Once I was 20 years old… I only see my goals. I don’t believe in failure. Cause I know the smallest voices can make it major… Once I was 20 years old.
They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade – But what if you’d rather make coffee? Chasing your dreams is kind of like that. You finally find that one thing that fills your soul and lifts your spirit. It’s your purpose, drive, destiny, higher calling, or whatever you want to call it. So inevitably, you pursue it like a dog chases a stick. Then Life, like the sick freak she is, sends you lemons when you’ve already invested in milk, sugar, and a coffee cup.
FIRST, LE DRAMA
At the end of June, life was finally playing in my favor. I scored a rendez-vous at a well-known Parisian café (talk about sweet deals), aced the interview, and was invited to return for a trial-run. (In France, new employees are given a trial run, which can last anywhere from one day to 3 months, wherein the employer can observe your work ethic, but can also fire you at anytime.) “Super! I’m set for my year in Paris,” I thought, “Just have to impress the socks off them at the trial-run.” In preparation, I went back to the café a few times to watch the baristas work, taking note of all the important service phrases and coffee lingo they used. In my mind, I was ready!
Then the day before the trial-run,…
Just my luck, they hired someone else with more café experience, and I’m sure their lemonade tasted real good that day. Needless to say, I was devastated, and frustrated, and exhausted. (Siiiiiigh…. having dreams suck! *grumble)
So, I packed my bags, wrote a small (?) tantrum on FB, and ran away from soul-crushing Paris to my family in Lübeck, Germany.
I know. So melodramatic!
There I spent 12 glorious days recharging from and re-evaluating my 生き甲斐. (Siiiigh… damn dreams! *grumble) Spending 12 days with this awesome sista-from-another-mista also helped with recuperation. For the purposes of this article, I will call her Katniss [but with a C because of my tendency to match the first letters of the real & fictional names] because although she hasn’t killed anyone (that I know of), Catniss has the same level of badassery as the HG character; she isn’t afraid of anything. Only 11 years old, and yet she participates in triathlons just for fun; loves paddle-boarding, skateboarding, climbing trees, and unicycling; she’s also killer with a bow-and-arrow, speaks 3 languages, has traveled all over Scandinavia & Germany, cooks like a boss, and quit the Scouts because they weren’t badass enough. Oh yea, and she loves dragons. This chicka is fierce! Honestly, where was she when I was a kid!?!?!
Needless to say after a week and a half of romping around town/the German wilderness with Catniss, I’m feeling relaxed, motivated, and ready to take on the world. But first, some heartfelt appreciation.
After my slight (?) FB outburst of failed dreams and general disdain for having dreams in the first place (Siiiiigh… those mf dreams! *grumble), I was moved by your steady outpour of pure empathy, generous assistance, and wildly good advice. From someone who battles with depression and who thinks traveling alone for a long period of time is a good idea (I honestly don’t know where i get these smart (?) ideas), your words are the light when I’m in a dark place and the hand that reaches out when I’ve fallen down. I’m truly thankful.
Of course, I won’t name any names because you know who you are. Well…, I will name one name for the sake of his future success. My dearest friend, Reginald, who for some reason wouldn’t let me refer to him as Renly ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (Why? I don’t know.), gave my resume a proper makeover. Honestly, it’s gleaming! Ergo, to all of his future employers and clients who are google stalking him atm, you can rest easy knowing your resume/your trust is in the right hands. He’s DA MAN!
NEXT STEPS TOWARDS WORLD DOMINATION
So, about my dream/purpose/whatever. (Siiigh… stupid dreams *grumble). What to do!?!
- At this very moment, I’m on my way to la bella Roma (34 hours via bus & train from Lübeck because I have no money) where my dear friend Sebastien graciously set up a-can’t-miss opportunity for me. I will spend the next two weeks learning to make Italian coffee in an Italian café in the traditional Italian way. Thanks for the coffee beans, Life! By the way, I can’t stress how awesome Couchsurfing is. I met Sebastien through CS. So if you want to globalize your network for free, CS = international connections.
