2011 A Year in Review, by Lauren
The older I get the faster the time goes by. It’s scary how fast 2011 has cruised by and the end of the year is the perfect time to look back at what’s been accomplished this year and what is yet to come. Now, I hate New Years Resolutions so instead I wanted to do a little year in review of lessons learned in 2011. So good-bye 2011 and hello 2012!
11. Challenge yourself to make something you’ve never made before-This was one of the challenges of the first Ghetto-gether, but by reminding myself to make something I haven’t made before motivates me to try new things. This year I made my own pasta for the first time, I’ve started trying a few desserts, I made my own dumplings and Hilary now can make her own bread. For me this has been a pretty big culinary step for me!
10. Defy inhibitions and put yourself out there to meet new people- At the beginning of the year I was still pretty new to Amsterdam and still trying to find my social way in this town. I started attending events that I would normally never go to, but by going against my own grain I started meeting some fabulous people that share the same interests as me. By putting myself out there, Amsterdam started opening itself up to me.
9. Become part of a community- From starting this blog whole foodie community unfolded before me that’s not only out here in the internet, but also in the real world in Amsterdam. I’ve learned so much from the people that I’ve met in this community online and offline, people I never would have interacted with if I didn’t partake in the communities around me.
8. Feed your passions – It’s easy for work to the get the best of me. It sucks up the most time out of my days and by the time its over all I want to do is sit on my ass and watch television. So I constantly have to remind myself that life is not all about work and to keep feeding my passions. That means writing, shooting photographs, traveling, and cooking. Feeding my passions feeds my soul.
7. Keep Creating- I never really thought of myself as a creative person. As a producer, I deal with the logistics and organization and management but being creative was never a strong talent of mine, or so I thought. But really we are all creative beings and we just need the right outlet for us to shine. Keeping this blog going gives me that outlet, creating meals in the kitchen – even though I’m only following someone else’s directions- gives me that outlet too. If we stop creating we become stagnant.
6. Learn a new skill - This year I tried to learn wordpress and to design the website. I learned social media and some photoshop and even a little Dutch.
5. Know your limitations -After banging my head against the wall multiple times while learning wordpress, I realised it’s just better to pay someone to do the website, because the struggle to learn this new skill is just not worth it! So I didn’t learn exactly learn that skill but I did learn what my limitations are!
4. Human Relationships Reign Supreme – for as much time as we spend online, social relationships still take second seat to me behind human interaction. As much fun as it is to talk to people you don’t really know online, I much rather have a face to face with my friends. This year I’ve been lucky enough to see Hilary and my friend Harriet every week.
3. Work is not top priority - There’s a saying that no one on their death bed ever wished they worked more. Work was always my top priority until I moved to Europe and here it’s just different, there’s more of a work / life balance that I really enjoy (and trying to get used to!) Not making it my top priority has allowed me to have much less stress in my life, prioritize my family and boyfriend, and broaden my creative horizons.
2. Always keep exploring. - I love traveling, seeing new things, exploring new places, being transported to another time and place. I am so lucky to live in Europe where we can jaunt off to Berlin for a weekend or go to Budapest with my best friend for 4 days. Exploring keeps me my mind active and feeds my soul.
1. Home really is where the heart is. - Even though I don’t love living in Amsterdam and living in Stefan’s flat is not exactly my cup of tea but since he is here and this is where he lives then this is where I am. Since July I’ve been flying to London to work 3 days a week I’ve realised that my home is wherever Stefan is, even if it somewhat resembles squalor