Looking Back at 2018 and My New Year Wishes to You

by Michaela

I usually don’t share much from my personal life on my blog nor social media, but as we are still in the after-Christmas mood and a blank new year is awaiting us when most of us hope for good changes and set their NY’ resolutions, I decided to make an exception. I will not share with you my resolutions though (cause simply I don’t have any) but I want to tell you what was my 2018 mostly about and for what I feel so grateful. And maybe my story gives hope to some of you who need it. 

Back in the second half of 2017, my life changed when we decided with my previous partner that our 5-year relationship had no future and that sadly, we were not meant to be together. I moved away and although it was not easy, I kept myself busy by furnishing and decorating the new bright apartment that I rented especially because of its ideal conditions for food photography. Honestly, in the beginning, I did not feel like cooking and shooting recipes and rather enjoyed some cozy evenings at home with a book or a nice movie, seeing friends, going to the gym, language classes or cinema right behind the corner. Slowly and slowly I enjoyed more and more the time alone and started 2018 by planning my next trip to Colombia or India.

The winter has passed and from early spring to late summer, we had great weather here in Brussels. I spent a large amount of free time on the large terrace, mostly relaxing in the hammock from Colombia, sunbathing or watching the stars while listening to the movement of leaves on the surrounding trees, piano play from neighbors or an overflight of the Brussels’ parrots. How many glasses of wine was emptied here with my sister and friends while chatting and watching the stars? I now feel very nostalgic about this time, as I’ll be soon leaving this lovely apartment hidden in the middle of the city jungle. I will not be leaving back to the Czech Republic as I planned last year though but will stay in Brussels…

Actually, in April, I did not go alone for the hammock to Colombia. As you may guess, a special man appeared in my life. His name is Steven. The one who has been making my days more colorful and has been helping me to see “llamas and chocolate” everywhere and being grateful for every morning, even a rainy one. He reminded me that we only live once and we should make our life beautiful no matter what. I realized that I actually don’t want to spend the rest of my life being sad about political situation or bad weather that I can’t directly influence. In general, he is a very positive person who does not even have the word “problem” in his dictionary – thanks to his genial creativity, he can solve problems even before you know they exist. How a good friend of him once said to me: “You can go with him to a supermarket and he will for sure find something that will make you happy while you had no clue you were actually looking for it.”

Steven is Dutch and similarly to me, he has been living in Brussels for more than 8 years and loving this city. He is also a great example of an endangered human species called gentleman – not only he opens the door of the car for me every time but also gets me out of it whenever I fall asleep during the drive. If I’m too tired to walk up the stairs, he pushes me up, when I’m too slow on a bike, he hides behind the corner and then pretends arriving after me for my good feeling. 😀 … btw, I still haven’t found where he hides his halo because being such a nice boyfriend especially when I’m tired or hungry, that’s a hard job! I admire his kindness and love for animals – he wouldn’t even hurt a mosquito – ok, we don’t have the same opinions on everything! 😀 But we share a similar taste of humor and love for traveling & photography (he actually brings his camera with him more often than a charged phone. 😀 And btw, he already helped me to shoot some recipes here!). Great thing is that he doesn’t mind me traveling without him so this way I could discover Bordeaux with girls!

And you know what? He fell from the sky when I would expect it the least. Who guessed then back in the beginning of 2018 that we would travel through Colombia together for three weeks shortly after meeting each other or that he would guide me in Florence and show me the Netherlands in depth or that we would discover the beautiful island of Malta together?! And if anybody would tell me last year that I shall be moving with somebody within a year, I would have probably knocked on my forehead. The mama of Forest Gump was right when she compared life to a box of chocolates and that you never know what you will taste next (and what it will do with you)…

So, dear friends, my NY’s message to you is the following. Don’t be afraid of any change or tasting the unknown – it usually moves us forward. And even if at the end it will not be what we aimed for, at least we can learn and see which way is not the right one. Don’t be afraid of making difficult decisions or taking risks from time to time, because without these, we would stagnate and not grow at all. I wish you all a wonderful year 2019 – may your dreams become true and don’t forget to enjoy the simple pleasures of every day! 

Here are some phone snapshots of our 2018 from our phones as well as from friends (big thanks to Marie, Veronika, Zissou, Quint, and Silvia!):

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