Happy New Year y’all! I hope you celebrated exactly the way you wanted. We came to see Oma in central-east Germany, and stayed at a fancy hotel for NYE overlooking the market square where all the fireworks were. It was a real treat! Now we are still in Oma’s city but have switched to a more affordable apartment. The apartment has a kitchen which is great for 2 vegans! :)
2014 was a really great year. We planned to have a restful time with little travel, and that’s exactly what we did! We needed an easy year.
Even still, a lot has changed over the last 12 months. Here’s a recap of 2014:
- I moved in with Martin. Happiness!!
We had been living apart for 2 years because of my faraway job. I gave notice to quit said job at the beginning of the year (with no job lined up) and we immediately started apartment hunting for a new place. It felt so liberating to prioritize my personal life over my working life.
- New job closer to home (i.e. Martin)!
I went from a small 20 person German company to a multinational company with thousands of employees. There are good days and bad days of course, but overall the job is a good fit for me and so is the company. I started out on a 1-year contract with a 6-month probation (!), and after 5-months, my probation was shortened and I was presented with a permanent contract effective immediately. It required some pressuring on my end (i.e. I applied to and got another job!), but still it worked out very well. :)
- I’m married!
2014 was the first full, calendar year that I experienced as a married woman. It does NOT feel the same! I don’t mean that you need to be married in order to be committed, or that being married is better than not being married, because really it can go either way. For us, being married changed our relationship and I felt it. I feel I am maturing in my marriage and working together (nicely!) in a partnership – and it feels GOOD. I also got the hang of refering to Martin as ‘my husband’, although I don’t wear a ring. Compromises, you know? ;)
- Vegan husband.
I mentioned this at the beginning of the post, but it deserves it’s own bullet point. My meat-loving, meat-eating German husband went balls out VEGAN without me even asking him to or pressuring him in anyway! He did it on his own for his own reasons, and for that I’m so proud of him. It was a happy surprise and I can barely believe that I have a vegan partner in crime who can understand the challenges and help me navigate it through the German culture. Woo hoo!!!! btw, being vegan isn’t that hard at all. It seems hard and takes some discipline at first, but it’s actually quite natural and easy to do. Plus all the health and lifestyle benefits are a no brainer. If you need help, ask me!
- No Toronto.
I normally visit Toronto 1-2 times per year, but 2014 was the year I didn’t. This was intentional because I didn’t want to do any international travel, I was just starting a new job, and we just wanted to relax. Toronto is not very relaxing since I have a thousand friends and spend most of my time making plans and being out and about. While I’m glad I didn’t visit, I’m also missing Toronto a lot. I was thinking of holding out on Toronto again for 2015, but I’m not sure I can do it. We’ll see how it goes.
I started working with a mentor who has been teaching me lots of good stuff. Another perk to working in a big company is that I’ve been exposed to many nice and helpful people, which is not only good for my career, but also my life in Germany. Very grateful about this.
- Vegan birthday.
I celebrated my 33rd birthday which was also my 3rd year vegan anniversary. This year, I really felt like I grew into being vegan and became stronger because of it. I’m writing about it so vaguely, because I can’t really describe what happened this year, but the idea of being vegan and the way of life became very entrenched in my soul (and my daily practices). Soon I will be celebrating my 20th vegetarian anniversary (!), but it’s not as big of a milestone to me as being vegan is. Basically, this is how I’ve always wanted to live without even realizing it until I started living this way. Everything is falling into place and the cornerstone of this all, I feel, is being vegan. Living my life in a purposeful way. Activism at every meal, voting with my money. It’s just so me.
- Living in Germany fer realz.
A big difference from 2013 is that I actually, truly, starting really liking living in Germany in 2014. It’s my 4th year living abroad (5 if you count my first stint – which I don’t!), and I can see myself living here for the next big chunk of time. I couldn’t see this before, so it has been huge for me. My friends here have also noticed it, without me even telling them so. It’s been a big mental shift.
Moving forward, I want to stay on the same track as 2014. I want things to stay simple, to enjoy, and to continue being grateful for this beautiful life ahead. :mrgreen: