I'm a simple kind of woman. I don't need many presents or a huge surprise birthday bash to see me happily into my next year of existence.. All is wanted is what I received: A night out with friends, a day of nothing but reading and photography in my favorite garden in Paris, and red curry with shrimp for dinner.
To be sure, I love the different gardens and attractions in Paris yet none holds my heart more tightly than the Jardin du Luxembourg. It's tended by some of the finest gardeners in France, always blooming with flowers of different colors and species, and never fails to make me fall in love with this city over and over again. I actually nicknamed it, "My garden" because I'm there so often. I live quite close and can hear the birds in the park chirping each morning when I wake up... a bit like Cinderella, I imagine, minus the animals helping me do house work, although that would be pretty great.
So, there I was with my feet up, soaking up the beautiful rays of sunlight, reading and thinking about so many great things that have happened since moving to Paris: 6 months of happiness but hard work, 6 months of kissing my love every day after a year and a half of a transatlantic relationship, 6 months of missing hamburgers but discovering new foods and cooking more and more, 6 months of missing my NY people yet meeting incredible new friends changing my life for the better, and 6 months of traveling whenever possible yet cherishing the time spent just chatting and living. To say that it's been an incredibly life changing year is an understatement. I left my 9-5 job to open my own photography business in Paris. I left my country to pursue a more cultured, happy, simple and love filled life. I've gone from convincing myself that one day I'll feel like I belong in France to actually belonging. I've gone through getting a visa.. enough said. I've felt every day the pressure and encouragement to grow, learn, make myself better, make my work better, not give up on my dreams, keep smiling, keep seeing the beauty, laugh, relax and realize where I am and now, I want to thank everyone who's helped me to keep moving forward. I'm grateful, humbled is more the word, by people who've never stopped seeing me as the person that sometimes it's hard to see myself.
Here I am, a bit nearer to my goals and dreams, and on to another year that I hope is life changing as well. So my friends, here's my birthday "Thanks!" to everyone who keeps me feeling loved, feeling special and feeling each day like I'm a pretty cool cat. I love you all.
All photographs were taken in the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg located in the 6th arrondissement in Paris, France.
For more details on the garden: http://www.senat.fr/visite/jardin/