living and working and thriving without it. Sounds overdramatic, but it’s been over a year, and everything is so surreal and different and horrible, and I don’t like it.

There were also other things – various work-related stress, all the different changes in the family dynamic, and being unsure where I was heading and what I wanted to do with my life.

I suddenly had a crush (yeah, that one! See how I managed to twist the good things into bad things?) that I just didn’t want to think about. Especially since said crush was on someone I think is amazing, and I did not think of myself as amazing right about then.

And then some personal issues that gave me big feelings of unworthiness and despair. I wasn’t being honest wit myself about who God is and how must He loves me, but then feelings really often aren’t.

You’re probably about to rush down to the comments and tell me everything’s gonna be all right – c’mon, guys, let me finish the story! I’m fine! I’ve got God, remember?

Basically, rough spot + lots of sadness + not even really sure God cared anymore.

I just felt so sad and exhausted and done all of the time! Especially throughout the summer. I just didn’t really want to be there – in this life – going through the motions.

I remember just wanting to escape, to get away, to be anywhere but where I was right then.

But … well, I have a really amazing God who wouldn’t give me the satisfaction of making myself miserable all the time. I feel like He just consistently tried to get my attention – there were good things, even if I chose to ignore them. Little spots of sunlight – little things that worked out.

Even as one thing after another that I tried failed, exploded, and fell through, I kept being pointed back to God.

Helpful Things & People & Etc.

(this is a subtitle that’s staying because it’s 2 AM)

In truth, I wouldn’t have gotten through it if it weren’t for Bailey, my best friend, Angela R. Watts, who is pretty much the best person to rant to, and Andrea Cox, who is basically my older sister. I can’t count the number of times they’ve all helped me!

And then in August, I made a big step and invested in YWW Author (I’ll maybe write a post on in the future), which was also helpful because Brett Harris and Kara Swanson, my mentors, gave me step-by-step instructions to drop a lot of what I was doing and focus in on the important things!

That was hugely helpful in terms of grounding me.

I have overloaded myself a little bit this fall, and I’ve had some mini breakdowns, and I’ve fallen back on my old, multi-tasking ways (don’t ask), and I’ve struggled with feeling helpless and angry and frightened.

But since around September, the trend has been upward. I’m starting to realize that when I am saddened by my mistakes or things that I can’t control or a combination of the two, it’s not going to last long.

I have a great God who can pull me through my sad moments and ground me during my happy ones.

Basically, God’s promise is:

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

(Jeremiah 29:11)

Isn’t that the best thing ever?

And …

I’m so glad I’m still me!

Okay, now, this can be interpreted wrong so let me clarify:

Life does change you. Experiences do change you. And they do it hard!

But if you’re centered around Christ (which I am fighting to be), the changes make you a truer version of yourself. So every day you become more like God, and therefore more like yourself.

And when I look at what I am – even given that I feel really awful over breaking down while everyone around me seems to be able to soldier on and/or fails completely, and I have had the benefit of neither – I’m still me.

Kelly Lyn Garrett, alias Kellyn Roth, who once petted a (baby) tiger (at a petting zoo) and once swam a freezing river – well, waded through a creek when it was like 40 outside …

Yeah, I’m basically the equivalent of a cat that thinks it’s a lion. Whoops. Leave me my illusions.

Right now I feel really rough, and that’s because I am feeling. I’m not numb, I’m not despairing, I’m just … a little bit vulnerable and a little bit saddened. I have some things to accept still. Overall, I’m good, though.

God is the Editor working on our messy first drafts. We shouldn’t be afraid of how messy our first drafts are given how great our Editor is! In fact, maybe we should just be darned glad we have an Editor, ’cause otherwise our book would flop …

And I think the analogy has run its course. You understand what I mean. God is refining us – to quote a great song, “He’s making diamonds.”

What of the future?

Well, lots of things! But you’ll have to wait until next Wednesday for that!

I’m still trying to figure out my 2020, and even then I can’t guarantee it will go that way. If I’ve learned anything from 2019, it’s that NOTHING WILL HAPPEN THE WAY YOU PLAN most of time, so be ready to make the most out of what God gives you instead of whining that, somehow, your plan was better than His.

I admit that I am a bit scared of having another 2019 – an ongoing lifetime of 2019’s. I feel too weak, too tired, too emotionally bankrupt to take another 2019.

But God knows where my limits are, and I trust Him to take me there and no further. If I feel like I’m being taken further than I can go, well, I’m wrong.

Okay, but remember what you mentioned at the beginning and then have not given actual details on?

Can I be honest and say I legitimately forgot? It’s after 2 in the morning.

