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All too often in my life, I wade into unfamiliar water. I gingerly stick in a toe and inch my way in. It’s an agonizing way to get wet. And it isn’t just a problem in literal water. When it comes to change, I can be slow to jump in the deep end. But not this year. This year, I took the plunge.

Twenty fourteen was the year I jumped in with both feet. After moving from Arizona to Washington last year, I was timid. Moving was hard and I wasn’t able to get reliable, full-time work. 2013 ended in a rut and the early months of 2014 didn’t look promising. But things were looking up as the early days of summer brought sunlight to the dark northern latitudes.

This summer, I got engaged to an amazing woman; I snared an excellent job; I published a short story; I moved into an insulated; mouse-free home and I built new friendships. I decided to take the plunge — into marriage, into a stalled job search, into my creative work — and it paid off. I could’ve gotten here by slowly tip-toeing my way into the water, but that route might have taken years. It wasn’t all easy, but the struggle was worth it.

Life is about taking risks. It’s about jumping in even though the water might be cold. 2014 was the year I put aside my overly cautious inclinations. This was the year I jumped into the deep end. Let me tell you, the water’s fine.

— 30 —

Thank you for reading and following along with the ups and downs of this past year. What will you take away from your experiences this year? Let me know in the comments. Happy New Year!

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