2018. The Other Kristen Banet.

2018 is nearly over and what a year it's been. Loads of good. Loads of bad.

Everything in between.

Here we stand, at the end of another year. We've done it, everyone. Another lap around the sun. Another full changing of the seasons. Be proud of yourself for making it through. On to the next.

I considered using this blog to talk only about the good. Lots of great stuff happened to me this year and through all of it, I threw a smile on my face and was thankful for every single piece. None of that was fake. I love every great thing you've all brought into my life. You've done so much wonderful good in my life.

(Please forgive the weird thing where I'm about to talk about myself in third person. Also bear with me through this. I promise it'll pay off.)

For my last blog of 2018, I want to talk about the Kristen Banet that doesn't come out to play. The insecure one. The anxious and depressed one. The socially incompetent one. See, there's two Kristen's. There's the one that has a great time torturing readers, laughing over mean teasers, and watching the aftermath of a horrible thing I did in a book. The me I am when I hang out with all of you. It's real, but it's short lived. I lose energy when I'm like this, even though I love it. Then there's the Kristen that wrote the books. I'm most myself when I'm deep in a manuscript. The world around me disappears and I can dive into all the things tumbling around my heart. The insecurities my characters have are feelings I have. Those dark spots in life my characters have, even on the prettiest days, are ones I have. There's reasons I write the books I do, every single one of them. I'm better at putting my words down in a book than I am to a person. I'm secluded, introverted, and terrified of what other people think about me just as a human being. Who isn't, amiright *insert awkward laugh here*? I even shut down with my own friends. They have to drag me back by my hair to get me into the real world. The Kristen who writes the books is the one who broke down in tears when she tried to take a selfie of her new haircut.

That's the author y'all never meet.

And that's the 'me' that truly appreciates you all following me through this crazy journey of being an author and telling my stories through the last year and some change, since October 2017. The smile might be hard for me to put on sometimes, but it's never fake. I might not have the energy to interact all the time, but I always want to. Because you've all touched that scared, anxious, and depressed part of me. The books, they're my hiding place and will never stop.

So... thank you for 2018. Thank you for loving Riley, Sawyer, and Abigail. Thank you for giving Mave a chance.

Onwards to 2019.