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“If what you are following is the path of your dreams, commit yourself to it. Don’t leave the back door open with excuses: ” this still isn’t quite what I wanted.” This sentence-heard so often- contains the seed of defeat. ” Paulo Coelho

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” — Marcus Aurelius

“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” ~John Allen Paulos

So I’m in France, and loving it, despite the many ups and downs. But recently, it seems like there are so many more ups than downs, and that as soon as I accepted my predicament, it got better.

I also realized just how much I have accomplished, and not just what I still “have,” to do.

I’ve had a bit of a revelation when it comes to my body and my weight, namely, that I don’t care what size I am as long as I am healthy and strong. Most of my life I’ve vacillated between “fuck it,” and eating what I wanted (whether for a meal or for a year) or trying desperately to control things through what I ate. I have always harbored the belief that I wasn’t really good enough if I didn’t have my weight “under control,” that my prince wouldn’t come, that I wouldn’t be a true success.

Well, I’m realizing that success is not what I had in my head, on all fronts.

There is always going to be room to grow, and I have to stop putting life off for that mythical someday, someone, some perfect version of me. I am getting it all together, but I’ll never have it all together, or rather it is fine just as it is. It is good to try and improve, but there’s no goodness without the greatness of accepting and loving where you are. Otherwise it can be just another form of mania, another escape from the present moment.

And honestly I’m not finding much to complain about in the present moment. I have some concerns, but overall I am feeling positve about the future and confidnet in myself that with the grace of GOd I”ll be able to meet my challenges.

And most of what I”ve been looking for, through weight loss especially, is social approval.  No wonder eating chocolate and trying to cut back on foods I think I like, but occassionally realize are just hurting me and I don’t even enjoy, feels like such sweet revenge at times.

I’ve been going to a lot of concerts lately- world music/jazz fusion. WIth other expat types, also outgoing and friendly and open and curious like me. FOr the first time in my life, I don’t feel like a bird among fish. There is nothing wrong with me, and it’s funny how much I have fought this realization. Funny thinking about how I got the web address to this social networking site for expats about a year before I started to use it. Funny how much I have tried to make myself want to go home, although, if home is the place you like without knowing exactly why you like it, I”m here now. I miss my family, but I am a testament to them by living my own life and letting myself be happy. No matter how “weird,” I am. I feel like the ugly duckling who just realized she’s a swan.

And it’s a huge relief. Yes, I could enjoy country music or some old time rock and roll, and I can’t believe I”ve become the person that listens to world music and goes to concerts in boats on the Seine, but hey, that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? ANd I gues a part of me always knew that was the kind of person I really was. I remember feeling so jealous of people who spoke foreign languages and had lived abraod and had family abroad and fought so hard against the idea of studying outside the us let alone living there. I remember telling my French teacher my mother would never let me stay in a hostel, and telling my freshman year college advisor that there was no point in me going abroad since I planned to stay my whole life in the us. And all my feelings of confusion and judgement towards people who just wanted to travel, or stay in France, or whatever. THinking I wasn’t “one of those.”

It’s funnyhow life brings us to our happiest path even when it is not what we had in mind, if we just say “yes,” to life and let it. I have followed my bliss, and found many, many treasures.

ANd I’ve finally accepted that love is not what I thought it was. My typical pattern since the brekup of my first relationship was to meet someone 2-3 times, feel a strong connection right away, read all kinds of wonderful things into them, and refuse to part with my fantasy. Of course, these people typically had all kinds of qualities that I associated with my ideal self, subconsciouslyor not. THey were people who I wanted approval from, above all, and who couldn’t love me because I didn’t manipulate them and they were never really available. It was a way to have heartbreak without too much disappointment in the second case, and to believe that things would come out exactly like I planned, with a person that was exactly like what I wanted on paper. In the first cas,e it was holding on to something that I always knew was doomed and not willing to let go because I had let that person in and didnt want to go through the same drama with someone else. And also because I never stopped craving his approval.

And now, I am seeing someone in my life with new eyes. Nothing at all like the guys I consider my “type,” although he is planning on leaving the city soon. But I didn’t plan to like him, and there were no butterflies at the beginning. I’m still geting to know him, and it hasn’t been a bolt of lightning. So far it it feels like a warm bath, and I”m soaking into it bit by bit. SLowly. And getting to know the person, and getting rid of my expectations. Although I could tell my stories about how much sense it all makes, I dont. Because I am genuinelyhappy, despite all my so called problems, and while I do have growing feelings of vulnerability towards this person, I also don’t have the obsessive desire for them and craving for control and acceptance the way I did in preivious cases. This is not the person I thought I would like, AT ALL, not because he’s bad or unnatractive just because that’s not the box I put him in. It feels like there’s something there that definitely wasn’t there before, and is growing very gently over time. And who knows what it will lead to?

I don’t know but I feel secure enough in myself that I will follow the path LIfe leads me. God works in mysterious ways. I will not even try to control or predict the outcome, but I will let my desire and intention be heard and felt and seen by myself and by God. And i will stay open to this person.

My life’s fairy tale is not at all what I envisioned, and I am finally letting go of the illusion that my one true love has to be the kind of person I imagined, nad I have to be the kind of princess I always thought I’d be. I feel free, and happy about that.

Life has become so wide and empty, a blank canvas. I’m less and less worried about getting married by a certain age or why I don’t have a boyfriend yet and how thinsgs will turn out on my life plan. I’m just not so worried about things. And instead of wanting a so called happy ending, and something I can understand and control, I want real life, a real relationship with a real boyfriend who is really amazing to me. Even if he’s not the guy I pictured. I don’t want the life I planned anymore, and I don’t want to put off “happiness,” because I”m not “there yet,” financially, physically, socially, etc. All the pieces are falling into place, in there own damn time. It feels like a such a privilege to be part of this process, to realize I am amazing and I am so powerful and splendid but that I’m not in control of my life. But the driver is a good one. And by meeting everyday with courage, I am building the Kingdom of Heaven, not my own personal projection of what life “should,” be like, but a living, breathing, everyday, common, magical, mystical, mysterious miracle. A flower unfolding every day, a rose e’er blooming indeed.

What a relief!