XXXIII/ The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood

“Get a grip on yourself. There’s only one god here on earth, and that’s you. If you don’t like the world, make one you like better, and leave no sorrow make you get off your cloud. Life always smiles to those who know how to give tit for tat.”

So this is it, I’m back in France, another chapter of my life has just begun and another part of my blog too. When I read all my writings from the very beginning, I’m just bummed not to have started earlier but I’m not mad at myself, I’m already glad I started one day.
“If you don’t know where to start, just start somewhere.”

I walk down the street in this beautiful autumn afternoon and apart from the gorgeous orange leaves that are flying all around me, I see beautiful people. I gladly notice that all those simple things have put a smile upon my face.

“You let all the girls go
Makes you feel good, don’t it?
Behind your Broadway show
I heard a boy say please don’t hurt me
You’ve carried on so long
You couldn’t stop if you tried it
You’ve built your wall so high
That no one could climb it
But I’m gonna try.”

When I was still in Holland, I thought that I was gone for too long, that nothing really was waiting for me anymore back in France but I also knew that I had some projects and enough ambition to overcome anything.

“That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose. People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards; sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Don’t expect to get anything back, don’t expect recognition for your efforts, don’t expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability or arrogance, but simply because whatever it is no longer fits in your life. Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.”

These days I’m getting rid of so many things that I’ve had for so many years and that I no longer see why I’d keep them. I do a sort of spring cleaning in my life in order to get going again, and this goes from clothes to furniture passing by friendships. ‘Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust.’

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

I learn how to love my city again, so as for my country. What a luxury to be a tourist your own lands..! I’m enjoying food like never before. For example I do what I’ve baptized a “Croissants marathon” almost every day (stopping by absolutely any bakery that I come across just to order a good old and authentic freshly baked croissant – up to three different places on a row when I’m lucky).
I’m taking my time to live. I value the simple pleasures of life. Now more than ever, I live in the present and most of all, I’m at peace with myself.

But at the same time, I’m in France since four days and I haven’t stopped for a second.
Like yesterday I’ve been job hunting to Lyon and I by the way found out about a whole new parallel world.
I’ve been there in carsharing and I picked the Couchsurfing for accommodation. Not that I didn’t know about those so far, just that being a hostel life lover I usually don’t mind spending a couple of quid to check out a new hostel and I generally just fly from a destination to another…
Well my point is that I met a bunch of wonderful and crazy interesting people thanks to that. Once again, good attracts good and besides the obvious money saving aspect, we all have everything to gain to use those parallel “ways of life”. It secondarily allows you to regain faith in humanity believe me.

The other day as I was walking around in town I found myself in front of the café I used to chill at for hours with my fellow students back in the days. The owner – and sort of confidant during our uni years – was still there over five years later.
What do you do for a living? Well I mainly do odd jobs around and as soon as I’ve gathered enough money, I just quit and head to some place I don’t know, I just follow my dreams you see and so far we can tell it’s been working quite well for me. How about you?? I’m actually more thinking of my retirement for the moment!
I remember back in the day he was always telling us how he wanted to leave that café and that town, but he apparently never did so. I’d like to think I’ll never get stuck in life, but it apparently even happens to the best of us.

You get used to work your fingers to the bone when abroad and frankly I’m tired of it. I mean everything is a challenge in itself when far away from home and that’s exactly what I used to love, to find exciting. So far when I was “interrupting” a stay abroad by coming back to France for a few days between two years or two countries, I would always find life awfully slow, lagging and slightly tasteless after a couple days, too simple I’d say, “what I’ve always known without any change”, just not to use the word “boring”.
And it’s funny because this is the exact same reason why I’m enjoying being back now, that need of simplicity and easiness. And after over three years spent abroad, let me tell you one thing; the real adventure consists in coming back where you’re from.
“A good traveler knows there always comes a time when we must leave.”

Maybe I simply had a need of elsewhere just a little longer than the others; when the average people is usually satisfied with a gap year, I needed over three years to fully build myself up.
A couple of years to think over.

There’s that one thing my mother told me when I just got back that is disturbing me slightly: “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.”
My stubborn and eternal traveler’s temper cannot agree with that statement, though I must admit that it has been bugging me somehow those days…

“Life is a train that stops at no stations; you either jump abroad or stand on the platform and watch as it passes.”

I’ve decided that I was well and good gonna catch this god damn train.
I’m tired of being cheap, now I want a decent job to allow me to have money to spend whenever I travel. Being freer and more adult. What a contradiction isn’t it??

“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”

My plan is fairly simple, I will go get the money straight where it is; luxury hotels. Besides, I’m sure that my experience in hotel trade combined with my skills in the field of shenanigans will make me get ahead fairly quickly.
“You are honest, you know how to lie, I like that.”
And even if being at the service wealthy people may not be my sweetest dream, at least it won’t get my hands dirty. Furthermore I seriously begin to wonder if there’s somewhere in the world a job I can do for a lifetime…

The other day I met that quirky girl who’s got a pretty strong temper and who found herself surrounded by people she can’t stand in a study field that turned out not to be exactly her thing. She told me “My convictions will cost me much this year”. I admire her for that, but on my side and for my own interest, I’ll momentarily put mine aside.

“There is no man more complete than the one who travelled a lot, who changed the shape of his thoughts and his life twenty times.”

I meant to give me the means to achieve this, so I dropped the backpack and my (beloved) good old beard… I’ve also significantly shorten my hair and gave my suit a new lease of life. “Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.”

And guess what, it worked to perfection!! After having applied to a few job offers, I already have two luxury hotels who wanna hire me proposing me a really decent salary plus food and accommodation… Life’s beautiful.

It’s so nice to finally get what you want, a nice reward after having worked your ass off down at the bottom of the ladder for a long time. It slowly turns into what we call experience and all this finally ends up paying off.
I even may be picky now, what a revenge.
“When life puts you in tough situations, don’t say ‘Why me??’ just say ‘Try me’.”

In forty or fifty years I’m dead. I want to say « I had a good life ». I consider that I am on the right way.

“Don’t change your journey so that it matches someone else’s. We need to walk different paths so the whole world can be explored.”

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