Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What is My Goal?

Michel asked me a very thought-provoking question at dinner Saturday evening; one that no one has asked me before. "Evelyne," he said, "what is your goal, your purpose for spending these months in France?" I laughingly replied that I didn't have any goal or purpose in mind, but then went on to elaborate further. After all, I didn't want to seem like a complete nitwit who just packed up and came to France without a reason. Or worse yet, one who came to find a man!  But even with Jacky translating, I'm not sure I got my thoughts across. The question has continued to niggle in the back of my mind. I spent too many years putting together goals, purposes, SWOT's, and business plans for various bosses not to feel a bit compelled to come up with a goal, a mission, a vision....

But, I really don't have a goal, a mission or a vision! That said, this is intentional on my part. I wanted to come to this experience without any pre-conceived expectations or items to check off my 'goal to-do list.' I wanted to be entirely open to whatever the experience brought to my doorstep. And I've tried very hard not to judge any of my experiences as good or bad. In my opinion, though, travel to other places, even places in your own country, opens up opportunities and possibilities that never would be opened up otherwise. And living in an 'other place' only expands on those possibilities. I love the way that living out of my comfort zone challenges me; it makes me alert and requires me to respond to life in ways that are new. It keeps my mind open and agile. I take nothing for granted, but appreciate everything that I can understand and even those things that I can't. I love the way my mind is stretched by living with the 'other,' the people who are different than me, who speak another language and who live life in a different way. While I'll never 'be' French, my time here has already provided me the opportunity to 'live' French. And I love how these months in France have already enriched my life with new friends, new experiences, new customs, new words, new things to laugh about. It's more than just viewing new tourist attractions; it's seeing life through the eyes of another culture and that makes my own culture deeper and richer. Jacky has traveled the world; I think he 'got' what I was saying Saturday night. I'm not sure that Michel 'got' it in translation. I'm not sure a lot of people would understand who haven't taken the leap of faith and stepped beyond the familiar boundaries of their lives. Maybe it's not something everyone needs to 'get.' In my opinion, though, it's very important for me.

3 comments:

  1. Well said. I wish we all had the courage to step outside our comfort zone and try new things. I am so happy that you have taken this opportunity. I hope that through this experience new opportunties will present themselves. I get it:)

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  2. Awesome! I have lived my life guided by one thought: The sea is dangerous and its storms terrible, but these obstacles have never been sufficient reason to remain ashore... Unlike the mediocre, intrepid spirits seek victory over those things that seem impossible... It is with an iron will that they embark on the most daring of all endeavors... to meet the shadowy future without fear and conquer the unknown. You, my friend, are a courageous and intrepid spirit!

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  3. "The sea is dangerous and its storms terrible, but these obstacles have never been sufficient reason to remain ashore... Unlike the mediocre, intrepid spirits seek victory over those things that seem impossible... It is with an iron will that they embark on the most daring of all endeavors... to meet the shadowy future without fear and conquer the unknown." - Anon

    I get it. M

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