Every August, I put together a synopsis of the past year's shenanigans, in honor of my permanent arrival in Paris on August 1, 2013. I also generally write in celebration of my student visa renewal. Now, after three years of student visa status, I am in the process of (hopefully!) attaining a work visa through my current job. This would be a better situation on a great many levels, but also comes at the price of the complete unknown. My job had to mail in paperwork right before my old visa expired, leaving me bound within the iron walls (or vineyard-laden panoramas) of France and also leaving me at the mercy of an answer that may not come for months. Particularly since no French citizen in their right mind would consider doing work in August, I have no real hope of resolution until September at the earliest. It is frustrating and unnerving to end my last three years on such an unstable note, but the hope that remains will ideally create my new beginning.
In looking back on the past 12 months, I can't help but marvel at all I have accomplished. It's so easy to feel the humdrum and petty irritations of life on the day-to-day without even recognizing the momentous feats that are sprinkled into the mix. I whine and analyze and annoy with the best of them, but I try to remember the profound luck and love I am also privy to. One of the main reasons I choose to frolic abroad is my access to action and adventure in the form of epic travel. This year, I went to London twice, once in conjunction with Bath and once as a segue to Inverness and the Isle of Skye. I visited Ireland twice within a 6 month span, which provided bookends to a notable romantic entanglement. I was able to fly home twice this year as well, for Christmas in December and then again in May for a best friend's wedding. In France, I hopped over to Rouen for a day, and spent weekends in Aix-En-Provence and Montpellier. And of course my two new travel spots were Berlin and Amsterdam, both filled with history and culture and lots of food and drink.
Amidst all of these breathtaking travels, I was also insanely fortunate to attend what I feel are the two most popular shows on stage this year. While home for my friend's wedding in May, I went to see the Broadway phenomenon Hamilton, going so far as to trek out to Weehawken earlier in the day and reenact the Hamilton-Burr duel of infamy. Even more fortunately, I scored preview seats to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child after my cousin sat on an online queue for hours at her office desk last September. I paid one million billion dollars for the former and practically pennies in comparison for the latter. It evened out in the end and I don't know a theatre dork for miles who wouldn't feel so smugly satisfied.
The job I got over a year ago proceeded to get busier and better and come with more and more responsibility, thanks to my bosses and my own keen knack for a job well done. I solidified friendships and even hosted Meetup events, as the great socialite and lover of attention that I am. Only recently, I took a children's book writing class and began a novel I hope to complete sooner rather than later on the road to becoming the next JK Rowling.
And at long last, I had some luck in love... or in romance at least. Just before Christmas, I had a three night reminder of what a hot Australian man can offer when he is on vacation and wants to wine and dine an American lady at the Moulin Rouge. I can only suppose this was the necessary preamble to meeting the British man with whom I had the longest relationship I have ever had to date: 5 months. I know, I know, not very long for anyone post-high school but a victory for me nonetheless. I got to experience real dating and what it's like for a man to want to see me and spend quality time. In the end, it was a substantial disappointment when I realized he had no interest in a real relationship and lacked the maturity to relay this information outside of a text. But no regrets. Never any regrets in the pursuit of real love.
And so now I wait and wonder upon the wings of my past year's success. I will remain in Europe some way somehow. I will run a "marathon" in a few weeks. I will finish a novel. I will travel as soon as possible. I will see friends and family. I will continue to work and create. And let's just say it, I will find that hot loving man I so ardently desire. In writing a list of accomplishments, it may seem narcissistic or vainglorious (a word I just found in the thesaurus and sort of really love now) but it's mainly a wonderful way of gaining perspective and acknowledging how good you've got it despite disappointments or defeats. I am one lucky lady.