Well, this stinks.
With just a few days left in Paris and a blog post coming due, I desperately want to write something inspired... something that beautifully sums up my time in the City of Lights and the lessons that have come along the way.
There have been a lot of them, believe me. Not only that, but I've got some recent photos to help me express what I've learned...
Like the one from the Tour de France finale, which I got to watch in person (or tried to, anyway):
(Lesson: it's okay to have physical limitations like being short. Like and accept yourself.)
Or this one from just outside the glorious Mont St. Michel... which closed one hour before we arrived:
(Lesson: When you're about to have a tantrum because your guidebook has posted the wrong hours, take a breath and don't lose it on the poor woman at the door. It's not her fault.)
Or this one of a sculpture from the Dali museum:
(Lesson: Well, I'm still not quite sure. But there's definitely one in there.)
The problem is this: While the pictures might say a thousand words, I can't find more than just a few to write at any given time.
Perhaps it's because I'm so very sad to be leaving. Perhaps it's because I really loved my last post and am unsure how to follow it up. Perhaps it's because I've binge-watched too many episodes of the BBC's Sherlock and my mind is far too stimulated to sit down and write a specific post on a specific point.
Whatever the case, I've decided something as I sit here writing this. And, as I write it, I'm thinking it could be the most important lesson of all.
It's okay not to write the perfect post at the perfect time. It's okay to be messy, imperfect. It doesn't matter, really. I'm not letting anybody down.
And, since we're talking, here's what else I'm realizing as I'm writing this...
... I'm realizing that the things I always thought were so important -- like having a perfect blog post out every other Tuesday or else -- aren't quite so critical to the life and death of mankind. (Some would say they're not critical at all.)
... I'm realizing that being away has highlighted what truly matters: the authentic relationships, the way I run my business, my hope to use whatever skills I've got to help people be happier in this life. It has also helped me realize the rest of it has never really mattered that much, even though I stressed out about it. All the time.
... I'm realizing that being here wasn't just about exploring Paris, but also about exploring myself... the person who has nothing to prove to anybody, who really just needs to be authentic and do her best. Because that's good enough.
... I'm realizing that we're all just muddling through life as best we can. This includes the French, who have been warm and lovely (for the most part), just like the rest of us are (for the most part). In the end, we're all just trying to be accepted and happy.
... I'm realizing that truly breaking unhealthy thoughts and habits could only come from completely busting out of my routine and comfort zone and going to a place far, far away... one that would force me to do things differently.
... And I'm realizing that -- in the end -- learning these lessons and finding happiness in a new, scary place wasn't all that hard. And while a big piece of it was finding the right kind of dialogue with the French (who had the things I needed) and the right kind of dialogue with Hubbie (with whom I shared very small, close quarters), an even bigger piece of it was finding the right kind of dialogue with myself.
It's the kind of dialogue that has helped me stay confident and comfortable under pressure, the kind that has reminded me that I don't need to speak perfectly or dress perfectly or... be perfect... while I'm here. Or while I'm anywhere else.
So I guess in the end this messy little post does contain some important lessons. They may not be as polished as usual. They may not be as clever as I'd like them to be. But that's all okay.
Because it's real to who I am today... a bit distracted, a bit messy in my thoughts.
And, it turns out, being real is the perfect way to be at any time.
In fact, those seeming limitations might just provide the perfect perspective (and the funniest selfie) of all time.
Which means, in the end, this post really doesn't stink at all.
Reflect on the lessons you've learned recently. Reflect on what you might want to change.
Reflect on how you might bust out of your comfort zone to get there.
Be imperfect. But be real. Know that's the best way to be.
And know that, in the end, it will all be fine.