Silly Sorrows

“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” ~Leo F. Buscaglia

 

Life in France is strange. But I havent completely decided if that is France’s fault or the whole living on my own as an adult part.

Lately a lot has been going on and there doesn’t seem to be a break really. Dont get me wrong… work is incredible and so is my petite Parisien flat but damn, when it rains it pours.

Anyone who knows me knows that I talk to my mama a lot…. A LOT. She is always trying to lure me home and failing but when it comes down to it, she really wont let me give up. Today was one of those days where there is too much going on in your life for your brain to process it all. And there she was pushing me to look on the bright side of things. Honestly–my personal cheerleader. My mom has this ability to bring me back down to reality. The thing about me is I am pretty laid back and low-key until things get out of control and then its like all hell breaks loose… for about 2 hours until I calm down and see the crazy person I am being. 🙂 But today my mom helped me realize all i have accomplished being here and that everyday I feel like this is another day that I am learning and growing.

I have always had an easy life. To be blatantly honest. Yes, things have gone wrong and I have dealt with major things. However, I have always managed to get basically everything I want. Not easily, but still. I have always had an incredible network of people around me. My family was never far away. But now I am in a crazy new place and i have to get used to things being different.

When I have a bad day, I can’t drive 50 minutes to have my mom cook me dinner. Or when I am broke I can’t have my dad come down to go grocery shopping and put gas in my car. I don’t live in a sorority house with 34 of my close friends and room with my best friend. I don’t have a social calendar anymore. I don’t have a boyfriend to escape to when I can’t party anymore or the girls are driving me mad. I don’t live in a country where they speak the same language as me and where nothing is convenient.

The thing is though…. that strangely that is all ok. Sometimes it bogs me down and I can’t see past what I don’t have. But then (after those 2 hours of craziness) i realize what I do have.

I have more than I ever have before. I have more courage and patience. More knowledge of other cultures and ways of doing things. More independence. More responsibility. More flexibility. More freedom. More experience. More choices.

It is completely my life now. 100 percent. And I couldn’t be more proud. I am so fortunate for everything that I have. With everything going on I have realized what is important and what isn’t. I realize how lucky I am and how important it is to never take a day for granted.

You are alive and breathing. Make the most of it.

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A Mish-Mosh of Thoughts

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

I am going back to the states in less than a month to visit for Christmas. I cannot believe it. I have been in France for 4 months already. When I look at the life I have created here and the comfort level I have reached, it seems like I have been here much longer. In reality, 4 months is nothing. But I guess in the same sense, it is everything.

It is incredible to me the things I have experienced in such a short time. Everyone who has traveled seems to have been bit by this “travel bug”– always having this deep urge to go back on the road and explore new things. I don’t understand how not everyone is just born with this. How can you not want to see the world? The world is so magnificent and there are endless things to see. I am addicted. There are not enough days in my life to see all the things I want to see. I don’t know if it’s that people are scared of the unknown or too wrapped up in there lives. The unknown excites me. You cannot grow and change as a person if you do experience the uncomfortable. To get somewhere different from where you are going, you need to change your path…

About 5 months ago, a year abroad seemed like an eternity and now it seems like it is not enough. I love it here. I love the people I meet and the things I learn. I love the beauty I see and things I get to experience. I don’t want to leave. And I don’t just mean France, I just mean living somewhere new and different. I want to experience life in new ways, culture different from what I know. I can’t do that in San Diego.

Lately, I find myself thinking about my next move. I feel like I can do anything. I don’t think I am going to be done with Europe in just a year. There is so much out there– so many opportunities and possibilities. I am not done moving. I refuse to be stagnant. I have no idea what is to come but I am excited.

“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins