Another year has gone by. I am actually listening to Celine Dion's song by the same title from circa 1998 to get me in the mood for recalling all that was 2017. I've been concluding the year with these reflections for a few years now and it brings me a feeling of peace despite the fact that I really don't like New Year's all that much. While I am hopeful for the promise and opportunity of another year, I always war with a subtle melancholy for the conclusion of the Christmas season.
This past year I began a new job in Manhattan, one that has exposed me to a multitude of experiences for which I am so very grateful. I learned a valuable lesson in persistence. I applied to work at Bullfrog+Baum as a senior at Georgetown and received no reply back. I applied again a year later, and again received no reply. I committed to writing more, learning to compose a compelling image, and sharing creative projects here in this digital corner of mine. Upon applying to Bullfrog some 5 years after my initial infatuation with the firm, I got a call, 3 interviews, a job, a slew of new connections, a belly full of meals, and some new sisters. Brothers too! I see you Aik Wye and Alex. Oh and a promotion!
I felt the pride of seeing my name in the Wall Street Journal.
I learned that relationships don't always endure change, but they serve their purposes for a moment in time. You can still be thankful for the impressions and wisdom left behind. Speaking of relationships - they can begin on rocky footing. There can be conflict, dissonance, and even harsh judgment. But all is not lost. People evolve and under the right circumstances the unlikeliest of people can become allies and advocates.
I learned you can make peace with popovers, win over a hardened heart with the freshly-baked, and heal someone who is suffering with 12 minutes on the phone.
I have seen that the afflicted are prone to flock to helping professions. I believe this is a constructive way to cope with feelings of pain, fear, shame and inadequacy. I also learned we do not have to perpetually be on trial. We can be forgiven.
I have learned to love more completely, and that sometimes love is uncomfortable and that you can love and not quite like someone momentarily. Life does not have to be blissful and without adversity to be pure magic. I have learned that when I am angry, or he is angry we make more progress confronting matters head on than when we dance around a fragile topic.
I have learned to navigate the NYC subway! Learned about some wines, many cheeses, and a spirit or two at Italienne. I baked oh so many batches of Rossella Rago's Italian Knot Cookies as I have for years at Christmas. We became friends too and to hold her book in my hands and call her a companion is wildly gratifying. I made Gail Simmons' Banoffee Pie and I am never looking back. I ate at restaurants I could likely never afford, at least not for a very long time.
I learned to shoot in manual mode. Thank you lynda.com and Melissa Cohn. I learned some ways to make an Instagram story perdy, and how to navigate the freaking billing section on Facebook Ads Manager.
I learned of the joy in train travel. I learned oh so much about Hoboken from frequently missing said trains, and made new friends at the diner I get milkshakes at when I miss said trains.
I learned about press language, media outlets, and how to multi-task like a beast.
I had hot pot, my first ever martini, and ate pizza multiple times in Brooklyn.
I learned how to maintain composure when dealing with obnoxiously drunk patrons while working the door at a bar. I also learned how gratifying it is to work with different demographics in capacities that use different parts of your brains.
No two couples are alike. Comparison, as has always been said, is literally the thief of joy.
Books fed my soul this past year, and period television was mildly addictive. The Tudors and The Borgias kept me company on the treadmill... That is when I made it to the treadmill. I walked far and wide in the city to avoid the subway although as I said, the scared Jersey girl learned to navigate it.
I learned that I can thrive outside of my comfort zone and that I’ve merely scratched the surface of all I would like to see and try.
I’m still learning to be gentle with myself but I’m closer than I was and I’m hopeful for what lies ahead.