If I could describe 2014 in a few words, I’d say it was inspiring, exciting, full of challenges and opportunities – exactly how a year should be like, right?
For me, 2014 has been full of numerous twists and turns. As I sit here and write this, I find it hard to believe that things I didn’t think would ever happen, actually have and I feel so grateful.
If 2014 has taught me anything, it’s made me trust that things that should happen – will. It has also been a year which has made me believe that I can do, what I want to do.
Over the past year, I have pushed myself to do certain things which I had always wanted to do. From a crazy, fun trip to Paris, to learning French again and to making YouTube videos – these little steps gave me some great memories and helped me to feel inspired. Of course, it’s also been a year jam-packed full with surprises and opportunities.
Earlier last year, I took my first trip to Paris and it was one which I will never forget. I visited my friend Natalie for a long weekend. I’ll be honest and say, around that time I wasn’t feeling too upbeat and felt very alone. The trip to Paris gave me so much happiness and we honestly didn’t stop laughing for the entire weekend. Although I visited in May, I needed to kick start my year with a bang, some sparkle and a bit of fizz – my trip to Paris did exactly that.
A ‘Bunica’ surprise
One major surprise of the year was my Grandma coming to visit from Romania. I don’t think I will ever forget the moment when I walked into my garden and there she was – my Bunica, smiling from ear to ear. Over the few months which she spent with us, we made some amazing memories. We went for afternoon tea at The Grosevnor Hotel and I don’t think I have laughed so much with her, than I did so then. Obviously living apart from each other and the language barrier causes certain issues, but it was over the time that she was in England, I learnt how alike we are. I was able to truly appreciate and see my Bunica’s kindness, craziness and her unbelievable fun-loving spirit; elements I’ve missed over the years.
Making videos and taking my blog to the next level
If you had said to me a year ago “Marianna, you’re going to make some YouTube videos“, I probably would have run for the hills. Although there haven’t been too many, the ones which we have created fill me with so much joy and I can’t help but smile when I watch them. Whilst making the videos, I may have driven Bogdan crazy (with my need to enjoy several cocktails before making the introduction, or even being unable to pronounce certain words), but I am so grateful for his patience, creativity and belief.
I love re-watching the videos as they bring back so many fun memories – which is what it’s all about really. But now we are in the New Year, I hope to be able to make some more videos which will capture more wonderful and crazy moments.
As for my blog, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing companies including wagamama and Jamie Oliver’s Italian. These have been some of my highlights and here’s hoping 2015 will bring some more to my blog. I am also determined to write more often and to really take my blog to the next level.
A little summer holiday
For those who know me, there is very rarely a summer that does not go by when I don’t visit Romania. This year, it was a little different. I travelled alone and split my time between the seaside, the city and the capital. I spent some amazing days in Bucharest, where I saw incredible parks and truly beautiful places.
Essentially I did challenge myself as I can barely speak the language and despite this, I tried my best to immerse myself into the community. I may not have spent my evenings going to lots of fancy nightclubs and restaurants, but I loved doing my food shopping, hopping on a maxi-taxi, sunning myself on the beach and spending time with old and new friends, as well as saying goodbye to my fabulous Auntie.
New job and believing in myself
I can’t believe a year ago, I had just completed my internship and in less than one year, I stretched and challenged myself with a great, new job. I had felt lost and rather uninspired with my last job, but I’ve been able to take on a challenging project which I find so exciting. In last year’s post, I felt so optimistic about my last role but it soon became apparent that it was not for me.
I viewed it as my ‘stepping-stone’ and I learnt some great skills and did things which I didn’t think I ever could – for example, finance! I believe that with every job there are highs and lows. The main point to remember is that every job equips you with skills and opportunities which you need to relish. Once you’ve been able to do so, there is nothing stopping you from going for what you want to achieve the most – no matter what others may tell you.
Goodbye 2014 and hello 2015
Over the past year, 2014 has been the year where I’ve matured a lot – I write this as I’m sitting in a leopard onesie…! But I feel like I view things a little differently. In 2014 I became comfortable with myself and strengthened my independence. I no longer felt afraid of being alone and ultimately began to really enjoy my own company. It was a time when I found new hobbies, pushed myself to do things that I wouldn’t usually do and made some rather tough decisions. Most importantly, I rediscovered happiness and for me, that’s the most important and inspiring thing.
So welcome 2015 and here’s to a whole load of fun, health, love and pizza.
Happy New Year!
A few favourite snaps…