Where has all our passion gone?

So bear with a bit as this might be a tad bit long but I think it is something worth saying. I have been through a lot this last year and seen a lot of things and right now I am looking at an uncertain future and leaving Europe.For those of you who do not know, I am an aupair in France and in three weeks I will be back on American soil. I am afraid of failing in my career or getting stuck doing something I don’t want to. I am afraid of never coming back to Europe but I have realized in the last few days that I can control a lot of these things if I am passionate enough about them. One thing that has been made clear while I was here is that I think we all lose passion for things in life and that is so sad. So here are my thoughts on it all. 

Our passion for our dreams

I have spoken to so many people who say “I wish I could do that”  or “it would be amazing if I could do that”….um you can. Newsflash: we can change our lives and follow our dreams. It is within our power. Please don’t think it was easy for me to get on a plane to a country I didn’t know and live with a family I didn’t know either. That is not easy but I am nothing if not determined. I wanted to live in Europe and I wanted to see the world. It was a dream of mine and so I made it happen. It wasn’t easy and there have been ups and downs but I am a different and better person because of it. We lose passion for our dreams by getting caught up in our daily lives and that dream vacation or dream career or dream person is completely pushed to the side and we settle for something less than we want….less than we deserve really. So take a little time to put that passion back. Save up for a vacation you have always wanted or take a weekend with your girls doing something you have always wanted to do because saying “I wish I could do that” won’t ever make something happen, you have to do that all on your own. 

Passion in love

Alright now I will be the first to admit that love is not a game I do well. I can’t flirt or dance or be super charming and I somehow attract people that are either butt faces or clingy. Not all the time mind you, but if it’s not one of those then it is timing. I met someone lovely last year….a month before I left. Seriously. This is my life. Regardless of that though I still want to believe that maybe true love is out there and it exists. I don’t want a Disney fairy tale, to be fair have you seen or read those stories? Um Snow White was fourteen and Cinderella’s guy had a major foot fetish and couldn’t remember what she looked like. No thanks. I have a fear or being alone my whole life and becoming a dog lady ( which is okay too because I love dogs). Maybe that will happen and maybe it won’t. I met someone this weekend though while out at a bar and the way he talked about his wife made me have hope that maybe someone will love me that way. 

Either way I have so many friends who are in relationships they don’t want to be in or are in them because they don’t want to put in the effort to get out. So we lose our passion in love to. Lackluster should never be something we should settle for. We shouldn’t settle at all really. What if while you are dragging your feet to end this stupid thing and make your life change, life is already doing it for you? The love of your life could be at the next bus stop, your favorite bar or coffee shop, stranger things have happened. Don’t lose your passion for love because I have seen it be great, and if it isn’t great then that person isn’t worth your time. I don’t know if I will ever find “the one” but I know that I want someone like the guy I met this weekend whose face lit up as he talked about his wife and someone who makes me laugh. Not you? Next. I don’t want to lose my passion for love and for believing in it. You shouldn’t either. 

Passion for our lives

I feel like so many of us tend to go through life and let it become mundane and boring. If you don’t like something then change it. We may not have control over everything but shouldn’t we also have the passion for life in general? We should wake up almost every morning (because some days just are terrible let’s be real) and be happy with your life. I am a but worried about going home and being in my little town and the drama there that can occur and then I realized I have the power to change that all. I may get negative sometimes and down in the dumps but the thing is that no one wants to come to a pity party. Sure your friends will bring ice cream and cake and listen to you but pity parties can’t last long because we can change most things. So have a passion for your daily life. Do the things you want to do with the people you want to do them with. Someone doesn’t like you? Too bad. Who ever gave them the power to make you change the way you feel about yourself? 

Anyways. This may have been a tad bit rant-like but I feel it is important that we embrace our lives and our dreams and everything else. this year I have seen the Colosseum, wiped out on a mountain in the Alps, drank champagne and eaten foie gras and met the most amazing people I could ask for. Thank you to the bartenders who listen to me drunk or just sit and have a drink with me to make me smile. Thank you to my host family and their friends who have given me a year I couldn’t have imagined. Thank you to my friends and family who have changed my life and supported me. You gave me the passion to follow my dreams. Whether for a season, a reason or a lifetime, everyone comes into our lives for a reason. Make excuses if you want to but I want to look back and say “I never lost my passion for life and I did some stupid things and some amazing things”. Sorry this may have been a bit sappy but I needed to rant it out either way. 

New Year’s Eve and 2013

I think that we put a lot of pressure on New Year’s Eve and what the New Year will bring us…why? I don’t know about you but I could not even begin to tell you my resolutions for 2013 and I won’t remember ones that I make in 2014, if I make them. I don’t remember if I was supposed to lose weight or be nicer or something, and honestly I can’t even think now what I did last New Year’s Eve. But here is what I do remember about 2013…

                It was a year filled with good things and bad things. My parents got divorced: that sucked. Although because of both my parents’ new independence I am now closer with my father than I have ever been and I appreciate time with my mom more. My wonderful grandfather passed away: that sucked even more. However, I swear he waited until I could see him one last time and I will never forget the smile on his face and his laugh when I beat him in the last game of cards we ever played, because I told him he was losing his edge and didn’t practice 31 enough. I made friends, I lost friends, I got sad and upset but I also had some really good things happen in 2013.

                I had an awesome group of friends that I did stupid and fun things with, I had wine dinners at least once a week with Erika. I spent my Spring Break and 22nd birthday in Chicago, blaring Taylor Swift’s “22” all this a few days after I went to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade there.

                I graduated college with two majors that I truly love, and a minor. I wrote ten pages of French within a week…although that wasn’t entirely fun. I had a great summer working for people who made me laugh and bought me bagels. I met new people and went to my first Phillies game. I went to the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. This was two days after I accepted an au pair job in Lyon, France. Finally a week before I left this summer one of my closest friends and her husband had their first baby and I got to hold him for the first time.

                Since I have come here I have seen Geneva, Switzerland. I have eaten the best Italian food and seen the coliseum, a dream of mine when I spent a week in Rome. I went to Paris and drank really expensive wine (thank you to my host dad’s boss who gave him one of the best wines out there). I spent my first Christmas in another country speaking another language. I sprayed champagne all over my host father’s uncle…who thankfully laughed. And I will spend New Year’s Eve tonight in a party hall with my family, who bought me a ticket when I said I had no idea what I was doing for the night anymore.

                My point is not to brag about this year, albeit an awesome year. My point is your year is not defined in resolutions and short term goals. Your year is defined in the things you do for yourself and the strides you make in becoming the person you want to be. So if you make resolutions, stick to them, write a sticky note with your resolution and stick in your calendar, or in your smart phone for April so you have a reminder part way through the year.

                And for the love of God can we please stop making tonight a big deal? I was so upset when I found out I couldn’t go to another city for New Year’s Eve, and now I realize that was just dumb, because in reality I am still spending it with people I enjoy being around. It may not be glamorous or exactly what I wanted for tonight but it sure beats the year I ate popcorn in my room and watched Gilmore Girls for five hours. As my friend Jana told me when I was upset about not having an epic party for New Year’s Eve, “everyone makes it be this big thing when in reality it is just another night”. So whether you are sitting drinking wine and watching romantic comedies or spending it with your best friend in Prague. Enjoy ringing in the New Year however you want; because it’s another year and another night, it will be as epic as you want it to be.

                Happy New Year from Lyon, France and may it bring great things and great people into your life!