A year of ups and downs, highs and lows, and everything in between.
For me, it was a bittersweet year. I started 2015 with two grandfathers and 2016 with zero. I a new, stable, better-paid job and visa sponsorship, as well as my foot in the door in European International schools— a professional opportunity that has really challenged me and my teaching (in a good way). I traveled to two new countries, but revisited many destinations. Many, many of my friends got married or bought houses or got pregnant. My brother and sister both finished their undergraduate degrees and I ran my first half marathon. I started seeing a therapist (and an American one at that), and my candidate of choice, Hillary Clinton, lost the presidential election, which it was devastating. Finally, Netflix’s Gilmore Girls revival came out and I got to relive my teen years with Rory and Lorelai once more (Emily Gilmore, be still my heart, I love her character so much).
My blog continues to do better and better each year. My yearly views increased to 106,000, and I had more than 52,000 visitors in 2016. (And I thank all of you who read and visit and comment, because my interactions with you are the only reason I’ve kept blogging this long.) My most popular post of all-time continues to be Noticeable Differences between French and American Schools, while my most-viewed and commented post of 2016 was of course When the Grass Isn’t Greener: Falling Out of Love with France, with almost 3,000 views and 87 comments on just my blog alone (but even more on The Local).
January 2016- I rang in the New Year at my good friends’ wedding (by the way, I am a huge fan of New Year’s Eve weddings– everyone is looking for a good party, and a wedding is a great way to do that!) Otherwise, it was a cold, quiet month back in Lille.
March- In March, I ran my first Half Marathon in Paris, celebrated my second Gala, and hung out with my mom in Paris when she came over with her students. March was also a big month for job interviews- I had a quite a few over a span of several different cities and countries.
July- In July, I attended my first Gay Pride Parade in Paris, and then fled south for ten days to Toulon, Gap, and Nice. Although this was my first time to Gap, it was wonderful revisiting my old stomping grounds on the Côte d’Azur.
August- A long, dry, hot month. I tried to get ahead on my lesson planning and also spent six days visiting friends in London before the start of the school year.
September- As soon as September started I hit the ground running with my new job, and also finally had enough money to start seeing a bi-weekly therapist. September was a busy but quiet month in Lille, with new roommates, new routines, and the genuine hustle and bustle that is la rentrée.
November- The month started off on a horrible note, with Clinton’s devastating defeat. I was really down for most of that following week, as were many of us. I spent one weekend in Copenhagen, both attending a conference and playing tourist. Our flat share also hosted Thanksgiving for the third year running.
December- As the holidays quickly approached, my flatmate Leah and I ventured to Paris to see the revival of Notre Dame de Paris, a show I absolutely LOVED in high school. It was every bit as magical as you could imagine it to be. Our friends also ventured to Arras to see what is acclaimed to be the best Christmas market in the north. I jetted back to the United States on the 17th of December, where I celebrated Christmas with my family.
How was your 2016? Cheers to a wonderful start to 2017!