If I want to have this post ready by the end of the year, I better start working on it now. Still, so many things have happened over the last 12 months, that it will be difficult to accurately collect them, so I will try to just walk you along the most important events.
A few weeks ago, my dear friend Erin made a comment that made me stop and think. It had to do with what a different situation I was living compared to last year, and being this absolutely true, I suddenly realised all the things that had taken place in my life.
I will go back to December 2012, spending my "life-changing" Christmas at home. Without a festive spirit and after too many sleepless nights, it was a quiet Christmas. I definitely did not have the energy to meet with friends and my mood was not in line with the season and I did not want to mirror everyone's spirit to mine, so I spent the week at home and after Christmas, I delivered the news to my family that I was going to quit my job and leave Germany, after seven years.
The news was taken in in various ways, but, with the exception of my mother, non of them were thrilled. Most thought I had lost my mind and others were... respectful.
Time to fly back to my seven-year home and start the count down.
The first three months of 2013 went by fast (like the remaining nine), lots of things needed to be done to prepare my move out, resignation, various notices, de-registrations and lots of things at work that I wanted to finalise before taking off. Hectic times but my mood was on its best, and with high spirits, no task seems too tedious. By the end of the thee month period notice, I packed my things, left my apartment and celebrated my farewell-birthday feeling my happiest. Before leaving a five day trip to the Mosel with my dear friend and then, off to London to start the training for my "new career life" (to be).
Mid April I spent two weeks of thorough study (probably the most intensive ones of my life) and thankfully, successfully passed the Advanced Level 3 in Wines and Spirits, but that I would not know before eight weeks had passed). Back to Germany for a week to do some further paperwork and say some difficult farewells. Despite my mood being jolly, saying goodbye was not fun.
Last week of April, time to get in the car and drive away from my up-to-then life and get acquainted with my uncertain and minute changing present. Since then, that is basically what I have been doing: living every present moment, without looking back, and not adventuring myself too much into the future. Must say that living this way, has reported some of the most pleasurable and happy moments of my life. Living the "hoy".
As you know, my first stop was Peter's home in Antwerp, were I had the time and the best amicable and soothing host who greatly helped me getting used to the new situation. Muchas gracias, amigo.
The following month transcurred between secondary roads and wine estates, learning, seeing and tasting the terroir. Unforgettable memories and extraordinary moment lived out of causality, or not (you decide in what you believe). And great wine!
Time to arrive to my new~old home and get used to my new~old life and thank goodness for the good~old friends and family. The thought of the following six weeks, makes me dizzy. It was non-stop. Too many things needed to be sorted out, paperwork needed to be taken care of. The closing down of the first three months of the year in Frankfurt, now needed to be opened up in Ourense.
So between registrations, car importing, painters, kitchen fitting and furniture delivery, my first, and so expected visitor, arrived. It was so good to see Erin again, she made me forget about the craziness of the move and for one whole week just enjoyed my very dear friend. I wanted to show her everything, of course it was impossible, so "tut mir leid" my dearest Erin, you will have to visit again. Looking forward to that.
By the time we realised the week had gone by (way too fast) and it was her time to fly out and Peter's turn to fly in. The beautiful, warm, sunny, rainless summer was pleasantly enjoyed with my friends visiting and while getting my life organised.
The autumn made its way and it was time to sit down and plan the next steps. Meeting with my business partner to be each day for two weeks, was a challenging and satisfactory way to brainstorm through October. Decision making time regarding the name, the scope, the way forward... was as exhausting as it was rewarding. With the bases laid down and with a clearer idea of how it should be, time to concentrate on my studies for the following year, or two.
Next summer will be time for the business plan aiming to start with the business activity in about a year time. To be continued...
On the personal plan I am extremely satisfied with this year. It has given me so many personal challenges, that when I look back the balance is absolutely positive, feeling quite proud of how I have approached and handled them. I guess at times one must go through difficult periods to find out our inner strength to confront adversity, gaining in self confidence and getting the energy load needed to continue the path.
Being happy to be back home, feeling for the first time that family is not overrated, that it is important to not leave the ones we love and care for "on hold", and that there is no job as well paid or challenging, that makes up for it, because, at the end of the day, we are tired of listening how it will not be our employer who will look after us, and in all honesty, why should he? Luckily it is never too late to realise that too often our priorities are not well defined and that we give the best of ourselves and our lives to those who just pay for a service.
Yes, 2013 has definitely been one of my best years ever. I have finally understood the importance of living and fully appreciating the moment, because every one one of them is unrepeatable. We are given the freedom to choose and not making use of that freedom, is a real pity.
I am sure I will find a way to make a living, but I am extremely happy to have finally found the way to live my life.
In Vino Veritas; Carpe Diem.
This post is dedicated to all of you who have been part of this amazing year. Thank you for your support, for your friendship, for your faith in me, for being there and for being part of my life.
Best wishes for 2014 and may we all have the strength to materialise our dreams.