Two years away from American soil is a long time; long enough to spark a flurry of incongruous feelings when faced with an impending visit – nervous anticipation, excitement and of course the disruptive concern that the people and places I know and love have changed irrevocably, either because I’ve become too detached or because environment truly does alter perception.
Fortunately, my homecoming has been delightful, without too many heartbreaking changes and full of down time to indulge in some end-of-the-year woolgathering while lounging in front of the sparkling Christmas tree. I still haven’t figured out how to condense a roller-coaster year into one neatly polished synopsis or conclusion but I can say that I had to white-knuckle my way through it; asking myself uncomfortable life questions along the way all while attempting to pursue my goals and keep the online curtain drawn to the disorder.While the rewards were legion – from co-authoring my first book to contributing to the WSJ – they were punctuated by what I can only call an emotional pummeling. For more than half of 2014, I was convinced that something – an ineffable something – needed radical change. I was listless and pessimistic which only served to send my relationship spiraling into dangerously dark waters. It wasn’t until we pulled ourselves out of the Parisian landscape and forced a change of scenery in Israel that the fog started to lift. Priorities were coming into focus.
Becoming a French citizen was a watershed moment in my journey toward a crystallized identity and doubly gratifying because, as an expat, there is always a dull but pervasive concern about things turning out as they should. In June, we celebrated crazy, passionate love and in July, we received an important reminder to slow down thanks to a week-long visit from my 7-year old brother. A weekend in Bordeaux was an invigorating way to start the fall season while a visit from an old friend lent the familiarity I needed during a particularly uprooting end to 2014.
The unequivocal high points I’ll remember most were both those with friends and the moments where I acknowledged and overcame a fear that was preventing me from moving forward. The very things I mistakenly thought required change earlier in the year are, in fact, the stabilizing forces behind my courage to imagine a different path. So my plan for the last day of the year is to shake off the hurt, stress and discomfort that may have plagued a part of my year and raise a glass to deliberate, liberating C.H.A.N.G.E. in 2015.
Have you made any firm resolutions for the new year?
As always, thank you for continuing to show your support for this site and my stories! Here’s to more adventures in 2015.
Bonne année! xx