This has certainly been a year for the books. I’ve experienced so many ups and downs this past year but through it all I have rediscovered – or realized for the first time – just how strong I really am. This post will not only be a recap of all of the good moments of 2013 but also a short list of what I’ve learned this year plus, an announcement at the very end.
Take a look at my 2013 through pictures!
(We didn’t get a picture of this but on January 1st, 2013, I ate 12 grapes at midnight CST -even though I had a bad stomach ache- and made a wish to go back to Spain in 2013. I think many of you know whether or not that wish came true. 😉
I started the year off flying back to Jacksonville with a free First Class upgrade thanks to all the qualifying flights I took in 2012.
|En el patio de los naranjos afuera de la Catedral en Sevilla|
I actually cooked while I was there in two different houses! (my host mom in Triana wouldn’t allow us inside her kitchen back in 2010!)
|In Rincón de la Victoria (Malága)|
|En el piso de André en la Macarena (Sevilla)|
And to top it all off, I got to see my brother while he was visiting Madrid…
It’s going to take a lot of work to perfect my skills in all three languages,
but I am determined.
I worked on improving my health and probably ate the healthiest this year than any other year in my life thus far
|My favorite meal creation of the year (besides the tortilla de patatas): chicken and avocado tostadas with mozzarella cheese and a spicy sauce! Mmm…even Fred wants a bite! 😉|
Saw a dear friend of mine marry the love of her life in June!
|Amanda, Dustin and I in Daytona Beach, Florida|
Attended my first “Willats” family wedding as an adult in October- so happy for my cousin Emily and new cousin Tyler!
|Almost the whole family together at Emily and Tyler’s reception in Iowa|
Went to the beach and enjoyed seeing many sunrises and sunsets there
Closed out 24 by making my first paella using a real paella pan my aunt got me for Christmas 2012
With the under-construction Washington Monument in the background
And last but not least, I reunited with a very dear friend – mi hermanita en Cristo, Abigail!
|Abby and I reunited in our hometown of Dayton, OH after her one-year term in the DR!|
As 2013 comes to a close, I look back and give thanks for every good and bad moment that happened in my life this year. I learned who my true friends were again (which seems to happen each time you travel internationally) and received a lot of support and advice from the people closest to me. I have learned so much about myself and other people, what I am capable of and who I want to be in the future.
While I have enjoyed learning and discovering the wonderful and challenging world of marketing, I have learned that it’s not my main passion in life. My first love in life is God, but, until a man captures my heart, my second love will always be Spanish.
I spent a small part of this year being in a country that was not my own, speaking a language that was not my native one and honestly? I couldn’t have been happier and have never felt more at home in Europe. This is why I have decided to stop running from my desire to live and teach English in Spain. I have decided to go full steam ahead into applying and getting things in order so I will be able to do that. I want to say the end of the 2014-2015 school year in Madrid (hopefully) I am bilingual in English and Spanish. It will take a lot of work to get to that point but I am ready for the challenge! We will see what other opportunities come my way as the year 2014 unfolds!
So, my friends near and far, as I write this, I will soon be heading into my last winter in Jacksonville, Florida as a snowbird and in March 2014, I will be saying ‘see you later’ to a city that has been my home away from home for the last 6 years.
Life is too short to not follow your dreams and live each day to the fullest and that is what I plan to do! Stay tuned for updates and potential changes to this blog next year.
How was your 2013? What did you learn?
I pray that you will be surrounded by people you love as you ring in 2014 and strive to make this coming year your best year yet!
Feliz año nuevo a todos mis amigos y lectores en España o cualquier sitio vosotros estéis!