So basically, I have known this fellow most of my life, he’s very special to me, and we’ve always been friends-ish. Our families are quite close (& we’ve known each other since I was maybe seven or eight), so we were around each other a lot. (I actually have a post coming out on the Rebelution in a couple weeks that mentions him while talking about his older sister.)

And then this summer, right before he went to college (this being his second year – we graduated together), we ended up getting each other’s numbers and chatting a lot.

Earlier in December, right before he went on a loonnnnggg vacation (I know, I’m thinking that was 2019’s last joke on me) (or God’s sense of humor popping out), we talked and decided we might as well acknowledge that we’re together. As in he has to stay away from all those Arizona college women.

(Not that Arizona college women are desperate, but that he’s attractive and super sweet, so I imagine there would be a level of interest. If you meet him somehow, you can just be friends with him unless we find out later on that it’s just not where God is taking us. He’s a really fantastic friend!)

And then I get him back for the summer! (Again, I know, but you have to have college if you want to be an engineer, apparently.) (How unreasonable is that? It’s like they don’t want bridges and buildings to randomly collapse or something …)

So yup, it’s been good. It’s not overblown or scary – well, it’s a little scary, just because the future and all that, but mostly it’s safe. I’m thinking that if it’s this safe, it’s okay to tell you people a little bit – knowing that this was huge for me and really just made my year so much better.

I’m so glad that at least we get to talk for this time, no matter what happens!

And … that’s about it! That was my 2019.

TTFN!

~Kell~

p.s.

HELLOOOOO MY LOVELIES! Yay for the questions! Okay, so, let me think. How did your 2019 go? Did you accomplish a lot – or just a little – and how can you be optimistic about it either way? Looking back, do you see God working in little ways throughout your life?

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Showing 17 comments
  • Erika Mathews
    Reply

    God has you right where He wants you. He loves you and that is enough! โค๏ธ

    Keep looking into Jesus, friend! The hardships are there that you may know him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, and itโ€™s worth it. โค๏ธ We canโ€™t always see from His perspective (the big picture), but He knows the big picture of your life and itโ€™s so good. Even the 2019s. Hereโ€™s to knowing Him more in 2020! ๐Ÿฅ‚

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      Thank you, Erika! Yes, I’m not necessarily happy about 2019 as a whole, haha, but I am glad that God was able to use it for the good (big surprise, there… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not like He uses everything for good or anything like that!).

  • E.F.B.
    Reply

    Hi, Kell. I don’t know if I’ve told you before, but I’m so happy to have you as a friend. <3 I've been where you've been as far as losing a loved one and it hitting me so hard I kind of spiraled for a bit before being able to get back up. It was right around when I was your age (circa 2009/2010) that I lost my own grandfather, who was the first relative I'd lost while being old enough to really understand it. Just a couple weeks before that I also lost my first dog, who was my best friend. Having not been through losses that personal before, I didn't even know how to mourn properly and pushed a lot of it away or held it inside, which resulted in a solid year of extreme, irrational anxiety and even getting physically ill for long enough that my parents were worried about me and I was worried about myself. It was truly the Lord who pulled me out of it, and I completely understand what you're saying when you say you don't want to experience another 2019 again. The wonderful thing about God's design for the world, though, is that things come in seasons and this too shall pass. It is that knowledge that has kept me from going back to that dark place of 2009 myself.

    While I'm so sorry you've had to go through such things in 2019, I'm praising the Lord for all the ways He's been guiding and carrying you through everything you've been going through and molding you into an amazing young woman who's dependent on Him and can touch the world for His glory.

    In lighter thoughts, I did squeal a little when you said you had a boyfriend. ๐Ÿ˜‰ He sounds like a great guy! I pray the Lord will guide you both in this relationship and that this time you spend together will grow you both and your friendship in a positive way no matter what the end result is.

    To answer your question, my 2019 was a fairly mixed bag what with my uncle being hospitalized and/or in nursing homes for much of the year, having to get a root canal I never thought I'd need. I haven't mentioned this on my socials for reasons, but my only cousin's marriage ended last year, too. Sadly, this wasn't a surprise since her husband wasn't a Christian, and having lived together for several years before marriage, they didn't exactly start their relationship in Christ either, but their marriage produced two beautiful little girls and then the guy decided to go off and be a multi-time cheating, unrepentant jerk. So, yeah. But the Lord has shown kindness through all of this in that uncle is now back in his home, my and my parent's mouths are healthier, and though cousin's marriage is over, I know God is with and the girls through all of it. He also gave me some blessings with my first published short story (to an non-paying magazine, but still, it's something) and getting more focused in my other writing pursuits, which included making far more progress on my portal fantasy that I even planned for.

