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Getting down to some actual grad school student business these days and really enjoying Paris. I mean, REALLY, enjoying it. Feeling like having all my issues up in the air- where I want to live, what culture is my own, and what kind of JOBs to look out for- isn’t such a bad thing. Great things happen through serendipity, and life is beautiful.

More in love with business school than ever. It is actually super interesting and the ultimate applied social science, creative problem solving, and really cool diverse atmosphere of awesome motivated people.

I also feel, if not French (which is fine by me), at least more identity as a francophone. There are tons of people who are not French to whom this label applies, and I will always be among them. Doing a lot of thinking in French these days.

As much as finding a “home” sounds great, and having of a settling plan can seem serious and advantageous, I am feeling pretty at home right where I am.  Not sure to what degree I am really a forever nomad, but I think that it is hard to say since there are so many factors involved. Being an American expat in the countryside of Poitou-Charentes, where I lived last year, is quite different from Paris. Much as I haven’t mingled with too many native Parisians, I am having a great time not only being here but also planning a short trip over a brief holiday in November with one of my favorite classmates. We are thinking Istanbul or Prague, but maybe Greece. We originally wanted to go to Croatia but there’s no cheap flights going there because it’s off season. Any suggestions are welcome!  Isn’t living in the coeur of the Old World wonderful?

Trying more than anything else to live in the present and let the future shape itself. I think the key is just to remember how much I already have to offer and to focus on how beautiful life is now, regardless of what the future may bring. I know I am not going to regret that extra stroll on a beautiful autumn day in Paris, or the nice meal I bought instead of eating pasta. I’m not sure exactly how systemic an approach this is, but I am just trying to say “Yes!” to life in every way I know how. True, I don’t know exactly what I want to do or where I want to live. But I do know the most important thing, or rather I am constantly refining it: How to live. Which is, being open, and honest, and kind to others and yourself. Life’s been good to me so far, and everyday I get reminded things happen for a reason. There’s no way I could possibly be where I am now if a lot of my dearest wishes at the time had not come true, and looking back at my “mistakes,” and less than happy experiences, I am so happy for what I learned. But most important, I am learning, every day, to be more happy, and to trust a little more. There’s a lot in this world that’s out of my control, but that doesn’t mean God is playing dice with the universe. Remember some of these verses from Luke Chapter 12? I had no idea where these were from, but I remembered some of these ideas:

And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.

If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 

Dear readers, I hope this spiritual/religious digression adds a little hope and faith to your day regardless of your personal beliefs; I think a humanistic takeaway could be to tend to your self actualization needs rather than getting stuck on the basics and trying to always have more, more, more and worrying about if you will have enough. Be aware that you are affected by far more than your own efforts and life is far more than a toil and a daring task. Rather, it is a tapestry and we are all but small parts.  As Robin Williams reminds us in Dead Poet’s Society:

John Keating: We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

But ne t’inquiete pas about your verse. It is not something you can map out, and if you listen to the song in your heart that’s going on all the time, and to what others are singing, you will know exactly what to add when your turn comes, cheris.

Gros bisous de Paris!

MJ

 

 

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