Every December I choose a word that will be my focus, my theme for the year to come. My word for 2020 was growth.

I was determined that 2020 would be the year I would level up in every aspect of my life.

In my freelance life, I wanted to start writing for more national publications. In my blogging life, I wanted to reach new readers. In my personal life, I wanted to be healthy and happy with my body and I wanted to do 40 fun and new things before I turn 40 in 2021.

But here’s the thing – when you pray for growth, be prepared for pruning.

It’s only the end of July and this year has stripped so much from me. Sometimes I feel 2020 has taken everything from my hair to my hustle.

Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I started chemotherapy this spring. Thanks to cancer and COVID, my busy schedule — once packed with meetings, lunches, brunches, and networking events – is gone. Nowadays, I wake up, go for my daily walk, work on freelance stories or content for See Jane Write, watch TV or read and go to bed. Aside from my walks, I only leave the house for chemotherapy appointments or to go to Walgreens to pick up medication.

I wish I could tell you I love the slow and easy pace of my new life, but that would be a lie. While I do enjoy slow mornings, overall my new life is boring, and I hate it. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — hustle is my love language.

Even though I’m still in the valley of this journey, I recognize these are growing pains. I’ve decided to stop throwing temper tantrums in my prayer journal. I’ve decided to stop asking God “Why is this happening to me?” and start asking, “What is this trying to teach me?”

Already lessons have been learned.

These days I’m resting more than I ever have in my entire life and yet I’m making more money as a writer and entrepreneur than I ever have. I have learned to work smarter, not harder. And most of all I’ve learned to let go and let God.

Even losing my hair has been a blessing in disguise, teaching me that I don’t need my signature curls to feel beautiful.

And I choose to believe that sometimes when it seems everything is falling apart, things are actually falling into place.