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Thank You, 2019

I swear that I never have all the words I need to express exactly what it is I'm thinking or feeling, but I will always try my best. At the beginning of this year, I claimed that it would be one of the best years of my life, filled with blessings and highs. I can honestly say I was accurate in claiming it.

2019 taught me the importance of remaining focused. When I write my end-of-the-year posts, I usually sum up the year in one word. This year, I made an effort to choose a word at the beginning & follow through with maintaining it. 'Focus' was my word, and I am proud to report that I stuck to it. To be transparent, I wasn't entirely sure on what I wanted to focus on. My future pertaining to my career is always on my mind, but "the future" was too broad a topic. It wasn't until nearly half way through the year that I realized what I wanted to focus on was my career and future as a writer.

I took a huge leap of faith and started with the creation of my own website. This became the home of my blog and later the home of my poetry. To some, this might seem like a small thing. "She created a website. Whipdee-do." To me, though, it was a step toward sharing my craft with the world. For someone who has a lot of confidence, I am still human and I still get nervous with sharing the things I love with people. My words are something I hold so closely to me, and I was beyond hesitant to share them so publicly. But, alas. It was on my heart, so I had to do it.

I wrote my first novel this year. Y'all. I wrote an entire novel. I still laugh sometimes because I truly cannot believe I pulled it off. I was the student in my college workshops that laughed every time my professor talked to me about finishing a novel. Like, "Yeah, okay. That day will never come for me." And it has come. I actually did it. I'm excited to announce that the novel will officially drop in 2020. It's been a longgggg time coming, but dammit, it's on it's way!

I was also successful in writing two other projects. One of the projects was a collection of 365 poems, and this particular project was one I published. PUBLISHED. I published my first book at the age of 23. Y'all...BUT GOD. A lot of people laugh at me when I tell them I cannot believe I pulled it off. "But, you're you! Of course you did!" As much as I appreciate the confidence and faith, completing AND publishing a book is not a small accomplishment. If I could show you the amount of projects that I haven't completed...

I feel that 2019 pushed me in the direction I've been praying so hard to find. And now that I'm finally here, now that I'm finally this version of myself, I cannot wait to see what I'll do in 2020. I'm just thankful, y'all. I'm so thankful, I wish there were more words to express that gratitude. As excited as I am for 2020, I'm going to miss 2019....but I know I'm leaving behind a year that changed my life for the better.

So, 2019, thank you for all the people who have stayed, for the people who have left, for those in between. Thank you for the opportunities, for the partnerships, for the auditions. Thank you for the rejection, for the heartache, for the "not yet...keep waiting" moments. Thank you for the tears that reminded me it's okay to not be okay, for the tears that happened because I laughed too hard, for the tears shed for people I don't even know. Thank you for the increased self-esteem, for the confidence, for the thoughts that cross my brain on a regular. Thank you for pushing me toward what I want my career to be, for allllll the words that make it onto the pages, for those who read my pages, for the projects that are waiting to be released. Thank you for my support system, both the humans I know & the ones I haven't had the privilege of meeting yet. Honestly, 2019. Thank you for all the love...when I tell you I'm gonna miss you...I mean that wholeheartedly.

May your day be ever filled with love, light, and of course, an abundance of chicken tenders💜🌻✨

Cheyenne Pajardo

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