Looking at photos and revisiting 2011 is like revisiting another time. I don’t know how to say how much I’ve grown or how much I’ve stayed the same. Most of the time, I can’t even tell myself.
It was a year of staying up late. To finish books, blog posts or conversations with a boy. Early mornings were rare, but they were never difficult.
Food was more present. Is that possible? I forgot to add flour on multiple occasions. And once, my cupcakes exploded. But these were mistakes that make the kitchen my second favorite place to be (first is my bed). Between taking photos for the Daily, coming home to my apartment’s Susie Homemaker dinners and testing recipes myself, it’s a wonder I was ever hungry.
I shot my first real photoshoot. In a cemetery. It was kind of awkward because I’m awkward, but they were my first baby steps.
My apartment. Our apartment. I’d like to think that fate brought us together, but we chose each other. So let’s give credit where credit is due, right? We went to the snow, made pancake balls, played board games until 4 am. We made time for breakfast, we surprised each other for birthdays, we had the best “last dinner” all together. Alessandro was up year-round.
I turned 22. And met Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (!!!)
It was a year of insecurity. I graduated. Graduated. And while everyone else knew their life plans, I couldn’t decide what to have for breakfast. Most of the time, I just skipped it.
So I went to Europe. At first it was hard but then it was so, so good. This trip was all about the kindness of others and serendipity.
Strangers welcomed me into their homes. I learned how to make crepes. I stayed in the tiniest, coziest Parisian flat with the sweetest girl. I didn't go to a single museum in Paris.
I found a new home in Denmark and ate too many Danish desserts.
I fell in love with Italian lakes.
I came home to even more love.
I went through a quarter-life crisis. I interviewed for dozens of jobs and sent out twice as many applications. The crisis isn’t over yet.
I learned a lot from a boy. He helped me see things in ways that always made them better. And I loved him even more. (And I've never been more proud of a present I've given someone.)
I discovered the best food with my best friends. I couldn't be happier to call California home.
I went to life-changing concerts.
My feet were well-traveled and my heart was full.
2011, thank you.
And you, dear friends: wishing you all the light and hope of a new year.