Today – February 14, 2016 – is a special day on multiple levels. First of all, I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Valentine’s Day! Although this day has evolved into a commercial holiday, I hope you take the time to reflect on the love you have in your life. May you be able to spend today with your loved ones, wherever you are in the world. I am surrounded by so many beautiful people, for which I am thankful. They are truly there for me through thick and thin.
Today also marks my five-year anniversary in the Netherlands. I cannot believe how time flies! It feels like just yesterday I landed at Schiphol airport and stepped off that plane. Matthijs, my partner, was waiting on the other side of customs, roses in hand. The memory is still vivid in my mind. I can recount the colors and the smells, the emotions I had to keep in check as I walked into unknown territory. I remember seeing everything through fresh eyes, for that first time. For me, it was history in the making.
Moving abroad had always been a long-time dream, and five years ago, I turned that dream into reality. My life has changed in many ways, many of which I expected. One event in particular, however, was not on my radar: publishing my first book. When I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to write and publish a book. That ambition stayed with me through high school and university, and even when I moved across the pond to the Netherlands. In 2013, though, I started to actively pursue that goal. Now, 2.5 years later, I am in the final stages. I know I’ve worked hard to get to this point, but sometimes I cannot believe that, after all this time, my dreams are coming true. Today, Sunday, February 14, also marks the day I sent out beta copies of my book to beta readers.
The last five years have been so many things: amazing, intellectual, eye-opening, a learning experience, and more. Through my experiences and interactions, I’ve grown and evolved as a person. I’ve tried to learn something from every situation, good and bad. Today, I raise a glass to honor these three special milestones – Valentine’s Day and love, my five-year anniversary in the Netherlands, and sending out beta copies to beta readers. I make a toast to the past, present, and future. Thank you to everyone for making these past five years, and this book writing process, so memorable. I am excited to see what is yet to come, in the next five years and the ones thereafter.
If you’d like, you can read my reflections from last year.