To say that 2012 was an eventful year would be a serious understatement. It was the year in which my whole life was shaken and turned upside down. Twice I changed the country in which I was living. I went from being engaged to happily single. I could really appreciate my family and my true friends who stood by me when I needed them most. And I truly learned a lot about myself. It may have been tough, even excruciating sometimes, but I'm grateful for everything that made me grow and move forwards, not backwards, this past year. If I should only name a few, these were the biggest life lessons that 2012 taught me:
1. I was made for working.
I know I've been complaining about my busy schedule quite a lot these past few weeks. The end of year was really intense in terms of workload (last minute projects are everyone's fave, aren't they?). But the truth is, that at the end of the day, I wouldn't have it any other way. I was born to be busy and always in action. Inactivity kills me more than the full agenda. I will always choose lack of sleep over too much of free time.
I experienced a few months of "joblessness" this year, and honestly, it was the most miserable time of my life. And I never ever want to go back to such a situation. I imperatively need to give a purpose to every single day of my life. That's why I'm ready to seize every idea that crosses my mind and embark on any project that comes my way. Being open to new opportunities will be my motto for 2013, and I'm already working on something that brings a lot of joy and excitement to my life, and I really hope I'll be able to share it with you soon!I'm so excited for 2013, because I've decided to dedicate this year to me, my dreams, my passions, and I have a feeling that it's going to be a good one!
2. Sacrificing myself and my ambitions for love was a very bad idea.
The reasons to break up my engagement this past summer tightly evolved around the things I mentioned above. I've never thought of myself as of someone who would be able to one day leave everything behind for love. My life's ambition has always been to become a strong and independent woman, responsible for her own choices. Yet somehow, I drew the short straw.
When my (then) fiancé asked me to move to Austria with him, I hesitated. I wasn't sure about starting a new life in a country whose language I didn't speak, without any tangible perspective of finding a job. I didn't really want to do it, and yet I did. I foolishly believed that one day he'd be able to do the same thing for me. You're guessing right: he wasn't. In the end, he was interested only in pursuing his own plans, without taking my opinion into account.
It was a difficult thing to live through. But it has taught me one huge life lesson: I will never ever let myself lose self respect again. I've spent too much time trying to comply with other people's dreams. Now's the time to work full time on fulfilling my own.
3. Whatever happens, my family will always be my safety net.
My family has been through its fair share of rough times and things haven't always been ideal. But the moment I needed them most, my mom, dad and older brother were right there for me. It's partly thanks to them that I didn't have any major post break-up meltdown. Working round the clock in my father's company and goofing around with my brother, I simply didn't have a spare minute to wallow in sadness and regrets.
Which leads me to the lesson n. 4. Pity and regrets don't make me move forward and grow. Dreams do.
After the end of my 4,5-year long relationship, I could have spent a few weeks crying in my bed, watching rom-coms (or worse, crap TV) while sipping on cheap wine, calling my friends to ask all those "whys" (why me? why us? why now?). Nobody would have held that against me.
However, I made a conscious effort to act differently. I may have lost my relationship, but I didn't want to lose my dignity. Instead of focusing on one closed door, I turned to all the possibilities that suddenly opened up for me. I am finally able to dream for myself, not for anybody else. If I decide to move back to Paris tomorrow (or even to New York, for that matter), I can. Suddenly it's all about and up to me, and this freedom is intoxicating.
But, please, don't get me wrong. I haven't become one of those sour, frustrated single ladies who can't even stand a male in their vicinity. Quite the contrary. I'm still a hopeless romantic who cries when watching Love Actually (yes, even the 20th time). I still believe in love. The big one. But I'm a lot wiser now. I know I deserve someone amazing, who will love me as I am, who will encourage me to follow my dreams and passions, who won't feel threatened by my ambitions, who will sweep me off my feet and whom I'll be able to admire. And of course, someone who will love Paris at least as much as I do. I know I may be asking a lot, but I think I finally know what I stand for and what I deserve. And I'm still too young to settle for anything less than perfect.
Parce que je le vaux bien!
I would love to know, has 2012 taught you any important life lessons? What new knowledge are you taking with you to the new year?