You know how every New Year's Eve there's a countdown on the radio of the top songs of the year? Well, as another year closes and a new one dawns, I decided to jump on the bandwagon. Here is the soundtrack of my year, tentatively entitled, The Soundtrack of My Year (hey, all my creativity is stored up for the manuscripts, okay?):
5. I'm Coming Out by Diana Ross- As Ms. Ross so aptly warbled it, I'm coming out; I want the world to know, got to let it show. This year I busted out of my comfort zone and attended a couple's retreat, formed two new friendships and co-chaired a luncheon. The common denominator between the three is I ripped open that protective shell I keep myself saran-wrapped in and allowed others to see that person I'm so afraid they won't understand or even like. By tearing out of that box, I discovered that not only did they accept and believe in me, but in turn helped me to believe in myself.
4. Step by Step by New Kids on the Block- Aw don't look so surprised! Could Naima Bryant really have a music list and NOT include NKOTB?? Anyhoo, this year has been a series of step. Big steps. Small steps. Leaps. Stumbles. Strides. Skips. But, every one has made me stronger, more knowledgeable, more humble and more focused. The point is whether it was soaring or stumbling, I still moved forward and that's all that counts.
3. Patience by Guns 'n Roses- My husband will no doubt find this one funny. "Patience" and "Naima" is like an oxymoron. But, if there's anything this year of highs and lows has taught me is that this race requires patience--this race towards not only publication, but fulfillment, peace, joy and success. I've learned that even though many people are entered in it, I'm running it in such a way that I'll obtain the dream at the end. In other words, I'm the tortoise. And, it's funny, but I'm pretty much okay with that.
2. (I've Had)The Time of My Life by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes or "The Dirty Dancing Song"- Last time I checked I hadn't danced the Pechanga with Johnny Castle, but I still had a ball this year. The absolute time of my life. I helped critique a soon-to-be-published manuscript. I participated in writing workshops and learned how to get my characters naked--emotionally and physically. I completed a manuscript. I met Christina Dodd!! I've laughed until my sides ache. I danced with my husband, heard my kids tell me they love me and saw in their smiles that they meant it. I am the most blessed woman I know.
1. Never Would've Made it by Marvin Sapp- This song sums 2008 up in a perfect bow. I never would've made it this far alone. This is perhaps the hardest to write because I'm trying not to be mushy--but, oh hang it! This year I discovered a group of women who looked at me and saw what I didn't. They saw potential, leadership and talent. And, I'll always be thankful to the ladies of Southern Magic for opening my eyes when I couldn't see. I have critique partners who encourage and support me as well as help me to become the best writer possible. I have a family who has never scoffed at my dream. Instead, they've taken it on as their own and do whatever it takes to see that dream come to fruition. And, finally, I have a Father who loves me unconditionally, giving me love, joy and peace that surpasses all understanding.