One year ago today, with the softest thud, I landed here in this big, white, open space. I dusted myself off, looked around, tapped out my first quiet words, and with the push of a button, Sweet Amandine rumbled to life. 2009 was a big year for me. I took some scary exams, got rolling on my dissertation, had my head pieced back together, and fully recovered from a devastating illness. But more than anything, 2009 was the year that I started writing again. My time away from graduate school – heck, from life as I knew it – turned out to be not so much a leave of absence as a leave of presence. And speaking of presence, your being here has made it all the sweeter, and certainly a lot more fun.
I believe that we have the power to create the lives that we want to live. With this in mind, I rarely make a move without weighing my options. I research. I make lists. I poll friends and family and experts in the field. I think and I think, and I think some more. Going with the flow doesn’t exactly come easily to me. Except for when it does. Occasionally, amidst so much contemplation and calculation, my intuition kicks in, wrestles all of my best laid plans to the ground, and yanks me over to a place that feels inexplicably right. I have found that the easiest decisions – the best decisions – are usually the ones that hardly feel like decisions at all. They’re the ones I barely remember making, that sneak up and choose me, instead of the other way around. I felt this way when, after four years of friendship, Eli and I fell in love and knew in an instant that we would spend our lives together. There would be two years of living an ocean apart, and challenges to be sure, but somehow, none of it ever felt all that hard. It was, and continues to be, strangely simple.
This site came to be in a similar way, totally out of the blue. There was none of the usual agonizing, no soul-searching, no reading up, no thinking- thinking-thinking about what this site would or could or should be. All I knew was that I wanted to spend my days doing something that I loved. I wanted to write, and Sweet Amandine gave me a place to do it. Now, I can’t imagine not writing here. That rough-and-tumble intuition knows what she’s doing.
To celebrate our first year, I’ve cleaned things up a bit around here. I’ve given the sidebar a few nips and tucks, tightened a couple of screws, and rolled out a new font. I hope you like it. Thank you all so much for joining me here. I have a feeling that 2010 is going to be a very good year.
See you back here on Monday, with a recipe.