The end of year always makes me slightly nostalgic and contemplative. I've always loved the new beginnings, but I also love taking trips down the memory lane, to take stock of how much my life has changed over the past few years. If 2012 was the year of big bang and 2013 the year of adjusting, 2014 can only be qualified as the year of challenges and new beginnings. And I wanted to take a moment to reflect upon them quietly, before the work and life madness begins all over again on January 2nd.
2014, that's quickly coming to a close, has been one of the most challenging, fast-paced, jam-packed and busiest years I've ever experienced. But to me it has also been a year of an incredible growth as a person and entrepreneur. It was the year of work and business, no doubt about that. Our family business consumed almost all my waking hours, weekends included, oftentimes even waking me up at night. I learned innumerable lessons in running a small business, managing and living up to client expectations, managing employees and getting people to do what I wanted.
Thanks to an opportunity to run the company all by myslef for one year, I learned a lot about making it happen. But I also learned a ton about my own limitations. I had to accept the fact that there are only so many hours in a day. And that my body can only take so much workload before going on strike. 2014 was the year when I totally neglected this blog, and all the wonderful relationships and friendships it brought about. And I'm not proud of that. I've been struggling with feelings of guilt, because I wasn't able to do it all. I was missing my creative outlet. I was missing creating original content. I felt inadequate. And then one day, I had an epiphany. I was focusing on all the wrong things, for all the wrong reasons. Instead of giving myself credit for what I accomplished, I was beating myself up for what I couldn't do. Such a huge mistake! All my biggest successes in 2014 happened away from the public eye, but that doesn't make them any less important and valuable. My own self-worth is not calculated in number of likes, repins and comments. I shall never forget this lesson.
For the past four years I've been evolving in this fast-paced and inspiring world of blogging, and seeing all those talented, creative and resourceful women juggle businesses, families, perfectly-styled homes and delicious home-cooked meals 24/7, I came to believe that we really can do it all. And have it all. But it's not entirely true. The blogging world can be quite deceiving: most of time it only shows you its pretty, shiny and sparkly face. And it hides the ugly and the exhausting behind the closed doors. I don't want to fall into that trap anymore. I don't want to focus on things that didn't work. And I don't want to play the comparison game. We all have our own fears, insecurities and problems, even if we don't put them on display all over the internet. That's another truth I should never forget.
In other, slightly less serious news, this was the year when I finally let my guard down and allowed myself to fall in love again. To jump once again on that emotional rollercoaster, It taught me a lot about myself, my own expectations and hopes, my virtues but also my shortcomings. This was also the year I didn't listen to my intuition and for this I paid the price. I have come to understand that my inner compass truly knows what's best for me. It's when I try to ignore it that shit happens. I hope it'll make me wiser.
2014 was a year of tears, both sad and happy. I lost a person that was very close to my heart. Someone who I'll miss forever. But I also watched my brother get married on one sunny summer Saturday that I'll forever cherish as one of the happiest days of my life. I traveled to Paris again, and for the first time in years I truly unplugged - no computer, no emails, very litte phone. It was priceless. In 2014 I drank too much wine and even more coffee. I stepped out of my comfort zone, I played toursit in my own country and reminded myself daily how lucky I was to live a life that gives me a sense of fulfillment.
And last but not least, I will forever remember 2014 as the year in which I brought one of my biggest dreams to life. After 2 years of saving up money, after a year of scouring the real estate market, after countless visits, hopes and disappointments, I have finally made the leap and bought my first apartment. The one that reflected all my wishes. The one that I kept visualizing throughout the year, even if people around me kept telling me to lower my expectations. I knew what I wanted and I refused to settle. And I was right. It's like I willed that apartment into existence. And I couldn't be happier and more excited. And proud, too. There will be so much renovating, hard work but also decorating in my near future, and I'm so looking forward to it! It's the biggest step towards independence I've taken in years, and while the prospect of doing it all by myself is a little bit scary, it's also the most exciting challenge I can imagine. Please, keep your fingers crossed for me!