Reflections From The South Of France Pt. 1…

We all have moments that help define our lives. Most of mine have come at a time of transition. Being dropped off at college…and never looking back. Graduating from college, on time, with honors…and now, this.

This moment came at a strange point. I was 30,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, midway through a nine hour flight from Houston to Paris… when I had a moment of clarity. I realized at that moment, that I could do ANYTHING that I put my mind to. I was embarking on my first international trip, alone, not quite sure exactly what I would be getting myself into. The uncertainty of it all had me anxious, but I didn’t stop. Just like all of the other defining moments in my life, I forced myself to jump in…and go. All I had was the faith that God would protect me from anything crazy, and that I would make this an experience to remember. There were times when I didn’t know if this would even happen, mostly behind self-imposed barriers.

Have you ever just sat back and taken a personal inventory? I mean really sat back and examined all of the things that you have in your life? It’s a humbling experience that everyone could benefit from. As I sat on that plane, I took into account all of the things that I had to be grateful for. Not that I had ever been ungrateful, but sometimes you just take things for granted. Immeasurable blessings were the steam that I used to propel myself past the fear of the unknown.

Since I’ve been here in Cannes, France for the Cannes Film Festival, I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet and connect with many movers and shakers, but I’ve also found benefit in the conversations that I’ve had with the people who are like me, hustling their way to the top. Encouraging each other, suggesting different ideas, and offering our own unique skills once we go our separate ways has given me the inspiration to write so many new ideas…things that will help me once I do make it back home.

The environment here is motivation in itself. Taking a peek into the luxury stores, cars and yachts, having white sandy beaches and endless tuquoise blue water flowing in to the shores, and rubbing elbows (literally) with everyone’s favorite stars will entice you to work harder, so that you’re able to come back, and do bigger and better things in the next year. And I will be back.

There have been ups and downs. I’ve experienced racism, class-ism, and flat out ignorance since I’ve been here. One thing I’ve learned, however, is that adversity builds character, and handling these situations with class has made me a better person. All in all, I’m winning.

Sometimes, the only thing that really keeps us from achieving at the highest level possible is ourselves. We let other people’s ideas of success and purpose determine the paths we choose. So you choose. You can stay in your same patterns, or you can do something you’ve never done. I’d suggest the latter…and you won’t regret it.

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