2011 has been one of growth for me. It has been one of self doubt, struggle, crashing computers, new jobs, new opportunities, family drama, travel, and my very first cruise. I acquired a stalker this year. I took a break from blogging, and relaunched my online store, Amberie. I made new friendships, and rekindled old ones. This year my readership doubled, and I sold a years worth of advertising. Jennifer from I know, Right? became a permanent fixture on the blog with her own monthly feature. I bought my first DSLR. I colored my hair pink, dyed it black (twice) and then brown. I learned how to give my cat pills. I discovered what SEO meant. Returned to France, and had the joy of sharing the city that will forever own my heart with my boyfriend. Discovered Puerto Vallarta. I became Alice in Wonderland.
And then there was you. You my dear reader. I have not had to struggle alone because of you. This year the blog got a lot more personal. I shared with you my frustrations, fears, and the twilight world that I sometimes get caught up in as a fashion blogger. I shared with you my fear and anger of my "cruise ship stalker". I shared with you my joy of re-launching Amberie - some of you even featured it on your blogs. You gave me words of comfort and encouragement though the hard times, and you were there for the high-fives in the times of joy. For that, thank you. You have kept me grounded.
I learned valuable lessons this year. Perhaps two of the most pertinent were: I cannot live in the past. While staying with my grandfather this summer (where I became Alice in Wonderland), I came to discover that living in the past can often result in the over-romancing of the past. Rose tinted glasses can sometimes be dangerous. Lessons are not learned that way. When I returned to my Alma Mater I discovered that I was a stranger in what was once my own home. We cannot thrive in the past; we must keep moving forward.
The second lesson that I learned is that I cannot live through others. No philosophical thought here. You are the best you; no one else can be you like you.