I followed my 20 year old dream to New York City where I explored the art of being alone. I walked and dreamt and wrote. I submitted one of my favorite writings in a competition and won. I found a job in a city of hustlers and learned the meaning of hard work. While I wandered alone through Brooklyn and Manhattan, I began to build @Latelier.shop and continued to share my discoveries on #AndreAbroad.
By the end of the year, I returned to Bogota (again, on a whim) to continue working on Latelier. My writing was published in a collection of short stories with a group of other brilliant, traveling and writing women. My first designs became a reality, which I’m proud to share soon! My blog’s readership continues to grow and my personal relationships strengthened where they needed to. I feel more whole and focused that I have in a long time and every high and low 2017 brought me, created that.
On the plane flying back to LA this Christmas, I decided to write (something I hope 2018 will bring even more of). I felt like a year so dense in experiences was beginning to slip away from my memory like droplets of water in my hand. I wanted to live it all again, I still do! I want to smell the bakery at 7am, after walking home from a party in El Gotic and feel the sun baking my arms under the sun at la Ciutadella. I want to hear the subway’s wind whistling from down the tunnel and the short gust of wind it provides on a hot summer day. I want to cry over $4 cheese, because it makes you appreciate what you had. I want to taste the salt on my favorite jamon serrano and see your smile again. I want to watch the sun rise above the beach in a haze of ecstasy and 1 euro beer, with laughter has our beat. I want to know the freedom that Barcleona provides me. I never want to forget the smells and sounds and feels and people and places from 2017.This is what I wrote.
Este Añ0: 2017, Reflection.
2017 was Barcelona.This year was Spain.
This year was starting over, and learning to do it alone.It was wine and jamón serrano.It was paella on Las Ramblasand patatas bravas after class.This year was Grácia and sun soaked streets.It was love, and sometimes loss.This year was my Freedom.
This year was friendship.This year was heartbreak.It was finding myself and the people I needed.
Win the trust, break the trust,learn to trust again.Learn to trust yourself.This year was naps in shade in Ciutadella.It was pineapples.It was late night dinnersand cigarettes under the stars.It was friends from around the worldand drinking outside a Catalan bus station.
This year was La Sagrada Familia at noonand post-graduate research at night.This year was Avenida Diagonal. At all hours.
It was dancing on the beachthe Ibiza beats still reverberating through.This year was walking home under the rising sun.
This year was Scotland and it’s castles.and it was old friends in Bilbao.It was my roots. My ancestors.It was watching the same views as my grandfathers.This year was bigger than myself.
It was the UK and Stockholm.It was 30,000 ft, more than 10 times this year.That’s 30 billion ft. I reached the stars this year.
2017 was over packed suitcases.It was LA and it’s sunny palm trees.This year was an Empire State of Mind.It was getting lost and finding my way.but mostly, it sweating on the G train into Brooklyn.
This year was understanding loneliness.It was having nothing,and having everything.It was being broke.It was being rich in experience.It was 11,000 steps a dayand conversations with cab driversabout the languages they spoke.
This year was a dream and nightmare.It was crying over cheese.It was tears and fearand laughter and wonder.It was Bed-Stuy.
This year was hard work.It was wrong decisions but learning experiences.It was finding what you want.It was so much loss that it was found.
This year was LA’s sunny palm trees again.It was coca-cola on a hot day to quench your thirst.It was my life in 2 suitcases.2017 was an ideaand it was a one-way ticket.This year was going home.It was knowing that home is where ever I am.
2017 was personal success.It was being published.It was making my first design a reality.And then my second and my third.This year was culture and tradition.It was a method and a process.
This year was even Bogota, after I said it would never be;and warm nights in the jungle.It was under the stars and over the water.It was going back to where it all started,but in a new phase.
This year was dreams and hopes and promises.Sometimes, it was faults and fails and lies.Above all, it was growth.
It was time and it was mine.It was memories and they were mine.It was music, color, movement and joy.It was haste and confusion but also my direction.2017 was mine.