Reflections of 2012

It’s that time again to write a post reflecting on this past year. (You can see my posts from the previous two years here: 2010 & 2011.) So without further ado…

2012 in review:

    • This year I lived in: Granada, Spain & Munich, Germany.
    • It was the first time I’ve lived in non-English speaking countries (life goal checked off the list!).
    • I also traveled to: London, Madrid, Malaga, Lisbon, Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Paris, Annecy, Geneva, Toronto, and Nova Scotia. That’s 10 countries – whew!
    • I worked on 2 movies this year: JUSTIN AND THE KNIGHTS OF VALOUR, and IRON MAN 3.
    • My artwork was displayed in 5 group art shows in Spain, the UK and the USA.
    • My plush artwork was published in the book “Plush Toys!” available from Monsa.
    • I rescued two stray kittens in Spain, and they were both placed in new homes. 🙂
    • Body Modifications: pierced nose. ^_____^
    • December marked the first time that my parents, brother and I have been together in 3 years!

The biggest event in my life this year was living in Spain for 10 months.  Not only was it fantastic to live in hot sunny weather with delicious wine and fresh olives, but living there was an amazing experience. I lived in a country that is experiencing a financial crisis; where 26% of the population is unemployed (compared to the 7.4-7.7% unemployment rate that Canada & the USA are experiencing). That means that 1 in 4 people are unemployed(!), but you wouldn’t know that the people are suffering from it — the Spaniards I met were warm, friendly and happy. I grew up on a continent which embraces consumerism as if it was practically a religion. I have lived in Canada and the USA, and most people I knew were never satisfied with what they had — always striving to consume or gain more — desperate to find their happiness by buying it, or at least convincing themselves that they could (I was one of those people). Living in Spain allowed me to see that people don’t need to live with very much in order to be happy. That lifestyle had an impact on me, and it was the first time in years that I felt content and happy by simply… living. I didn’t need more or something else, or something ‘better’ to be happy about getting up everyday.  I also didn’t feel the high level of stress that I’ve felt everywhere else I’ve lived. I learned for the first time how to relax and enjoy life. In fact, I think this is the first time I’ve ever experienced that; the enjoyment of living.  The Spanish (and other nationalities) of people I met were so warm and friendly, and some of them helped me out immensely when I needed it most. I will always be indebted to them. It’s the first place I’ve lived where I’ve really felt a strong connection to the people and the land, and if I have a chance I would like to return there someday.

This year felt it was the first time I could actually fly free from the bonds of my past. This year I felt free and happy.  I hope I can carry the spirit I felt in Spain with me wherever I go. I know now that whenever I am feeling displaced or lost, I will imagine myself under the hot Spanish sun, and remember the time when everything felt right.

In 2013 I will continue working in Germany. Who knows where else life will take me, but I’m up for the adventure! 🙂

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One thought on “Reflections of 2012

  1. This is such an interesting post Emily. It sounds like Spain had a lot to teach. I suppose this is what is meant by travel expanding people’s minds. I wish now that we had been able to visit you there. And I wish more economic stability for the Spanish people so they can continue living their lifestyle that places so much importance on LIVING and people and family.
    I also hope you get to work there again someday. xoxo

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