Monday, December 31, 2012

Lessons I learned in 2012

 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? 


  1. Wow!! Once again such an inspiring post... Love all those lessons you have listed here. I couldn't agree more with you on all of them! You're saying the exact same what I'm thinking.
    It's crazy how much one year can teach you and give you/ take away from you, but in the end it's all up to you and the way how you deal with certain things and you did more than well :) Keep it up Ivana!!

  2. amazing photos :) love your outfits :) very inspirational post for New Years Eve :) Thank you for sharing :)
    Happy New Year to you too :)
    xxx Marina
    beautiful me plus you by Marina Bergmann

  3. You've been through much and it shows just how strong you are, maybe you didn't even know how strong you were at the start or if you'd get through, but you have and you can stand tall!! The New Year will bring you many more days of happiness and accomplishment and I know you'll reach them all with stars!! Keep believing in yourself and go where you wish to can do it!! Lots of love xox

  4. Wow, I had no idea that you went through all this during the past 12 months. Seeing your smile in your posts - I would never have guessed this. Great to read that you gained all these insights about yourself and changed the devastating into opportunities. Thanks for sharing and wishing you a happy and very successful 2013!

    Greetings from one of your favourite places, Paris.


  5. Hi Ivana, I really enjoyed what you wrote and I'm sorry for what you went through this year! I really wish you a better and happier 2013, I agree on what you say, accomplish others always make us sacrificed and the most of time it didnt worth! hope all ur dreams come true and keep on dreaming too:) how beautiful you are with the golden skirt!:) kisses and hugs!:*♥

  6. As hard as these sorts of life lessons are (and you had some of the most difficult in 2012), they only help you get to know yourself better and make you a stronger person in the long run. For what it's worth, it seems that you have taken it all in stride and have appreciated the experiences, learned from them, and came out on top. 2013 is going to be a fabulous year for you! Cheers!

    Haute Child in the City

  7. You have such a beautiful spirit and amazing attitude! I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for you and I hope it's beautiful and just what you want! I wish you the happiest New Year ever!!!

  8. It sounds like that, despite everything, you have such a wonderful attitude and 2013 will be a great year for you!

  9. Beautifully written. I love how you took something negative and made it positive and into a life lesson!

  10. Oh Ivana keep that pretty head up - you are a strong woman! Take it from me... I broke off an engagement last year - for VERY similar reasons... I gave up so much of what I wanted my life to be and it wasn't worth it. It's an extremely difficult decision to make but BRAVO for doing it... having said that - since last year I found true love. It comes at the strangest time - but if I can do it and come out on the other side, so can you :) Time to put yourself first!!! So glad to be blogger friends and if you ever want to "talk" about what we've both been through just let me know :) Here's to a fabulous new year my dear!

    Pearls & Paws

  11. It's amazing how strong and powerful you are. These were for sure very difficult decisions but you made them and now you create an interesting, fulfilling life and you can be proud of yourself! The best it yet to come. I wish you a Happy New Year :)

  12. Hi Ivana, thanks for this beautifully honest post, I can relate and I am so sorry you had to go through all these things the past year. You seem to keep everything together so well and that is a true sign of strength and courage. I believe everything is a lesson, and you have completed this year with a greater education, making you an ever better version of your already fabulous self! Love the style images you included in this post, that sequin skirt is stunning. Wishing you a very Happy New year! May it bring you everything you hope for...and more. It was a pleasure getting to know you this past year and I look forward to building our friendship even more in 2013.

  13. Yes!

    I have learned that doing what I want (and not what others think I should want) is what I need to do. Congratulations to you for finding what you stand for.

    I hope you have a wonderful new year; I can't wait to see what it brings you!

  14. Hi!

    nice lessons like work hard, and think always positie

    I hope you have a wonderful new year, i have enjoy mt new year at

  15. happy new year, dear Ivana!
    gosh, how much I enjoyed that post! and I'm really glad to read that you have a positive attitude after everything. that's the right spirit!
    now, when it comes to me then I think I've become very independent and I can manage the whole house on my own when my fiance is working, far away from our home, in other places. and I'm definitely stronger than before! life always makes you stronger :)

    Maikeni blogi - part of me

  16. Hello darling... I am doing some major catch up on my reading and so just seeing this now. I did not know about the break-up. I am so sorry. I know it must have been an extremely difficult time, as I'm sure it still is at times, but you sound like you are doing the best you can possibly be, and that is wonderful. Despite the many, many blessings in my life, the last 12-18 months has been extremely difficult for me... we all struggle in our own ways... through this journey called life. Please know I am here for you, in whatever way I may be a friend. I am so glad we connected this year. Lots and lots of love and strength to you, and if you move to NYC, you bet your bottom socks, I'll be coming to visit.... but oooohhh..... Paree!!!!! Now that would be lovely! :) Happy New Year!! xx Whitley

  17. This was one brilliant post! So well-written and genuine...! Thank you for sharing your 2012 journey, Ivana! I think you are one of the most independent and fabulous women I know, and I feel so honored to call you my friend (even if we've never met before)! :)


Your lovely comments always make my day! And what´s more, your sweet comments make me discover your fabulous blogs! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover