When I was growing up, my mom would give my brother and I one new ornament for the tree each Christmas Eve. The ornament would somehow symbolize the year - a posing Marilyn Monroe the year I fell in love and decided I wanted to be an actress, a shamrock the year I began Irish step dancing, a singing Frank Sinatra the year I came to NY for school...you get the point. Each year has a focal point when you look back.
In 2008, I realized that I didn't need to depend on anyone other than myself. I saw my need for independence and escape, and fulfilled my dream of living in France.
On this exact date one year ago, I spent the afternoon exploring the Marais neighborhood of Paris with an American expat friend - eating amazing falafel, shopping and enjoying happy hour Caipirinhas while discussing the quirks of European men...
Leaving my job last September to live in France for two months by myself was the experience of a lifetime. I got to be adventurous, practiced the language everywhere I went, didn't answer to anyone, and spent each day doing whatever the heck I wanted. I can't believe it's been a year.
Objectively, my life seems a lot more boring nowadays. Today, September 23, 2009, I rolled out of bed to my alarm at 7:45am, headed to work in the office for the day, and came home to watch the season premieres on TV with my best friend/puppy dog Marlon.
I'm kind of okay with it, though. My life has a calm rhythm most days. And, even though I'm not much of a jetsetter, a lot happened in '09. I began volunteering with a pug rescue group, adopted my first dog, found a new job with coworkers and clients I love, and moved into my very first studio apartment (as in no roommates - just me!) in a brand new neighborhood of New York.
2009 has had a different purpose - this year I became a grown ass lady. I took initiative and created a career and life of my own in NY. I took responsibility for something other than myself and became a mom...even if just to a 20 pound snorting pug. :)
That being said, I'm fairly certain I'm getting either a pug or house ornament this Christmas. Good ol' mom.