    I pray you and I will both experience many blessings in 2020 and that, while there will hopefully not be many trials, that the Lord continues to guide and carry us through anything we may face.

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      Aw, thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m glad to be your friend, too! Yes, it’s not exactly fun, but I do believe God can use even these experiences … and I am trying to be more optimistic and less of a downer. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I feel like it’s an going up-and-down process for me – I have yet to have everything suddenly make sense and all the grief and whatnot just disappear, and I doubt I will, but over time, it’s got to get easier!

      I’m glad you were able to work through it! It would be horrid to stay in that kind of state for much longer than a couple years – it’s just so miserable all the time!

      Aww, thank you! He is pretty awesome.

      Wow, sounds quite difficult! I’m sorry things turn out that way. It’s always horrible when children are involved in a break up.

      Yay for writing progress! Those kinds of things are absolutely amazing!

      And thank you once again! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Andrea Cox
    Reply

    “Andrea Cox, who is basically my older sister.”

    Kell, you just made my day sparkle a little brighter. And I feel the completely same way, that you’re like a younger sister to me.

    Like yours, my 2019 didn’t go as planned and had some rough patches. Also like yours, I experienced a lot of spiritual growth because of those rough patches. God is still God, and God is still good, as a friend once told me. I think one of the most important things I learned last year is to tweak the common phrase that “God never asks more than you can handle.” Actually, I believe He does. My tweaked phrase would be, “God never asks more than you can handle WITH JESUS.” I never knew I could have a higher pain tolerance until I was forced into it this year. I couldn’t have handled it on my own, plain and simple. But Jesus was with me the whole time, and He helped me experience incredible joy through the increasing pain levels I was learning to tolerate. Who knew that such levels of pain could bring the largest lumps of joy? Only God, my friend. Only He could envision something so incredible through something completely hard to go through. Thus, my faith in Him grew even stronger.

    Keep hanging in there, Kell. I hope 2020 is your best year yet.

    Hugs,
    Andrea

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      Thank you, Andrea! I’m very glad I’m your friend/honorary little sister. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s always great talking to you!!!

  • Marilyn
    Reply

    Hi Kellyn You are i God’s hands. He loves you and will always lead you to goodness. I am happy that you have such good friends. You are a talented writer and you should believe in your talent. God Bless. Wishing you and yours a blessed,happy and healthy 2020.
    Marilyn

  • Madison Grace
    Reply

    You have a boyfriend!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ Ahhh thatโ€™s so exciting! Congrats on the new blog and all the writing you did this year, and hereโ€™s to an amazing 2020. ๐Ÿค— Thanks for the invite to follow as I had no idea you were starting a new personal blog! ๐Ÿ’–

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      Yes, it’s pretty exciting! We shall see how it goes, but I’m honestly pretty optimistic as he’s a childhood friend. ๐Ÿ˜›

      Thank you! I just transferred everything over the other day, and I’ve been working on getting people transferred over, but apparently that’s not super seamless. ๐Ÿ˜›

      • Madison Grace
        Reply

        Awww thatโ€™s awesome. ๐Ÿ˜

        Ugh, I understand! I hope youโ€™re able to get all your followers over! One time I just emailed Jetpack and they migrated my followers for me. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

        • Kellyn Roth
          Reply

          Oh, that’s awesome! I’ll ask them to do that, maybe. I’ve been having some weird issues with the Jetpack, so maybe just giving up being independent and asking them to help out is the best way to go. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Madison Grace
            Reply

            Ughh yes, Jetpack has given me SO many errors on self-hosted blogs. I hope youโ€™re able to get it all worked out! ๐Ÿ’–

            • Kellyn Roth
              Reply

              Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€ Crossing my fingers that that works …

  • kassieangle
    Reply

    I’M SO EXCITED FOR YOU KELLYN!!!
    I can’t get our local bookstore to contact me back about a book signing eitherrrrr. But the library was all-in, if that’s any help?
    I’m sorry about 2019 but honestly this was so encouraging somehow bc we all have our rough spots but we all come out stronger on the far side so maybe it’s okay. ๐Ÿ™ƒ
    I love Arizona with all of my heart, but from someone who’s kinda half-Arizonan, staying away from random desperate Arizonans is just good life advice. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      I think local bookstores often only want to feature books that have official ISBNs and are through like … I think it’s Ingram? So that might be the issue. They can be a little KDP-snobby. ๐Ÿ˜› I don’t know if it’s worth it to put them in Ingram with all the extra fees just for the sake of bookstores. *shrugs*

      Library might be a good option! We have one that’s kinda liberal, but maybe they’d still be interested …

      Haha! I’ll let him know. ๐Ÿ˜› No desperate Arizonans whatsoever for any of us.

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