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  • Writer's pictureDanni Petrilak

Goodbye 2023. Hello 2024.

Updated: Jan 4

There are countless things I didn't accomplish last year like I had hoped, but it's okay. Sometimes, making it through the year healthy and happy is a feat in and of itself, and that's enough for me.

Sure, there have been a lot of good things to come from 2023. Sam and I's ability to travel and explore our new home in Southern California after moving for the second time, the successful start of my podcast, Darkfire Chronicles (which will hopefully have more frequent uploads), connecting and reconnecting with old and new friends, attempting to overcome my fear of flying by myself to visit my family in Pennsylvania when Sam couldn't get the time off, and just learning to enjoy the simple days of life where you can take it a bit slower than usual.

I've learned a lot about myself over this past year, and a lot about the way my mind works and processes information. I've gathered the stepping stones to a healthy mental state, but now it's about laying that foundation to continue the growth and the building blocks to build my metaphoric castle in the sky.

With all that said, I want to continue to discover who I am. How I react and respond to information. How I bite my tongue and hold my breath when I'm uncomfortable. I no longer want to be the one who doesn't speak up when something's bothering me. I want to find my backbone, hold firm and defend what I believe in. I've been working on myself for years, yet I always find myself retreating into my shell of "say nothing, it will pass."

I'd like to continue to learn more and more about the beliefs I hold close to my heart.

I think limiting my time on social media will help a lot with comparing myself to others and the "perfect" facade people promote online, too.

Now, onto the physical to-do list.


Finish my novel by end-of-year.

I know, I know... "Again, Danni? Haven't you been working on it for a few years already?"

Yes. I have. But now, with how my outlines and character developments have aligned, I'm so excited to get back into it. Crow has developed and changed so much. Jesper actually has a personality and a reason for what he does. Brynn even has a life she wants to get back to now, and don't even get me started on Nikoli. He's got bigger and better villainous plans. All that's left now is writing the actual chapters.

Read 20 books.

That doesn't seem too hard, right? WRONG. Finding time to finish a book is the hardest part. I have so many TBRs (and I totally just went to Barnes and Noble yesterday for a few more.) I need to start reading them. Maybe I'll find a new favorite series to rival Nightshade and Six of Crows.

Complete 5 large crochet projects.

If you're like me, you also have countless half-completed blankets or scarfs or wraps lying around. I want to clear my WIPs! Of course, the smaller projects like beanies or toys or coasters don't count toward the large project category, but I will be keeping track of those as well, simply to see what I can do and how I can improve.

Publish a Darkfire Chronicles episode every month. (along with the origins companion pieces)

THIS. This is the most daunting task of the year, I think. While I'm learning so much from writing and editing the audio dramas I've completed thus far, I can only imagine how they will sound this time next year. Is this ambitious with the length I've been writing? Yes. Is this going to cut into my other goals for the year? Absolutely. Will it make me so incredibly happy and proud of myself if I can successfully do this, on top of everything else? 100%.

Play and complete (100%) as many games in my Steam library as possible.

I have a problem with buying games when they're on sale and never playing them. For example, "The Evil Within." Great, great game I played with my dad on our PS3 way back when. Do I own both the first and second games? Yes. Have I played them since purchasing them back in 2018? No.

For those of you reading this who play games, add me on Steam!

Publish more poetry.

I've been consistently writing poetry whenever the spark comes to mind, but I never do anything with them. Maybe it's about time I try and get them out into the world like I did in college. Either that or make a poetry anthology.

Spotify wrapped image with Nickelback band. Top Artists read from 1st to 5th, Nickelback, Natewantstobattle, Three Days Grace, Skillet, and Stevie Howie. Top Songs read: Smoke and Guns, Ex-Mortis, Watch the World Burn, Break, and Slayer. Top Genre was Alternative Metal, and total minutes listened reads 30,083.

Find new music.

After seeing my Spotify Wrapped, I knew I was on the right track. 1,500-something new artists in 2023 ALONE. I can one-up that, surely. At 30,000-ish minutes streamed throughout the year, I can one-up that too. I'm excited to see if Nickelback will remain #1 on my account for the fourth year in a row.

Finally, find new Anime.

I'm not one to like main-stream shows like Naruto, Attack on Titan, or Tokyo Ghoul, but it's because I've never tried to enjoy them. I was introduced to Jujutsu Kaisen this year, and that show alone has prompted me to not only find more shows, but to even read the manga's. I can't wait to discover more amazing stories, and see which ones can rival my favorites. (Sorry God Eater, JJK has taken that top spot.)

I'd like to share my notion board with everyone, once I figure out how to do that, so people can continue to come back to my blog and see my progress. Or, maybe I could have a section on my page showcasing my completed tasks. What would be more compelling?


With all that said, the biggest goal for 2024 is to make sure I enjoy my time. Existing. Being alive. Being with my husband. Being with my family. Hanging out with my friends. With the unfortunate state of the world and where we're inevitably headed, there no telling when times or people will no longer be the same. I wanna have fun, I wanna explore, I wanna be happy. And I think that's the most attainable thing I can accomplish this year.

Thank you for reading and supporting me, everyone. This is totally the most stream-of-consciousness thing I've written and put out into the internet, so I appreciate each and every one of you that's made it to the end of this weird blog.

Cheers to 2024, lets make it a year to be proud of.

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