Friday, January 22, 2010

Yes, I'd like NYC. But in a size L. And no skinny-jeans, please!

This morning has brought with it a series of mixed emotions. Cleaning out my email box at Euro - one that has remained the same for the past 5 years - I am flooded with memories of a life lived well in one of the best cities on Earth.

In reading through emails exchanged with friends, glimpsing travel reservations that have taking place, recipes shared in prep for a celebration, and photos taken on various occassions, I am overwhelmed at the life that has been mine in my days here.

This city has been my home, its been my entertainment, and its been my best friend. These streets have witnessed every emotion I have known -- from happiness, to sadness, to excitement to bewilderment. Its all been there. My life has happened here, and I am growing a bit teary eyed at knowing I could be leaving and never coming back.

Given the time spent here, I can safely say moving to New York is my biggest adventure to-date. Being here has helped me find myself, and figure out what I want in life, and in my life. The one thing this city has not provided for me is love. Real love. Not to sound like Carrie Bradshaw, but "real, awe-inspiring, incovenient, all-encompassing, can't live without you love", and that is what I want. Sure I've had 'love' in my life, but none that I wasn't willing to throw back as I knew something better was out there.

While the city never gave me the love I am looking for, it did provide everything I needed in other ways. Challenges to make me stronger. City-streets to wander for hours as I sorted myself out. Experiences that you read about only in magazines. Friends who have anchored-me and yet encouraged me to dream. Mentors who have been inspiring. Diverse cultural offerings to grow my passion for the arts, for food and wine, and the world in which we live. And too many fun memories to count. New York has been so much to me.

But as I told Time Out New York last year, "I want it all". I want all the city provided, plus the real love I seek. I believe I will find it, just not here in these city streets. My journey is leading me past that, and encouraging new directions.

New York taught me what I am, and what I want. And now I must go into the world to find the one thing I want most. I know without a doubt, that will be the biggest and most exciting adventure of my life. And I am more than ready for it to begin.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Listening to the Voice Within

Happy New Year, all!

What a wacky year 2009 was. It was one of the most amazing years of my life, full of every emotion under the sun. A true life-changer. As fabulous as those 365 days were, I am so happy to be sitting on this side of that year, and ready for an even more fabulous time of my life.

My current location in the world is San Pedro, Belize. I am waiting on a fresh cup of Belizean coffee to finish brewing and I am writing from the little table in my guest cottage with fantastic views of the overcast sky. Mornings like this are made for writing.

Getting to this exact moment has taken all of me - physically, mentally, emotionally, all of me. Every moment of last year led me here - from ending an engagement, cancelling a wedding, running a marathon, finding an apartment I adore, running all over Southern Europe, meeting some of the most terrific people in my life, and learning to just be me -- all of me.

I no longer worry that 'all of me' is too much for people. For some, I am a handful. And I now know that is okay. The thing I am most proud of in 2009 is learning to be myself, and learning to love who that person is - regardless of what that means to others.

As I look back on 2009, there was always a hand guiding me forward. Showing me signs, leading me to where I am. The path wasn't clear at the beginning, but in hindsight its as clear as day.

I am happiest in moments like this, letting my thoughts fill a page, telling a story for some sort of purpose - with a tendancy towards being long-winded. I know I am meant to write. The path has been there my whole life, but I always wanted to ignore it and chase other dreams that made sense for other people. But now, after getting a taste for a writers' life during my time in Europe, and trying to make the whole "advertising thing"work once I returned, only to be told my job is ending in February, I know my time is here.

By the end of 2010, I will have a manuscript to publish. That is my only goal for this year.

When the voice inside calls, we must move forward. We can ignore it, we can hide from it, but it only comes back to you later. At 32, the time has come to listen and to act on what that voice says to me.

Sure, at 32, I would like to pursue other things -- relationships, dreams of family and a more settled lifestyle -- but I know that will never happen if I don't get on with what I know I am meant to do. The path has been there all along, and now I must go where that path leads. Life is simply too short to be less than we were meant to be.