- After a short jaunt in Rome, I will stop in Basel to visit my dear friend Pascal & his family, and to celebrate National Switzerland Day. I also met Pascal through CS.
- Then, back to Lübeck for the rest of the summer to help my famjam with landscaping & gardening whilst admiring Catniss’ badassery and learning Spanish from their Chilean employee. (I never realized how little Spanish I knew up to this point. Little as in two words – I’m sorry Spanish speaking friends. I should have made more of an effort to learn from you.) I’m also thinking about asking the owner of ONE Fairtrade, Aykut, if I can volunteer in his café for a few hours here and there. Italian coffee. Check. German coffee. Check.
- At the risk of wasting a 1-year visa, I’ll head back to France before the end of the summer. Either I could return to Paris and give it another shot or my dear friend Katriona has a friend who lives in the south of France and might be able to introduce me to a cafe there. Small town living or big city dreaming. Who knows? We’ll see.
Either way, I need to learn to take life as it comes with its highlights and lowlights, enjoying each day for what it is. Nothing more; nothing less. Pure contentment. No point in sprinting through a marathon.
Now back to my duoLingo studies (i.e., French, German, and Italian for logistical reasons, and Portuguese <– this one is all my Brazilian friend’s fault; obrigada, Brazil [his nickname – long story]). I’m still waiting for Japanese to become available, but either way, I will shamelessly advertise for duoLingo when learning une autre langue. First introduced to me by Dante, it’s free and fantastic; great for vocab acquisition & review, listening & speaking practice, and translating to & from English. And when you want to learn every Portuguese swear word, I’ll hook you up with Brazil.
Manda ver! [Bring it on!]
Challenge? Yes, please.
~Nicole Snobelen (owner of clothing brand, Evelyn by Nicole Snobelen, founder of The Abby Fund & one of my greatest cheerleaders)
A SHORT BUNNY TRAIL WITH LONG CONSEQUENCES
BLM vs ALM
As much as I like to poke fun of the #AllLivesMatter & #BlackLivesMatter dribble that I see on my FB Newsfeed, this racial war is deep-down not about the labels. [I talk about the dangers of label use in more detail in another post here] Whether you call it #ALM or #BLM, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the people whom #BlackLivesMatter are representing are suffering because they’ve been mistreated by our blindly oppressive society for far too long. Therefore, contrary to its name, BLM is not about a division or supremacy of race. It’s an outcry for help, and we, people of privilege, need to do something about it because we are the ones with the blind power.
Don’t believe me? Today, I went through the national border between Germany and Switzerland, and even though I didn’t show my passport to the guard (because I absentmindedly left it in my luggage under the bus), he let me cross with a simple, “Oh, no problem!” No one else was offered the same leniency. THAT, my friends, is #whiteprivilege.
Ergo, please don’t get distracted by the labels when you are forming/expressing your opinion about BLM or ALM. It’s not about you and your self-pity of being unfairly perceived of as racist oppressors (even though we unknowingly are). So please don’t pretend that you are the victim.
If someone fell in front of you, you wouldn’t dismiss them because you don’t like the brand of their shirt. Would you!?! You would help them because they are hurt. It’s not about you and your perceived taste in shirts. Simple.
Thus the next time I see ALM or BLM hashtags followed by some pathetic whining about the unfair judgement against the privileged party or undeserved justice of the marginalized party, I WILL cross the nearest ocean, find you, and I WILL hug you…
…and hug you
…and hug you
…until you swear to be more empathetic and less of a self-seeking victim (I would use another word, but I promised my father I wouldn’t swear as much in my blog).Yes, I just threatened you with hugs.
That, or I will team up with my culturally diverse & representative social media hounds and hunt you down. *cough Chris & Larisa *cough [Oh wait! You need cool GoT names.] *cough Sandor Clegane & Lyanna Mormont *cough
As always, thank you for reading.