2012 has been a tremendous year. It was marked by searing loss, sudden opportunity, new bonds and fresh perspective. It was a fluctuating dynamic of mind-blowing eats, full-bodied laughs, aching tears, paralyzing fear and explosive optimism - which of those in particular defined the last twelve months overall, it's hard to say.
The toughest challenges came not in the form of deadlines or obligations, though they may have contributed to a gray hair or two, but from periods of intense self-reflection; time spent plumbing the mysteries of my own mind and wondering if my aspirations are propelling me forward or hindering the personal connections I so badly want to deepen. The danger in many creative pursuits is that they demand undivided attention and a time-consuming and often solitary investment, isolating those not directly involved. So grimly wrapped up in my own world was I at times that I was adrift and neglected the people I care about most. This disconnect must change next year.
Now, just a few days before 2013, I'm committed to finding balance, leaving my mobile appendages and notepads behind temporarily to recharge with family and friends I only see once or twice a year. And you know what? It has felt pretty amazing to part with these attachments. Instead, I'm reading books to my little brother, celebrating new milestones in my sister's life, offering gifts to my parents I know they wouldn't have picked up for themselves. I'm thinking of all the places I want to explore more or for the first time next year - Italy, Thailand, Israel and Austria figure on this list - and all the ways I can endeavor to continue pursuing my goals while remaining in control of my time.
As for what that means for this site - hopefully, more photos of the city and country that continues to mold me into the person I believe I'm meant to be, interviews with fascinating and creative Francophiles, food news and even a bit of wanderlust.
Balance was indeed my biggest challenge this year but your continued support and encouragement kept me going even in the moments where I felt like shuttering this whole thing. So thank you! Here's to positive change and greater perspective in the new year, whatever that may entail for each of you.
A few of the things I was afraid to say
Selection of my published pieces
My mini guide to Paris (Fathom)
An eye-opening Californian journey
Wishing everyone a healthy and joyous holiday.