Foriegn Affairs

Exister, c'est oser se jeter dans le monde.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Beginning of Lasts {& Firsts}

This week I am feeling pretty sentimental. One of my close friends is living on a mission to Chile to serve and preach the gospel for two years! As his last day in the states draws to a close, I can't help but feel like a lot of my life is changing rapidly. Taking a tally of my life in the moment, most of my friends are going on missions or college in the fall, making everyday sightings of them nonexistent. The people that I see in the summer or in the hallways will be gone in a year, and I have to admit, I'm a little sad. It seems as though I have a little sand timer with enough sand until graduation (that's in a year)! With only having a year left, I also think about what is going to change in a year and where I will be. Right now, I  am thinking about doing a humanitarian project in Central America of the Pacific next summer! Even last week, this idea didn't even cross my mind. So, as many lasts start to unfold in my life, I also look toward the beginning of many firsts. My first day of college, my first trip is crazy.
Right now, all I can say is that I know that all the events in my life so far will help me for a bigger future. It's hard to say what I'll be doing next year or even tomorrow, but I have a firm belief that it will help me along the path of life. Who knows, maybe next year I'll be getting ready to go on a mission or  be joining the Peace Corps!


Monday, June 13, 2016

Live Boldly

Over the weekend, I had the invitation to go see Me Before You with some of my friends. For the record, I am not a hopeless romantic, but read the book and cried my eyes out (something that I rarely do). After watching the movie and having uncontrollable sobs, I realized that I LOVED the story. Completely. If you don't know what I am talking about, here is the trailer. Even thought the story is fictional, I couldn't help relating it to another one of my favorite movies, The Theory of Everything, a true story of Stephen Hawking. (trailer here).

In the book, Me Before You, the story follows the debilitating injury of Will Traynor and his assistant who shows him how great life can be, despite his pain and suffering. She tries to show him not only how fully how life can be lived, but how his accident was only a set-back on a long road of promise. (I'm not revealing the ending)!
On to The Theory of Everything.

Before this movie, I had briefly heard about Hawking. After I watched the movie and did a little research, I am still not sure how I feel about him, but I have total respect for someone who loses the ability to use their body, and fights to defy the odds. As an avid runner and busy bee, I can't imagine losing the ability to move my arms, legs, even the ability to talk and sit. After being diagnosed with ALS, a terminating disease, the will to live is beyond me.
It is hard for me to imagine myself in their situations ( both Hawking and Traynor) who lose that ability.
At the end of the book, Me Before You, one of the main characters receives a letter. (I know I'm being vague, but I want you to look it up and read for yourself). Although I won't reveal what is said in the letter, I will spoil one sentence.
Live Boldly.
How do we live boldly?
I believe that it means we live without any boundaries, and push until we can't give anymore. It also means staying true to who you are; personal integrity. In light of the tragedy in Orlando, I say this- people should NOT be punished for who they are, living the life they want to lead. If, as a society, we learn to live boldly, we WILL change for the better.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Culture me, darling

For those who don't know me that well, I love to travel. I may be very picky about where I stay or what I do, but a major item on my bucket list is to travel the world. So far, I have only been out of the country once, and even though Canada is extremely nice, I didn't experience a huge culture shock. To prepare for my world travels that start next summer (more on that in a future post). At school, I learned French, all the way up to level 4. Even though I am in the higher level of the language, I still feel like I need to go to the country to try out my speaking ability! My family was able to host a foreign exchange student from Nice a year ago, and it was crazy trying to communicate with him! My French was not the best, and neither was his English. The majority of the time, we relied on Google translate, and bonded using hand signals. We were even able to communicate a little bit using Spanish. 
It is truly amazing how language can unite us together as a world, but also create distance between us. Though the world is growing in diversity, many still don't know how to speak a second language. I would say the majority of the blame lies in America, because as children, we are not pushed to learn another language. I know that my little knowledge of French helps unite me to others in another country, and helps me to understand a culture better. Even better news- once you learn an additional dialect, it is easier to learn another! This summer, I am trying to keep my french skills sharp, but I might add another language to the list. 
As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, 

“Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.”


Monday, June 6, 2016

Long Time No See

I have to admit, I have completely slacked off from blogging for a solid month. My new resolution is to blog at least two times a week, so stay posted! With so many changes happening in almost an instant, I feel like I sound like a broken record say that I am busy all the time. However, this is the plain and simple truth. Unfortunately, many tell me that time does not slow down, but in fact speeds up. I wish that I could rewind the clock and tell my past self to enjoy every moment of every day.
Currently, I am working a summer job while trying to relish and savor my last high school summer. It is weird to think that I only have one year left of required education, and that the people that I see everyday will fade away in less than 12 months. I feel as if society tells us to rush growing up, seeing places, and meeting new people. All by the time I am 18, I am expected to have been a world traveler, exceptional student and athlete, leader of all my peers, have a high school romance...
For me, I think I need to remember to BREATHE. To enjoy all the little things that give me joy, and not push them off for other pursuits not worth my time. With a year left, it looks like an expiration date. All the years that I told myself to wait, to calculate every movement, is gone in a blink of an eye.
While writing this post, I think another one of my goals this summer (and year) is to live. Along with learning to take a breath, I need to jump into the deep end and take chances.