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Welcome to 2019, my occasional reader. I would do a review of 2018, but—except for a few minor highlights—2018 was not the most auspicious of years for me. I am quite content to leave it in the dustbin of my personal history.

I am far more interested in looking forward. There is a lot coming up this year. Most importantly, I am working to finish a dissertation and with it my doctorate. This is my final semester. When I finish, I will have completed the last step of a path I began almost a decade ago. Truth is, I had no clue where it would take me, and it has been an incredible journey. Scarier still, I have no clue where it will take me next. Where I will be in the fall of 2019 is still a complete mystery. I am looking forward to that next step, though. There is something exciting about the unknown, and the possibilities that lay beyond it.

I wanted to say that the close of this journey will be an easy one. I originally planned it to be. I was going to have a full draft by the end of the year, and then ease into the last semester of my life as a graduate student. That didn’t happen. My fall semester was, to put it mildly, a mess. If I am being honest, it was the least successful semester I have had as an academic. I am annoyed by this more than demoralized. I will finish this semester. I am not concerned about that. I was just hoping for a less strenuous race to the finish.

We all fall. The stress overwhelms, issues we didn’t anticipate arise, and we find ourselves slipping. I don’t think it is possible not to have those moments. We’re human, after all. Our job is to not give up just because we happen to stumble or fall. Rather, we must accept that we are human, forgive and care for ourselves, learn from our mistakes, assess our needs and desires, and then get back up and back into it a little smarter and a little more determined than we were before. I am not one for resolutions. I am one for new starts, though. The new year is an excellent time for a new start, and that is what I am looking forward to more than anything.

So, with that said, let’s get to work. Come what may, it’s bound to be an adventure.