Tuesday, January 06, 2009

2008... What a strange ride it has been!

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!


Anonymous said...

Happy new year !
Wonder what comes for 09 ? Twin babies ;-).
A good idea to look back on 08 achievements. I'll do the same exercise.
Take care
- Alex

Cristhian Mestre said...

Cool post, cause you did cool things!
Making some diferences I had many changes in my life as well!
- Graduated in International Marketing from Boston University
- Worked for Tissot in NYC
- Traveled to Boston, Dallas, and DC
- Moving back to my parents home in Valencia
- Started to work for Porcelanosa in Villarreal
- Prepared MY wedding
- Finding an apartment in Castellón
- Got married.
- Honeymoon in Mauritius
- Promoted as a MKT & PR Manager
- Moved to Castellón and started to live with my lovely wife
- and last but not least (and great news...) expecting a baby for MAY!!!

What else? You gotta beat this!!!
With twins you could make it!

Anonymous said...

Happy new year!

Hi, this is Joe, a korean young politician who wanna be at IESE.

Last year researching on IESE, I found ur blog, which helps me a lot. I mean u looks enjoyed IESE life really much.

And I got received brochure from IESE and I think u r on the front page, aren't you?

Anyway, if I have questions about IESE, would you plz help sometime?

Best wishes.


NoellieBellie said...

Thanks Alex! Enjoy looking back on 2008... and looking forward to what is to come in 2009!

Christian, congrats on all your achievements. :)

Joe, yes that's me on the IESE brochure cover. It's pretty funny... I'd be more than happy to answer questions about IESE, and I'll send you an email.

Samuel said...

Cristhian, i'm sorry, but i think you didn't remember the most important think: in february'09 you was fired, because of your bad work.
Could you beat this?

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