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.)
IT’S TIME TO BE BRAVE.
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.
I’M GOING TO THRIVE.
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.
I CHALLENGE YOU TO BE BOLD.
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.0