A look back on 2014

It’s that time of the year.   A time for reflection on the year past:  How far I’ve come, what I’ve learned, and where to go based on the experiences I have had and the friends I’ve made along the way.

The year started out positive, I was filled with energy.  Ready to take on the world.

You see, in 2013 I contemplated leaving Morocco. *gasp*  I was in a slump, a depression.  My self-esteem had sunk and I had been let down by people I trusted.

But thankfully I returned to Marrakech.  And I reunited with and rebuilt my tribe, the people who share my outlook on life.  And I got down to business.  Literally.

2014 was the year I started my own company in Morocco, Say Something Communications and have been providing public relations, writing, social media and event support to some pretty cool clients.   I’ve been lucky enough to count the following projects as some of my favourite:

– reporting from the opening weekend of the Marrakech Biennale for Made in Marrakech and interviewing the strong woman behind the organization

– providing guest relations and logistic support to a leading events company in Marrakech on great weddings and super fun events

– contributing to shopping and riads section of the TimeOut Marrakech guide released in Autumn 2014

– meeting new artists and designers to promote and work with on business development and public/media relations.  Stay tuned for more, we’re in the early days!

– launching Tasting Marrakech which will allow me to meet even more people and share my love of Marrakech and Jemaa el Fna

But it wasn’t all business.  Nope. I was busy getting back to Mandy and rebuilding my self-esteem after all I had been through in 2013.  So it was the year I learned to take time for myself and rediscover my passions: travel, discovering up-and-coming fashion designers, heading out to festivals, enjoying cool music, spending time outdoors.

But also taking care of me because, after all, these things contribute to maintaining healthy self-esteem levels.  Weekly manicures.  Working out with a personal trainer.  Regular coffee breaks. Taking myself out for lunch.  A new dress or handbag to celebrate an accomplishment. Dressing up, just because.

While I wasn’t able to travel as much as I would’ve liked, I did take some time out.  After all, one of the most important things I learned this year was the value of spending time alone. Not only does it provide me with some time for reflection on business and personal matters, it allows me a chance to explore new interests and become more and more comfortable being by myself.

Discovering Girona Spain, summering in Canada and a weekend in London were some of the highlights.  Oh and let’s not forget about Essaouira on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast where I seemed to be every chance I got, wandering through the medina and discovering the food scene between lounging by the pool wine in hand and squeezing in festivals and events.

But it wasn’t always fun assignments an afternoons by the pool enjoying a bottle of wine. I had moments where I felt my life just wasn’t complete despite all that I had achieved and believed. Loneliness was something I discussed a great lengths with friends around the world.

Thankfully I had a dear tribe to support me.  And readers who wrote kind emails of thanks which provided encouragement throughout the year, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.

As we look to 2015, I will be focusing on a different aspect of life and will certainly keep you posted with any updates.  In the meantime, what was the highlight of your year?  How will you look back on 2014?

xo Mandy

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