2018 was a year full of adventure, challenges and healing. I love taking time before the New Year to reflect on the past 12 months, what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown. Here it goes!
Lots has happened this year! On the work front, January brought some changes when I realized how much pressure I was putting on myself to succeed with what felt like 50k balls in the air at any given time. After some much needed time off at Christmas, I recognized that I couldn’t do everything and I needed some assistance in reducing the amount on my plate. I asked for help from my boss and within a day he delivered – woop! #greatboss That same afternoon, I had a prioritized list of tasks and official help from my colleagues which allowed me to succeed in my day job, and organize a hugely successful conference in May without burning out. Expecto patronum! With incredibly mixed feelings, at the end of May I left the group I called home since I returned to Ottawa to head off on full time French language training. It was hard because I loved the work and the people so much, but a new opportunity became available after my return from French training, so I decided to take it!
Over the summer, I learned French in a tiny classroom in downtown Ottawa with an amazing teacher from Belgium. For 4.5 months, we spoke French and talked about everything under the sun. She was an incredible person and I learned so much from her!!After attempting my first exam, I received a B, which was great but I needed a C! So I continued my studies at home, working with 3 different professors over the phone everyday. My kitties really enjoyed having me home and it was great that I didn’t have to travel everyday to work, which meant I had more time to cook, take care of myself and really let the French sink in. I feel much more comfortable now after that work (which is great for my confidence in speaking to anyone!) and I took my second test a week ago, after a quick 4 day trip to Saint Saveur, Quebec to immerse myself in the language. I’m waiting my result, and my fingers are crossed for a C!
In February, I took some holidays from my day job to perform in an opera with SOPAC. We performed Cendrillon (in French, bonus!!) and had a blast together telling a modern day Cinderella story, complete with paparazzi and Kardashians. I met some amazing people, had a blast singing in the chorus, covered one of the stepsisters (total hoot!) and worked crazy hard for 2 weeks. I was so thrilled to see so many people I knew in the audience! I am eternally grateful for the support of so many with my singing! I took a hiatus last year from teaching because things were just too busy, but I’m hoping to maybe get back into it this year again, as I truly miss it!
In late February I took a trip to the Dominican Republic with my friend Karen. I love escaping the Ottawa cold for my birthday,so it was really great to get away for some fun in the sun! We had a super relaxing time, ate lots and met a ton of fun people. 😀
I took a few holidays over the summer too, one to see my family and celebrate my niece and nephew’s 3rd birthday and another one to Maryland where I caught up with friends and showed my boyfriend Kelly all of the things in DC, Annapolis and Baltimore!!! We took in a soccer game, a baseball game, visited Rehoboth beach, Dogfish Head brewery, met tons of friends and celebrated with my amazing friend Laura at her wedding in Pennsylvania.
In the fall, Kelly and I took a trip to Miami and Key West, where we took in an NBA game, lazed on the beach, chased crocodiles, and visited a sea turtle hospital. It was relaxing and super fun!! After that, I flew to the opposite side of the country to visit my friend Penny in Seattle, and we ventured north together to Victoria for a few days where we had high tea, I met up with my high school friend Emma after 15 years, and we hiked and visited Penny’s family. It was an incredible and relaxing time! Also, the West Coast is gorgeous!!
One of the most exciting things that happened this year was adopting two adorable bundles of purry furr, little Marble and Ginger. They have brought so much joy into our lives and I am truly grateful that they adapted so well to their new home!! They are hilarious and have so much personality – we love them so much!
In June I moved in with my boyfriend Kelly, which has been a wonderful experience! We have lots of fun in our new little house, and the kitties love chasing each other up and down the stairs. We quickly got a BBQ and also managed to setup a home gym in the basement, which has served us well!! In November, Kelly joined me in following the Whole 30 eating clean regime, and we worked out with it as well. We both succeeded in finishing and I’m so proud of us! It’s not an easy thing to complete, but because I was home to cook and because Kelly is so good with coming up with workouts for us, we both succeeded in resetting our eating habits, working out, and in the end we both lost over 15 lbs each. I’m thrilled we were able to do it together! 😃 I’m also playing basketball again on a women’s team, which has been awesome.
On top of all that, my Mom came to visit in February, Kelly and I ventured to Syracuse for a college football game, I had a lovely weekend away with my friend Morgan at her cottage, I visited NYC to see some shows with Karen and Pete, Kelly and I went to Beau’s Oktoberfest in Vankleek Hill, I saw Pink in concert with my friend Lindsay in Toronto, I saw Foo Fighters with Kelly at Bluesfest, and I rocked out to Justin Timberlake with Miranda and Kelly! I grateful to have been enriched with so much art and music! 🙂 We also survived a tornado, saw many animals, ate and drank many delicious things, and watched lots of great movies and TV.
As you can see it’s been a busy year! It’s also been one of personal growth. I’ve learned to let go of a lot of preconceived notions of myself, and go with the flow. I feel guilty sometimes because I’m not as good at keeping in touch with people as I used to be, but it doesn’t mean I don’t care just as much or more! ❤ There’s been some hard times this year too, but I feel much stronger on the inside now than I ever have. I’m happy and feel like my life has direction, even if it is not as I had planned it to be. I’m looking forward to continuing my self care in 2019, and to trying new adventures! More snowboarding and activities await! We only have this one life, and it’s important to take care of ourselves so that we can make the most of it. I’m super excited to dive into my new job and to learn new things in 2019!
Thank you for reading and wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy 2019! May it be your best year yet!! Love, hugs and positive vibes to you! ❤🙏