Monday, April 13, 2015

What is Your Big Adventure?

Life lately. That's what this post is about. Because I feel like I haven't written anything, yet there is so much that is happening that I should be writing about!

Paris is in bloom, and spring has hit this city! It's hard to do anything indoors with this gorgeous sunshine and the perfume of lilac and magnolia trees filling the Paris boulevards. With a week 70 degree little suns on my Weather app, I am one happy little expat. What could be more romantic than Paris in April! It's something I've waited to see my whole life. And let me tell you, it's more beautiful than I ever imagined.

Here's what I've been up to lately:

I celebrated my first Passover with a Jewish family.
I visited 5 chateaus in the Ile de France region (the area surrounding Paris).
I started my new French class, which is crazy hard, and felt like I was back to square one.
I made new friends both here and abroad.
I went through a serious reassessment of my faith and relationship with God.
I found some amazing new cafes and boulangeries in Paris.
I learned how to cook some new French dishes.
I got some serious homesickness for grill-outs (is that a real English word? I forget anymore.)
I chopped off 6 inches of my hair for my new Paris cut.
I rediscovered my love for Velib.
I forgave people who hurt me and let go of some toxic relationships.
I hosted three guests in Paris.
I planned three new excited trips that I will tell you all about soon!
I started freaking out about the "after Paris" part of my life.

No wonder I feel like I haven't gotten anything done lately: I've been busy doing everything else!

I am also realizing it has been one year exactly since I started this journey to Paris. "You will never believe where you will be a year from now." I would always say this to my college friends to encourage them to go for their dreams... little did I realize how true this would be for me! I have had an overwhelming amount of support along this journey, some from  people I haven't heard from in years. People who are telling me how glad they are I did this, that I went for my dreams. And that tells me something pretty important.

Something not about me, but about you! It shows me that bravery is attractive. Doing something courageous draws people. It shows me that you, yes you, are full of dreams and passions and desires you would not dare whisper to anyone. That when one of us does something crazy like move across an ocean to a country where she doesn't know a soul and doesn't speak the language, it resonates with the rest of us. Why? It's like for a moment we all remember that we could do something like that too. Or, more poignantly, it reminds us that we all want to do something crazy and courageous and memorable with our lives. And you know what? You really can.

Now stop. Just stop all those negative thoughts that just flooded your brain, those nay-sayers that would keep you chained to a life of being turned off, never letting your sense of adventure be ignited. You stop right now, and put those thoughts to death. They don't serve you or anyone else. And think for a moment, what if I could? Maybe it's starting a business, or changing careers. I think the best hint is whatever immediately came to your mind that you couldn't do. It's most likely what you want to do the most and what you fear the most of doing. And you know, it may not be quite what you think it's going to be, and it may not be delivered in the package you expect, but you have a grand adventure to live. Believe it, you do.

Now, this isn't some kind of fluff pep talk. I'm not into that stuff, in fact it makes me gag. I'm not saying anything about changing the world or becoming famous or doing something irresponsible. I'm talking about living up to the potential of the person already within you, of winning today for your dreams. Just today. Maybe for you that's just not thinking those negative thoughts. Maybe for you that's beginning to research your options. That's how I started. I didn't wake up one day fearless and decide I was moving to Paris. It was a gradual building of faith that I could do it. That's what I propose to you.

What are you scheming, dreaming, thinking about? Take your first step and post it in the comments below, or email me! I'd love to hear from you. Sending some love and Paris flowers your way! And as always, thanks for reading these silly little thoughts of mine.


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