Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: A Year of Big Changes for Me!

In January of this year, I quit my corporate job of 12-1/2 years. That was a big, difficult thing to do, but I feel it was necessary for my personal growth. I still miss the people I worked with there!
My Going-Away Party

I moved to Los Angeles in January, leaving behind some friends, my soul-sister BFF and my family, but also living closer to my sister and some other friends. I rediscovered my creative side here, and started blogging in earnest! I made new friends, and I was inspired by them. I visited Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and started making plans to move there in the summer.

The apartment I shared with my roommate in LA

My view for 6 months

Book making had challenges

LA at night

Books I made

Paper art inspired by my friend Lucy

The cats had to make adjustments, also

Griffith Park Observatory
I also started my Etsy shop with the books that I made, and other little things that I created. I sold some books in my friend's Silver Lake book store, Ivanhoe. I explored Los Angeles, and made plans for a trip to Europe for a friend's wedding in Stresa, Italy. My sister and I traveled together to Paris, Stresa, Levanto, Monterosso al Mare, and Venice Italy. It was an amazing, whirlwind trip! We traveled with other friends, too, which made it that much more amazing! And just to underscore the magnitude of this trip, I have wanted to go to Paris since I was five years old. When I was standing there, under Le Tour Eiffel at night, I felt this hugeness inside me that came from the realization that I had finally attained one of my life-long dreams. It was big. My eyes filled with tears and my sister came over and gave me a huge hug because she knew, too, that it was a big deal for me. It was amazing to be there with her for this first time to Paris! I loved it completely!

With friends in a cafe in Paris

I think you know

Pyramid at the Louvre at sunset
 The next part of our trip, to Stresa, Italy, wasn't something that I had ever craved, but it was a joy anyway! This resort town under the Alps is beautiful and friendly. We all relished our notoriety here, I think. We were the youngest people in the town for a while! And oh, so glamorous, too! It was a wonderful experience!
Where the wedding took place

The walk to the wedding

Wedding reception
 After the wedding, we took a train to Levanto, Italy, via Milan. It was a town next to the Cinque Terre towns that we planned to visit. Levanto is adorable in it's own right, however, and far less crowded! The Mediterranean seems to be just as beautiful in Levanto as in Monterosso al Mare.
The Mediterranean from Levanto, Italy

Church in Levanto, Italy
 We took another train to Venice, and I must add that this is another city that I've always wanted to visit. It fulfilled my expectations completely! It's a twisty, ecclectic, visually stunning city. The men are flirtatious and forward! The colors are rich and hold the patina of age very well. We took tons of pictures in the mostly empty alleys all through Venice, as well as around the canals where most of the activity occurs. 
Venetian Gondola

Venetian goodies

Taking pics in the alleys of Venice

 But on top of the trip to Europe, I also had a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with my sweetheart, and a cross-country roadtrip to the east coast from the west coast! In the dead of summer, no less, and with loads of my things stuffed into my Mini Cooper!

View from the pool at my resort in Mexico

Yummy Mexican food
Visiting friends in Tucson, AZ

Texan sunset

Me in New Orleans
 As amazing (and hot) as the road trip was, it was also very exciting for me to have a new town to get familiar with. I explored Bethlehem, PA, and the surrounding areas, including New York and New Jersey, both alone and with my boyfriend. We also moved into a place that would fit me and my two cats, and all that I came with!

Historic structures

Moving day

Shells from New Jersey's shore

A delicious welcome from a friend in PA

Hawk Mountain
 I also got to see what Autumn is REALLY about! I blogged on it quite a bit! For more pictures, see these blogs.

 It has been a fantastic, scary, exciting, and FULL year. My life has changed dramatically since the beginning of this year. I know that next year will bring lots of joy and excitement and love, as this past year has. I hope that for all of you, you will have as much or more JOY and LOVE as I have had! In all that you do going forward in 2011, never forget what is important: LOVE, Gratitude, Friends, Family and connections. Stay connected to the Universe. Stay connected to your loved ones, and stay connected to yourself.

Thank you for your connection. Thank you for your creativity and happiness that you share with me.

Peace, love and joy to you all from me here in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania... xoxo


Brandi said...

Oh, Shari, what an awesome, amazing 2010! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us here. Happy New Year to you!

shari said...

Thanks, Brandi! You were one of my inspiring blogger friends, you know.... xoxo

Happy New Year to you, as well!!

Terriaw said...

Wow, you have had an amazing 2010! I didn't realize you did ALL that travel - so cool to be able to see the world, making life richer and more alive. I have really loved becoming friends with you, so I'm looking forward to more inspiration and sharing our creative adventures with each other in 2011. Cheers to you!

Orion Designs said...

2010 was a year of huge changes and milestones for you -- I wish for only good things to come your way in 2011!

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