Baron Wolman sent me this photo of us, taken after I interviewed him in November. We both happened to be in London at the same time. Lucky me!
I'm back in Los Angeles. I spent the last three months zigzagging from Paris to London, a fitting cap on an astonishing year. I had high standards for this year, but not even my loftiest dreams could compare to the year I actually had. To make London my temporary home and to build a life for myself there. This is something I had long wanted to achieve, and the fact that I went and did exactly what I aspired to is just the first of many things this year that make me so genuinely excited. Throughout the year's tribulations (because there were those too!), all I had to do was think, 'You're actually living your dream.' And then I would promptly be content and appreciative of the life I'm living. Because everything was better than I dreamt it, and that's partially because it was real and in the flesh. I went from zero to one hundred, and I quickly went about learning from the best. In the last year, I've been consistently surrounded by brilliant individuals, witnessing people hard at work, and drinking up engaging conversation. In the beginning of the year, I knew none of these people, had never been Paris, and had only fleetingly visited London. Now we're on first name basis and both Paris and London feel a bit like home. Its so far removed from everything I had known, yet by year's end, its all become integral to my life. I've gotten used to what previously left me starry-eyed.
In other words: I've been serenaded by Cliff Richard, hit on by Sandie Shaw, and wined and dined by the best. There was that Ringo incident, visits to some of the world's greatest art museums, memorable gigs, and even more memorable interviews.
Upon returning home to LA after all of that, I was not content to relax into what no longer felt like my norm. I quickly made the decision to move to Paris, a city I had never visited and hardly dreamed of. Paris had no relation to the goals I had for myself, nor had I ever imagined living there. Still, it was a rather sumptuous idea, and off to Paris I went. I was instantly moved by the city and stunned by its inspiring qualities. It was uncharacteristically warm for the time I arrived, and I quickly met a variety of interesting people. I explored every corner of Paris - basking in every inch of its museums and gardens (and bars and cafes) - at first wondering how it could ever feel like home. But by the end of it, it most certainly did. My life in Paris was an interesting dichotomy of utterly delicious memories and some significantly less so. But despite the latter, I don't regret going to Paris for a minute. It was exactly what I needed - thrusting me into a new environment, entirely foreign, as I made yet another new life for myself. This time I had no help, which made it all the more liberating.
I left Paris two weeks earlier than I had planned, beginning a series of unexpected events and constantly being on my toes. My last week in Paris showed me what great friends I had made while there. A week of madness - exciting and exhausting. After a quick jaunt through Amsterdam, I then inevitably returned to London, where more mayhem awaited me. Another curveball, more proof that I have the greatest friends (In three cities! So lucky!), and amazingly what turned out to be such a fun week. From Paris to London to LA, I was able to see everyone I love in the span of two weeks. Simply visiting London always results in me running around like a madman, on a mission to see everyone and do everything in a limited amount of time. I'm always on the go (and usually in ill-suited shoes, of course), exhausted by day's end, but it always pays back in spades.
I left London in time to be home for Christmas. Though throughout the two day festivities, I fell asleep more than once. (Jet lag and stretching my limbs across every available sofa.) Its been nice to see my family and do absolutely nothing for the first time in a year! Its been a completely exhilarating year. I can't think of something I haven't done this year. I suppose when I go for something, I go for it completely. If not, what's the point? I went after everything I wanted from this year and got even more. There were bumps along the road, but I need to get used to the fact that there always is. I was temporarily daunted by the blows of the last few weeks of my adventure, but instead I'll chalk it up to a massive test of endurance. Everything I've done was worth it. I refuse to be tamed by a few setbacks and while I have yet to wrap my head around just what my next adventure will be, I know I can't sit still for long.
It has admittedly been a me me me year. The crazy goals I held and what I needed to do to achieve them. Though I went through my adventures alone, there was always an amazing group to aid me along at each post. I can only hope to help make this next year as great for all of you as you've done for me this year. (Though don't expect the barrage of inappropriate jokes to conclude.) Unlike 2011, I don't at all have a concise plan or goals for 2012. LA is warm and my time here is shaping up to be quite thrilling. But as I said, I can't sit still for long. Sans plan, I'm content with knowing that whatever I do with this coming year will be incredible.
Cafe in the backstreets of Montmartre. I returned here on my final night, gathered with friends to reflect on our wild time in Paris over cafe creme and desserts.