Be Bold.

Be Bold.

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ast year was probably the best year of my life, so far. It was also the most difficult, most challenging and most soul-destroying year I have ever had to live through. I’ve never known such dizzy heights and such crashing lows to come so quickly and so perfectly, one after the other. Literally the best and worst of times.

Moving to Paris wore me down and by the end of November I was a wreck. Depressed, anxious, stressed and suffering all sorts of physical pain and illness, I retired defeated to Sussex to get over it all. I wish I was exaggerating. Living and studying in Paris, speaking only a five-years-ago GCSE in French’s worth of the language, knowing only a handful of busy people, I just lost sight of the reasons I was putting myself through it all.

Well, I’m back. (Strictly speaking, I’m only half back. I’ll properly be back for a massive five month run at the end of the month.)


Being brave doesn’t have to mean throwing yourself on grenades or fighting back charging lions. It can mean getting dressed in the morning to go to class, or attempting to order food in a restaurant or cafe. I have come to realise that every day I spend in France, I am being horrendously brave, and I’m going to shout about how brave I am to the rooftops.

I’ve set up phone contracts, internet contracts, bank accounts and university courses in a language I barely speak. I’ve battled through two-hour lectures on Descartes and anthropology in a language I barely speak. I’ve faced lonely weekends head-on and lived to see Monday, ready for another six hours of lectures. It wore me down, but I survived.

And I’m going to survive again.


This time round I have a plan. I don’t have to worry about all that ‘moving to another country’ admin. I won’t have to worry about passing exams in subjects I can barely write the title of. I’m going to concentrate on bettering my French and my all-round experience.

I am going to muster all the strength that I regained over Christmas and face Paris in the spring with my palms open. And if I can do it, so can you.


This year is the year of the brave. Be bold in all you do, push limits and break rules (not, like, illegal things though kids – stay in school). Look your fears square in the eye, write a blog post about them, and then push them aside like an American on the metro. Start fights. Be bold in defeat too.

In life you have to work for what you want. Whether its money for things, travel, beautiful homes, or the less material – health, fitness, family, friendships. Nothing comes without a little extra effort, pushing us through.

It’s the start of the year. The start of a whole new 366 days (leap year, massivvvee) that you can fill with brave and noble deeds.

Don’t blow it.

Be Bold.


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  • Sophie Mills says:

    This is such an inspiring post and I’m so glad you’ve got a plan of how to tackle it. I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be, but it’s also an incredible experience that so few people get to have! I fully understand the physical illness that comes along with having poor mental health and it’s downright debilitating. It makes everything a thousand times harder. I really hope that everything turns out the way you would like it to. Good luck with everything this year throws at you, and I can’t wait to read all about it!

    Sophie x | Essential Twenty

  • B Shannon says:

    Such beautiful words as always! You are truly inspiring and brave, and I hope to aspire to be like you some day. Thank you for sharing this X
    Becky Shannon xx – Life-by-Becky

  • The Nerdy Me says:

    Amazing post from you, Imii. You are probably the bravest bloger I know. Not many would move out to a country and study there with language they don’t speak well. You are very inspiring and you make me think that if you can do it, then why can’t I? I do really need to start being brave more and making things happen myself. I really hope 2016 will be the year I become brave. Just the best for you, Imii and hope this year will be even more fantastic for you 🙂 x

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

  • Aimée Julia Cottle says:

    Brilliant and inspiring blog post! Great way to start the year by reading this. And good luck with your five months in Paris! I hope it’s better this time around 🙂 x x

  • Hannah says:

    What a post! Thank you for sharing this. I’m sure it has helped you to feel stronger and braver for the coming year, but I think you’ve helped me and others by writing this post too! Here’s to being bold in 2016. Hope it’s a great year for you – looking forward to reading your other posts this year already.

    and Sandals Blog XX

  • Sarah says:

    This is such an inspiring post and one I can very much relate to. A few years ago I moved to Germany and though I eventually fell in love with it the first few months were crushingly difficult and the homesickness was unbearable at times. I found it so difficult even with a very good grasp of the language so you should be hugely proud of what you’ve accomplished!

  • Emma Louise says:

    Imii, this is beautiful.

    I’ve only been speaking to you this evening through the fitness bunnies chat, but by reading this brave post, I feel like I know you a lot more. Anxiety is an absolute bitch and it can hit you when you least expect it but you’re so brave for getting back and doing what you love best.

    You’re a little soldier.

    Emma Louise xx

  • Tamsin Swann says:

    That was so inspiring, I need to take a leaf out of your book! Paris sounds amazing but I bet it’s all quite overwhelming. Especially the language barrier. The found the Duolingo so helpful to pick up languages quickly. Hope your next stint goes amazing for you xx

    Tamz |

  • Laura Blake says:

    Bloody love you. This is my most favourite post that I have read in such a long time, you beautiful human, you. xx
    Laura | elelibee

  • Emma @ BooksandBoardies says:

    This is awesome. Well done on being brave and heading back out there with a plan to make things work. I am sure we are going to read about how great Parisian life is for you in 2016.
    I am working on saving saving saving this year for the end of year plans of moving out of my hometown as sadly regardless of how much I love it I cannot afford to live here once I am living alone. Time to move on and time to start again and be who I really am.
    Here’s to a bold and brave new year. x

  • Frey de Fleur says:

    Such a well written post. After reading this I feel like you would love Big Magic by Elizabeth Glibert. It’s all about creative living beyond fear and I think it would really resonate with you about being brave and being bold. I’m half way through it and it’s been such an inspirational read x

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