At the end of every year, I usually like to carve out a little time for myself where I just sit down quietly and think about the 365 days I've just been through. The high points, the low points, the achievements and accomplishments, the things I could've done better, the new things I've done and the new places I've been... And frankly I usually feel pretty good at the end of it. Rarely have I ever kicked myself for not getting something done, or sticking to some resolution. In fact, I'm usually surprised by how much I've done in just one measly little year.
And this year, the only difference is that I haven't had a bit of quiet time to myself until AFTER the new year. It has been a very busy holiday season, and a wonderful one, with my family and Frenchy's together again, this time right here in Paris and with no broken bones or dislocations. So I finally have some time now, on a flight to Barcelona, to go through what 2008 has been, and if there is any single theme, it has been... uncertainty.
Which is funny, really, because all year I've been in a wonderful, stable relationship, and I've held a relatively normal, stable job. That right there is more than most people can say for the year that was, and so I consider myself lucky. But being in a relationship or a job situation where a visa is required presents its own set of difficulties. Will we make it? Can we end up working in the same city? In the same country? Will you find a job? Will I keep my job?
Throw in a move to another country (for me, a new one, for him, back home) and you throw another spanner in the works. I was ready to leave Barcelona, for many reasons, and Frenchy didn't want to return to France, for just as many reasons. Would our compromise work out?
I guess, looking back, the answer to everything has been yes. It has worked out, though it hasn't been easy. The uncertainty with work started back in May, the day before Frenchy's graduation, and finally now seems to be improving, and Frenchy has found himself a good job in Paris. And growing day by day, the uncertainty of this stupid economy, the most boring story of all, and the one that affects us all the most.
But uncertainty is so 2008. I'm bored with uncertainty. (Is it even possible to say such a thing?!) I'm excited it's 2009. I want to put that stupid uncertain year behind me and move on to something fresh and new and oh-so-certain. I mean, I CAN be certain about one thing - 2009 is here!
So one quick look back on the year that was, and it's on to the year that now is.
January: Fun trips to Milan and Mallorca; recovery from dislocated shoulders and cracked ribs
February: Business trips to Havana, San Francisco, and London, and the annual IESE Multiculti party
March: Derry for Joanne's birthday, Paris for work, and I gave my first business presentation in Spanish
April: Business trip to NYC with a side visit to Philly to see Nicole and Evan, plus our first skydiving adventure
May: Work trip to Paris, first wedding of the season, Rome for Frenchy's birthday, plus my IESE class reunion, Frenchy's graduation, a surprise birthday dinner for the Frenchy, and an offer to move to Paris
June: Business trips to Madrid, Helsinki, and Paris, and a side trip to Tallinn and a Finnish adventure with Juha for the Midsummer party
July: Belgium for Juanra's wedding, Paris for work and a wedding, Strasbourgfor a wedding, plus a trip to SF to give my first talk on a panel about video games and advertising for OMMA, and a trip to NYC
August: Toronto for... another wedding, Paris for work, then Toulouse for another wedding and on to Biarritz, San Sebastian, Bilbao, and Zaragoza
September: Paris & NYC for work (including a pitch for my old company), and Oregon for the last wedding of the season
October: Paris, Cannes, London x3, Barcelona... plus the overnight move from Barcelona to Paris
November: Stockholm, London, Prague... where we got engaged; played my first match with my new women's football team here, and saw my first live rugby match: France v. Australia
December: weekend in Aix-en-Provence... oh, and I turned 30. And it was dirty.
Well. Seven new countries, three times as many new cities. Eight weddings. A move to a new country. A new decade and an engagement. Looking back at all that, I feel it's time for a recovery nap. And then on to the next adventure. 2009, I'm ready!