To Give of Yourself is the most precious gift of all
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. -Lao Tzu
Bonjour tout le monde! I fully believe that I learn something new about myself, and the world around me every single day. And deep down in my heart what I want to do with my life is educate people. I want people to learn from my experiences so that they may be able to make better choices in their own lives, and share what they learn with others. Think about it for a minute… if you were to share something with someone every day that would enrich their life how much better would the world be in a decade or two decades from now? It doesn’t have to be educational in the sense of “Do you understand Einstein’s theory of relativity?” because for most people that may never be applicable to their life. What I am talking about is giving a piece of yourself, just a few moments, to share something personal and meaningful.
I have encountered too many people here in Paris, and in the United States, that do not fully appreciate that they are living, growing, learning human beings. People get stuck in ruts that are often very disabling, and deleterious to their growth inside and out. Ok, I am sorry for the SAT word but I have been helping a friend of mine with his Masters Thesis. Here is a chance for me to educate you in the traditional sense, but I am sure you can Google “deleterious” and learn that it means harmful, or dangerous.
So, when I share of myself, my life, and my experiences rather than the SAT words that just make me sound arrogant and stuck up, I have the opportunity to enrich your life with something that may make an impact. And I say all this to lead up to my introduction to my internship. At this point in my article I am thinking, goodness, this is going to be really long and people’s attention span (even my own! ) is not very long… So, quickly I will tell you that I have my internship set up for the fall. According to AUP and French laws on internships, I cannot start until September. I have 16 hours of class right now, plus 16 hours over the summer, but I have already started volunteering as part of their interventions with court ordered drug and alcohol rehab therapy.
Basically, what I am doing with AREMEDIA right now is telling my story of being bipolar, being on drugs and alcohol, being arrested, living with felons, and all that I went through to get to the place I am now where I have left all of that behind me… almost as if it were a past life. In the past few years I have turned my life completely around and I am using my down-and-out times, the worst times I “hit bottom and bounced back up” to relate to these people on a level that is unprecedented here in France.
In France, people do not talk about mental illness, they do not speak openly about drug problems or issues they have at home or school. They are a very private people, and I am opening up the conversation by telling them about myself. I am giving a piece of myself to them so that they understand that they are not alone. I am trying to be the candle of hope that others can use to light their own candle of happiness…
This is getting long, and I have plans to write a much longer article about how I do yoga while I study, and I will continue to give you tips and advice on how I am managing being a Masters student in Paris… But for now…