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  • Writer's pictureEmma Nichols

all that i've become

Hey travelers! This post comes with a little prologue - I began writing this post about a month ago before my Spring vacations, but I didn't want to cut it and change it to adjust to the time that has passed, as it all continues to pertain to today, in my opinion. So, enjoy!

This week brought so many reflections. The past week was one of, if not the, hardest weeks I've had since I moved to France. It had massive ups and downs, and it was just such a great reminder that you never really do stop learning and growing. And it's ironic that I write that here because, yes, it is written as my philosophy in the "about" section of my blog - but sometimes it's an easy thing to forget! We go through the average pace of life day after day, but we often do not stop to ask ourselves:

"What lesson can I take out of today?" Sometimes, there's a larger lesson that we can discover, something that can change the track of the way we live daily (I've gone through a few of those myself this week), but some days, the lesson could be as little as, "Hey, I noticed I felt better today when I ate a good breakfast, so maybe I should start doing that more often." I think it really depends on each person, but I find that when we are unsatisfied with something going on in our lives, it's because we aren't yet searching deep enough to find out what it is or a way to fix it. In this post, I'll elaborate a lot more on these ideas. It's all kind of flowing out right now - and what better place to put it than my virtual journal? And what better people to share it with, than my closest family, friends, and supporters? ;)

Circling back to that last point I was talking about, I want to emphasize that I often struggle with motivation and discipline, which can play a part in these situations. I feel as though I'm a really ambitious person who loves to take on challenges, even more so now, but it can be especially difficult to push myself to the point to say, "Okay, ______ is a frustrating/difficult/challenging situation in my life right now, but am I going to let it sit and fester or will I take action and try to change it for the better to help myself?" In the past, I was really nervous to take a stand for myself, even in situations where I had no fault, just because confrontation or seeming demanding can be scary. Most often, I find that when I confront those seemingly difficult situations, the outcome is fulfilling and I feel content because I'm taking care of myself in a different way than eating fruits and veggies or going to the gym every day; it's an emotional and mental type of care that gives me the confidence to know that I am able to support myself in situations that I find uncomfortable.

Even though I find myself in more situations like that recently, I'm trying to look at it through the mindset that each challenge I overcome just puts me one step closer to the woman I want to be. I'm already finding that this way of living and tackling my problems is highly effective and gratifying, so I say to you: no matter what age or what situation you find yourself in at this time in life - do not sell yourself short. You are so capable of so many things that you may not even know of yet. Even when it's difficult to ask for things that we consider taboo in today's society (i.e. a higher paycheck, more help with work or homework, emotional support from friends or family), if you find yourself struggling, you have the opportunity to stand up for yourself and gracefully ask for what you feel as though you deserve.

Switching to a different note, I wanted to share a really cool experience I had last weekend. Ever since working at my local pâtisserie last summer, I have really wanted to learn how to make croissants and traditional French viennoiseries. I decided that while I was in France it was a must-do to check off the bucket list. I ended up walking by a local bakery supply store that has an attached commercial kitchen, and I found out that they do courses and classes there, so I booked a 3-hour class with my friend, where we learned to make - not just croissants - but vegan croissants! As you may know, the biggest factor in making a delicious, flakey croissant is butter.

But living as a vegan means that you don’t eat animal products, and subsequently, butter. So, this class gave us some awesome tips and products to use if we want to make these traditional French pastries with a more modern and diet-friendly twist! I was so excited to learn a new skill and do it with someone I love spending time with, and the outcome of our viennoiseries was incredible! As baking has always been a beloved hobby of mine, I am really happy to have new recipes to add to my repertoire.

For this post, that is all! I hope that everyone is enjoying the Spring as it enters in full bloom... speaking of, is anyone else experiencing their first-ever allergies? Not my favorite part of the season, but it is what it is.



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