01.01 my top 10 of 2010

To write about my 2010, I would need at least 200-300 pages of your time. It’s been the single most amazing year of my 29 on this planet, to say the very least. Someday I would love to write a book. But for now, I will leave you with my top ten highlights of my year.

  1. Meeting Kai + Kalen. Welcome to the modern family. January 1, 2010 was spent on a 36 hour journey to Sydney, Australia where I would meet my twin half brothers, 27 years my junior, for the first time. I immediately fell in love with these beautiful 2 year olds I share a Father with. Never would have thought I could acquire another sibling or two in my late 20s.
  2. Getting laid off. Never thought it would happen to me… but it happens to the best of us. Although I loved working for UNICEF and all that it stands for, it was a blessing in disguise as this traumatic experience had opened up doors for me that would change my life forever. If UNICEF had not closed their offices down, I would not be Mrs. Sullivan today.
  3. Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Seventeen days of constant intoxication, partying like a rock star, lacking sleep, having no voice, giving countless high fives to strangers on the streets, hearing random “woohoos” being yelled on the streets at any given time of day, seeing people of all nations and hearing various languages strolling the dog park/grocery store/local coffee shop, lining up at a different country house every night, and being proud to be “Canadian” after winning Gold in the most important event of the games. Priceless.
  4. Getting “divorced” after 6 years with Jamey. This is not the time or the place to write about such an experience. We were never officially married but had to go through the divorce process due to joint assets of being in a common law marriage. Getting lawyers involved in your break up make it 100 times harder than it already is. Sitting there with my lawyer and Jamey’s lawyer, trying to be a grown up by pretending I understand the gibberish they are throwing at me while holding back my tears while hoping they don’t hear my heart shatter into a million little pieces has been the hardest thing I have ever had to endure. One day I will tell you this story.
  5. 10 countries in 3 months. Making new friends. Meeting up with old friends. Seeing new places. Revisiting places. Trying new food. Experiencing culture. Embracing the loneliness. Conquering my fears. Getting to know myself. Finding inspiration. Falling in love. Every person in this world should travel alone, with no real plan, at least once in their life. Best thing I have ever done. Best summer of my life. I wouldn’t change any of it.
  6. The passing of my Lola. I was in the middle of a deserted beach in Essaouira Morocco riding a horse 2 hours after I received word about my Grandmother. It was that moment I was alone with my thoughts that it really hit me. What can one say about the pain of losing something close to you? It’s the inevitable pain that creeps up on you when you least expect it… and all you can do is welcome it in + really feel it. No matter how hard it is.
  7. Leaving Vancouver + moving to Istanbul. I never thought I would ever leave the city I have come to call my home. 10 years of my life. The longest I have ever lived anywhere. I miss everything about it. I miss it like I have never missed a place in my life… not even when I left Hong Kong or Manila. My heart will continue to remain in Vancouver no matter where in the world I end up. I am not sure if I will ever go back, but it will always be home. Don’t get me wrong… Istanbul has an incredible energy that will capture your heart in a millisecond. It’s an incredible place. I think the hardest and most amazing thing about living in Istanbul is being an outsider. It is frustrating not to be able to properly communicate with your surroundings, but it is so interesting to really immerse yourself in another way of life.
  8. Eloping and becoming Mrs. Ben Sullivan. Enough said. It was the happiest day of my life. I still get chills up my spine when I see my wedding ring on my ring finger. I am married! OMG!!! I find myself getting giddy when Ben refers to me as his wife. Despite only meeting 3 months ago, I have never been sure about anything in my life. I never thought I would be such a sucker. We are so in love it’s absolutely disgusting!
  9. Not being with family for the holidays… and now moving to a city where I have none! I have never lived in a place where I had no family. I am not sure whether it is something I am 100 percent comfortable with. Actually, I tear up and swallow a lump in my throat when I think about my family in Vancouver being so far away and I question why I have decided to embark on this adventure in the first place. But then I stop and think about what I am really doing and change the way I see it. Stop dwelling on the past and the uncontrollable and enjoy the f*cking ride! It’s a new adventure and only good things can come out of it.
  10. Mini-retirement year. In 2009, I remember browsing through Facebook and spying on old friends and acquaintances that lead such exciting lives of travel, career successes, new marriages, new babies, the list goes on… and thinking to myself how unhappy I was. I felt as though my life was in a perpetual stagnant state in every possible way. I had tried to change things and get out of this rut for the past 2 years and one bad thing after another kept happening. I knew deep inside I was in the wrong place. I was not meant to lead such a life I had started to build for myself. I needed to get re-inspired, re-energized, and find my happy self again. I would not have done anything about it until 2010 came and started off horribly… but ended amazingly. Like a fairytale. Words cannot even describe my 2010; I did not work a single day in this year; I went to 12 countries; I found my one true love; and most importantly I grew to love myself again. I now look in the mirror and can honestly like what I see. I cannot remember the last time I felt this way. Everything I had wished for in 2009 had come true. I transformed my life completely… and all I had to do was ask for it. Thank you Universe for the best year of my life! Bring on 2011!!!