Well, here it is, the year I turn 28. It’s not supposed to be a big deal, I thought, but the occasion has spun itself into something with significance. For one, it is the first time in 9 years, (and I guess the first time since I haven’t been a “teenager”), that I’ve celebrated my birthday at home in Vancouver. Also, this is the first time since Alex and I have been together that we haven’t celebrated my birthday together. Yes, let’s all take a moment and wallow with me. Thank you.
The biggest reason that this birthday has turned into a bit of an introspective moment is because I’m looking back and realizing that time has absolutely flown by since my 25th birthday. That’s three years ago, when I was all “OMG I’m 25 what’s happening with my life?” And in those three years, a lot has happened. The most important thing is that I’ve taken a year off to try new things, see the world, and figure out what it is I want to do with my life. Now I think I owe it to myself, and the awesome people who have encouraged me throughout my journey, to come to a conclusion already.
In the past 14 months and 11 days, the biggest change I’ve noticed about myself is the progress I’ve made to be happy with who I am. Physically, I’ve had time to take care of myself after spending five years putting my career first (this is a nice way of saying that I ate comme une poubelle when I was working full time). I’ve been able to lose that nasty weight that crept up on me from sitting down for 12 hours or more a day, and I was able to wear my wedding dress without wishing I’d lost an extra ten pounds. This is one of the most extraordinary changes I’ve experienced that I have been able to see.
I’ve also learned that I love the career path I started for myself. I’ve missed working, being in the thick of everything digital daily, talking about cookies (of the non-edible kind) and budgets (slightly larger than the €20 per diem we allowed ourselves in Paris). I thrived on the challenges my old job gave me, and I look forward to continuing down that path.
That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed my baking life in Paris. I have learned a lot more than when I started, and I am super psyched to have all this knowledge. I have yet to figure out what do with all of the ideas in my head, but I am excited that I will have them with me for the rest of my life. Paris was a really special experience not just because of the schooling aspect, but because of the whole lifestyle I had – living leisurely, eating well, and doing something I love everyday. That kind of lifestyle will always be the life I aspire to lead even when I return to work.
Of course, some things haven’t changed. I haven’t magically become someone who’s gone from a Type-A perfectionist to a super-laid-back c’est-la-vie kind of girl. I haven’t seen poverty from the developing nations and decided that I no longer need pretty things. To be honest, I’m relieved that these traits about me have stayed constant, because they make me who I am and I have grown to like my quirks. I didn’t set out on this journey to change; I set out to discover things I like about myself and things I want to change. On this day when I am supposed to be turning one year older and possibly wiser, I think I have amassed enough (for now) to help me go forth from here.
I wouldn’t trade the last three years of (can’t think of a more appropriate word) metamorphosis for anything, and I am so grateful I have had the people in my life to help me along. I am so excited to see what the future brings.