With the year coming to an end it's a great time to take a step back and think about what has happened in the past 365 days. 2015 has been an interesting one, with ups & downs and lots of changes. Throughout I have cursed at the year, unhappy about the things I did not make happen. It's easy for me to focus on the things that didn't go my way - it's part of my personality - which is why it's so important to take a moment, switch focus and reflect.
In this year a lot of major things have happened: most of them connected to taking another leap and making the big move across the ocean from Vancouver, Canada, back to my roots in Europe. A new adventure that brought a lot of opportunities, but also some struggles. Leaving my home for 4 years, my friends, my job, my favourite hotspots and, most of all, my comfort zone behind was almost the easy part. Then starting from scratch in a (relatively) new city - that was is hard. It turned out it was harder to make friends here in Berlin and finding an apartment also took longer than planned. And then the job situation... not quite what I had expected. Granted, I enjoyed summer livin' in the city, exploring new stores, restaurants and bars. But at some point that itch of wanting to be "useful" came back. Not to mention the other perks that come with a steady job (insert money bag here). It's one of the things most people enjoying the expat life need to deal with. But as I've said before: it's worth the sleepness nights.
Because even when things are still not 100% stable in my new(ish) Berlin life (would I want it to be, though?!), things have turned out to be pretty good. I often take it for granted that I have been able to move to three different countries so far, but that alone is something I should be excited about - despite the struggles that come with it. And when things didn't work out quite as expected with a full-time gig, I landed a contract with an exciting agency, with frequent trips to London. I've met creative people with a similar mindset, got a boost of inspiration and was able to see my goals, needs & desires more clearly. It defined my focus, which gave me the little push I needed to start working on my own business (besides NOA NOIR).
In my personal life I may have not made hundreds of new friends, which is totally ok, because the new ladies in my life could definitely live up to that whole #squadgoals hype ;-) (if only they'd all live in Berlin). I am more of a 'quality over quantity' kind of girl anyway! I can be my (occasionally goofy) self with them, catch-up over delicious carrot cake and talk about practically anything... the serious and not-so-serious stuff. And my friendships from Vancouver also still exist, which is a relief for any expat moving away! Some bonds have even grown stronger - despite the distance.
So at the end of 2015, I am right on track for an awesome 2016. This year has shown me that big changes are good (even when you feel like you've hit rock-bottom sometimes), genuine friendships remain and sometimes even grow stronger despite geographical distances, there will always be people that have your back & when things don't work out as planned, there is always another (possibly better!) opportunity available in its stead. All it takes is an open mind and a strong will.