Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thou Must Live, Not Simply Exist

"Il faut vivre et non pas seulement exister"
I thought that today I would explain where the name of my blog came from. While living abroad I had the opportunity to travel to many different countries.  Often people ask me where my favorite place was, and it's such a hard question to answer! I learned so much everywhere I went, there were things I loved, and things I hated *cough* how much pop cost *cough*
Near the end of our time in Europe, Gi and I decided to take a trip to France. We wanted to go somewhere off the beaten path, without a bunch of tourists.  We each picked a place and went to both; I chose Bordeaux to wine taste, she chose Biarritz for the beach. It was a perfectly balanced trip - wine, food, sun, and beach.  Recipe for success :) 
 Both places were beautiful... and that's an understatement.  I think it was the trip where I took the most pictures; I couldn't get enough of the vineyards, and rocky shorelines.  While in Biarritz I decided that I wanted to spend a little money, and buy something nice to take home with me. As opposed to my normal souvenirs: magnets, post cards, and coffee mugs. I wanted something that would always remind me of the wide-eyed person I was while finding my way through France.  I came upon this ring, and still wear it everyday. In French, it's inscribed "thou must live, not simply exist." So simple, yet so true.
I think I am like most people, I get into my routine and kind of stick to it.  I kind of crave routine, to be honest, otherwise I feel all out of sync and unorganized.  Yet, almost everyday I miss the adventure of traveling somewhere I've never been, meeting new people... living, without any plans.
Another interesting story from the book The Awakening, is about a man who needed to clean out his fish tank, he filled up his bathtub, and put his fish in his bathtub while he cleaned.  He figured they would explore, swim like man men (or fish, ha-ha) all around the tub, and take advantage of their new freedom.  Surprisingly he found they huddled together and stayed in an area that was about the exact size of their tank. They stayed in their comfort zone.
Reading this made me think of how we get into the groove of our lives, and do this exact same thing.  In all honesty, I feel like I sometimes talk myself out of doing new things.  I make excuses, "I have to be up early," "I have to a lot of errands to run so I don't have time," or, "I have to work tomorrow., so I can't"
It's times like these that I need to remember this story, and take a glance down at the my ring.  Yes, we all have responsibilities, but we do still need to embrace that feeling of freedom.  To be able to feel that nothing's containing you, nothing's holding you back.
There will always be hesitation about the unplanned, or unexpected. In those instances, I have to wonder are we just staying in our comfort zone because it's safer?  While scary, spontaneity is part of life, we should welcome it with open arms.  So, I guess the idea today, and everyday, is be curious.  Thou must LIVE, not simply exist!

P.S. In an effort to be more spontaneous, and to please a certain some one's request to be more included.  Below is a picture of my boyfriend, C.  Ha!  Be careful what you wish for ;)

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