This year, I wanted my theme to be Accountability and Strategic Creativity. I really felt the progression of moving into a perceived state of adulthood and what that all requires, and I wanted to push myself to take control of aspects of my life I previously took for granted or felt were too hard.
On top of that list was going back to Paris. Not only for the joy of it—Paris is a city I call home more than any other place on earth—but to develop my pastry skills in a new way. At the beginning of the year, I enrolled in Ferrandi Cooking School to get my advanced pastry certification. I used the support of my friends, family, and followers from this blog to acquire the funds I needed to pay tuition and set off for nearly a month of living and breathing pastry.
I never wrote about my experience because I don’t feel like I can do it justice. I could try to tell stories of making 7-layer tarts with the world pastry chef champion, or Vélib-ing through the streets before class; of conducting Skype interviews for jobs back home and in Paris; or crying while watching the sunset at Sacre Coeur; of hiking for 2.5 hours solo to swim in the beautiful Calanque au Vin outside of Marseille; or driving around Provence with a surprise friend in tow; or of countless other things. But I can’t, so I won’t.
Instead I can share how insanely grateful I am for being able to culinary school nearly 10 years after I started cooking. And while I really could live in Paris forever (and that plan is still not off the table), I did find a job in SF that challenges me in a way that drains and excites me for what’s to come.
This past year I held myself accountable and didn’t compromise my life for anyone. I traveled to new places because I wanted to (looking at you, Cartagena, Mexico City, Nicaragua, South Africa); I cooked dinner with friends more than ever; and I FINALLY started learning about personal finance and began saving long-term.
I also lost a job and a relationship. I’m no stranger to either of these losses, yet they still hurt, the latter one more so. I felt and feel alone often; and I feel like trying as hard as I can sometimes isn’t enough, making it difficult to see the future with clarity. It’s a part of life I haven’t been able to crack yet.
Am I ready for 2018? Yes AF. I’m not exactly sure what it’s going to bring yet, but I have some ideas in mind. I know it’s going to be busy, and I think it’s going to be a lot more time on my own. I’m apprehensive and intrigued. I want to do all the cooking + pastry + running + swimming + outdoorsing (hiking/camping anyone?) + new place-ing + financial planing + cryptocurrency-ing (yes, I’m one of those people) + dancing + learning + whatever else I like to do that I didn’t list here cuz this sentence is getting to be really long. I don’t know what the theme will be, but maybe y’all can help me with that?
Waving hello to 2018.