Posted by on Jan 1, 2013 in Blog, Reflecting | 2 comments

That’s French talk for “Happy New Year!” I realized that when I updated that last blog post, a lot of people may not have seen it. I’ve gotten a few “I hope you haven’t killed yourself” emails in the last few weeks, this is what I get for “updating” my blog in the comments, so I thought maybe I should do a thorough job here to bring you up to speed.

Eiffel-Tower-Jay-Swanson

Let me start by saying that I don’t write blog posts as much any more because life seems so much less interesting in a way. When I was in Africa there was always some life-threatening experience to share with you, but now I live a fairly calm and quiet life. It’s also a little weird, if I may be totally honest, to transition from working for Mercy Ships on the ship to working for Mercy Ships on land. Not only on land, but from my favorite city on earth. So I feel like I’m pretty much constantly bragging, even by simply saying what I did over the course of an average day.

Notre-Dame

See what I mean?

I should have started by saying I’m alive and I have found an apartment, but I’m hoping you’ve figured out the first half by now on your own. I’ll start with the apartment because it’s easier to be concise about that. I should rephrase: I found a closet! It’s a small room that I can call my own, and by the grace of God it’s FREE. How is it free, you might be asking yourself? Well, that last blog post I wrote about having not found one yet fell into the right hands at the right moment. A phone call and a visit later I was handed the keys to the maid’s chambers (yes, read: “servant’s quarters”) of some friends’ mother.

Zara

I owe her for internet, and that’s it. I have no kitchen, and the bathroom is at the end of the hall, but who’s complaining? I’m eternally grateful for a place to sleep and call my own!

 

With that information out of the way we can get a bit more personal. I really struggled for the first couple of months being here. Another shock for some people is that transitioning into life in Paris (yes, Paris) has been really difficult. I know it looks like it must be a constant vacation, but I’m working through a lot of stuff right now. The last few years have been earth-shaking for me, and I’m not the same person I once was in more ways than one. I’ve transcended myself, at the risk of sounding pretentious, but I haven’t put myself back together. I was really depressed and lonely for a long time, before even getting here, and I wasn’t who I wanted to be for a good while.

Josh-and-Jodes-and-Hannah

I’m still figuring things out, but I’m doing a lot better. I’m finding some great friends, taking a lot of time to reflect, and am moving forward one day at a time. I’ve also been blessed to have a number of friends visit me here from the ship and abroad, and it’s been a lot of fun (though exhausting) to play tour guide. I just need a closet slightly larger than this one so I can keep host them without making them sleep on the floor!

Alex-and-Jenneka

I’m really excited for what this new year will bring, and have a few surprises in store. This year was full of its own adventures, from getting a Texas drivers license to popping my first wheelie on a motorcycle. Those were both moto-related… how about my first time living through a dry dock phase? Or my first time rescuing sick people off the summit of a volcano? That’s only partially moto-related. In any case, 2012 was interesting. Let’s see how 2013 stacks up.

I’ll try to write another post here soon with some examples of the work I’ve been doing for Mercy Ships’ Creative Pool. Musical endeavors in Switzerland not included (though I feel like I could rep for Ricola now).

Switzerland

In the meantime, Happy New Year! I hope your 2013 is a wonderful one*! Please take a moment to drop me a line in the comments and let me know how 2012 went, and thanks for caring enough to make it this far in the post. I know it was probably the pretty pictures that got you this far, but I’ll take it as a compliment nonetheless ;)

Erin-Eiffel-Tower

*You only get one anyways, better make it count.