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Wisdom

TCI Readers

In a recent weekly newsletter, we asked readers to reflect on what they accomplished in 2017. From pursuing a creative practice more consistently to letting go of expectations, accomplishments came in many forms. Click through to read anonymous reflections on the past 12 months.

What did you accomplish this year?

This year I kept things secret and sacred instead of talking and not actually doing the work.

What did you accomplish this year?

This year I came out as transgender to my extended family, which was terrifying but necessary.

What did you accomplish this year?

I only wrote one song this year. My head was constantly swimming with ideas, but all in all, I only made one song. The weird thing is, I’m ok with that. That one was ready, I guess.

What did you accomplish this year?

This year my band released its second full-length album, which I really gave myself to. It required overcoming a fear that the project wouldn’t connect with our audience, and making it anyway, because I knew it was important to my soul for it to exist.

What did you accomplish this year?

As a creative person with no formal art education, I have tried many things, gone down many paths, and attempted several projects—but I could never stick with a single one. This year I managed to focus just on one medium and consistently work at my craft.

What did you accomplish this year?

This year I made a lot of valuable connections and had a lot of formative experiences, by impulsively taking some wild opportunities. I didn’t let being alone terrify me, but rather let it help me achieve things without relying on other people for support and validation.

What did you accomplish this year?

This year I lost my job of 17 years, and started bar-backing at 43. I’ve finished albums with two different bands, as well as refined my approach to playing solo. I quit drinking in March at the urging of my girlfriend, breaking free of a habit that was causing a huge amount of damage to both myself and to those around me.

What did you accomplish this year?

The year’s “real work” was trying to let go of accomplishment expectations on the whole. I didn’t finish my album—I hardly finished any songs at all. But the work that was done may be more valuable than finished products: a clearer vision, some works-in-progress that feel unlike anything else before them, and a gentler approach to living in general…

What did you accomplish this year?

This year I accomplished shockingly little. Maybe less than any other year in my life. Certainly less creative work, and less work I could call “my own”. I did get my first-ever taste of managing other people, which was very hard and enlightening. But my main failure of the year is a failure to systematically make room for the side projects that, in the long run, will keep me sane and connected to people.

What did you accomplish this year?

This year I took an unintended sabbatical from creative projects as I focused on getting my mental health back on track. Ultimately, I accomplished making the changes I felt I needed to make in order to move forward. I moved across the country twice. I started going to therapy regularly. I finally started a writing practice—something I pushed off for years of my life even though I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I discovered a lot about myself, both good and bad, that I didn’t know was there.

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