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As we get ready to start 2012 and as I still sit in my bed ending 2011 and my first year living abroad in the most absurd way possible, sick with some sort of strep/flu/laryngitis combination, a few thoughts come to my mind. There are very few rules and regulations I follow in my life and most surround the idea of being happy while also realizing that being happy is an emotion just like any other, meaning we have control over it. The other rules I have regard working smart and being a nice person, but that can wait for another post.

All of these things are what led me on a journey to Italy last February. I let my heart drive and knew it was better to regret having done then not having done, all the while knowing that Los Angeles would always be there, always.  I took a leap, working with the same amazing company, Paul Mitchell, packed up my life said my arrivederci’s and hopped onto a one way flight to Italy on valentine’s day of 2011. This year I have learned more than enough lessons and made more than enough discoveries. From hair, to career, to living abroad, to the kind of people I want in my life, to things I can truly not live without (less than we think). I can only imagine what 2012 will bring. What I do know is that I will continue to follow my heart and do what feels right, whatever that may be. That my friends is what makes life a story worth telling and an experience worth living. When people make your heart sing and when things fall magically together for you in a harmony of events you wont be able to deny you made the right decision. You heart wont steer you wrong, occasionally it will steer you in an interesting direction but sometimes a pit stop, detour or adventure is needed to get us off the one lane highway of life, take a look at a map and see what other stops there are.

As for the people? Every person you meet along your journey should be thought of as a teacher. Think back to high school, unpleasant I know, but think of the teachers who stuck with you the most. One of these types will be the caring and helpful ones who gratified every step of your learning experience. For me one of those teachers was my senior year english teacher Mr. Beckman. Booted out of A.P. english before my senior year (you can probably tell why by my fantastic punctuation and spelling skills) I was fortunate enough to have him as my english IV teacher as he normally taught the honors class. He not only gave me the reading list for the A.P. Class and stayed after helping me on my essays but also signed my approval letter to take the A.P. test, which I passed and got the college credit for (apparently punctuation matters less when you can dissect a book well, wooo foreshadowing). The other ones you remember will be the evil ones who belittled you in front of the class and marked you wrong when you were pretty much right, but we don’t need to talk about those considering I almost failed p.e. Oops. The reality is these are the exact types of people you will meet in life, the people who bring out the best in you and those who bring out the worst. In the end the best you can do is to surround yourself with those who bring out the best in you and learn from those who pull you down and take advantage of you.

My commitment to myself for 2012 is to continue to follow my heart and to continue to trust it no matter what road it leads me down. We may not always be in 100% control of our emotions, but we are in control of the variables that affect our emotions. So in 2012 before accepting a “bad decision” of a “tough time” and letting ourself lose our happiness over it. Lets all try to control the variables that lead to our happiness, including the people in our lives.

Not sure how much blogging will happen between now at the New Year as I am feeling pretty torn apart. So, just in case…see you in 2012!

Bacini da lontano (kisses from far away)



p.s. thank to Chad Austin, a person who always brings happiness into my life, for posting the above on facebook and inspiring my post!