I’m celebrating my 26th birthday on January 10th. To bring it in, I’m opening the new year with #10DaysofCicelyRue! Check out the first post in the series, “…and the clock strikes 12… Farewell 2016.” Every year, I draft a New Years on December 31st, an hour prior to midnight. This year things didn’t go according to plan and I’m hours late. But late is better than never!
Okay, I’m really cutting it close with this post. I’m three shots and one beer pong game in. I won’t discuss the other “toxins” in my body lol. Anyways, how do I start to describe the beginning of 2016? I was living in Kansas, stressed the fuck out about releasing The Eye of the Panther, and unsure of the next move I wanted to make. I wasn’t supposed to be in Kansas for longer than a year. In a blink of an eye, I was there for two years. Each day, my anxiety and depression increased as I wasted my life away.
In April, I made the drastic decision to quit my job as an assistant manager at Books-a-Million. So, I guess you can say February And March was a hard time period. I was having problems at home and at work. The only thing going right was Cicely Rue, LLC. It just took so much energy and time. Combined with my other problems, I was losing my mind. I know this because I chose to visit home in April. If I run home then something’s wrong because I never run home. I prefer to handle situations by myself. Plus, I was too embarrassed to let people know that I was unhappy and going through it. So, before April, I avoided home on purpose.
I know something about this time went right because I made the decision to make The Eye of the Panther available for pre-order starting July 4, 2016, and I announced the release date. Which I might add was lit as fuck because I didn’t know how many people supported me until I started that. I was on cloud nine because everything seemed to be going right until my best friend called to tell me a close friend of mine was murdered. I was devastated because of all the people I know in the world he was the one that deserved it the least. That loss has flipped a switch off in me. I’m not sure if I’m processing my emotions anymore because I don’t react normally. Typically in situations, I get overly upset. Now, I handle issues with tact. I don’t know if it’s old age or if 2016 has humbled me.
Two days later after receiving the news about my friend, my mom called to tell me my stepdad was on hospice. Due to the medical costs, I couldn’t fly in for my close friend’s funeral. Preorder also started within some days so regardless of my grief I couldn’t lose focus. I kept going. I worked hard to prepare for the launch of The Eye of the Panther. I couldn’t let anything get in the way. It didn’t matter how painful it was. I had to smile through it all. I think that’s what changed me the most. Do you know how it feels to want to cry every second of the day but have to smile instead? I wanted to delete my social media, move to an island, and cry it all away. Instead, I had to do the opposite.
My lowest of lows occurred, when my step-father passed away at the end of July. I return home to plan a funeral and a book release party for September 11th. Although I was able to reconnect and chill with my family and friends, I was not 100%. I couldn’t eat, sleep, or function normally. For months, I longed to get out of Kansas. When I finally had the opportunity, the stress and losses prevented me from enjoying my visit. I rushed to get back only to return to devastating news that prompted me to move back to Dallas the weekend of my book release party. I only told my mom was moving back. I didn’t feel like explaining my reason or taking away attention from my debut book, The Eye of the Panther. It wasn’t until the event was over that I announced I was a single resident of Dallas again.
So what have I learned since moving back?
Never to allow fear to hold you back. I stayed in Kansas longer than I was supposed to because I was worried about what everyone was going to say. I was scared of losing my ex-boyfriend because I didn’t think I could ever find another person who would be willing to get to know me. I didn’t want to move back with my mom or explain why my relationship didn’t work to my family. I came up with 101 reasons why moving back to Dallas wasn’t good for me. I believed every one of those reasons until I moved back.
The universe quickly debunked them all. Everything I thought I’d never find or experience again fell into my lap. I didn’t go out looking for it. I tried new things and took different risks. The rewards have been outstanding. Everything I was praying for manifested as soon as I cashed in on my faith. I’ve met wonderful people, hosted amazing events, and found the Cece I lost many years ago.
So yeah, 2016 fucking sucked. It felt like it was one thing after another. However, I can say honestly that it wasn’t worse than 2009-2010 and I had some pretty awesome times in 2016. I can’t wait to continue this new wave and outlook. Farewell 2016!