My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Paris’

Everything Happens For a Reason…Right?

19

Is there such a thing as fate? Does the Universe “know” how our lives will turn out… before they even begin? Do we all have a destiny that is set in stone? Or do our choices impact what happens, even if we have a certain amount of destiny built into our life lines from the get-go?

And what about the idea that everything happens for a reason?

If you are anything like most people—yours truly included–the idea of fate or destiny is a pretty hard concept to wrap our brains around.

I’ve been thinking about this idea of “fate” — this idea that everything in your life, good, bad or otherwise, happens for a reason– pretty hardcore over the past couple of days. Certain events in my life personally, as well as the tragic events that occurred in Paris last week have caused me to reevaluate some things. I used to whole-heartedly believe that God has this incredible plan for each and every one of us, a plan that he and only he knows. And to some effect I still do believe that.

Absolutely.

The thing my head and heart are struggling with right now is whether or not everything that happens, happens for a purpose, for a greater meaning beyond what we can see, judge, know or even guess. Growing up I was steadfast in thinking that this was true. I didn’t make the play in sixth grade because I was “meant” to be on the track team instead. That LBD I wanted drooled over so badly was out of stock because I was “meant” to buy it three days later when it was back in stock–and on sale! A relationship ended because I was “meant” to find a guy who was even more incredible.

All of these things at the time and in the moment seemed like the end of the world. Okay, not necessarily the end of the world, but they were a blow, a let down, a disappointment. We face these kinds of situations every day. It’s just a part of life. It’s what makes us human. We make decisions, we face obstacles and rejection, we get hurt. And it sucks like a vacuum. By believing that there is a greater purpose for these kinds of things happening, a broken heart, a missed opportunity or anything that causes us some kind of pain, it’s sort of a comfort. It gives us something to hope for, to take solace in. And I definitely think that’s okay. If there is something that can help us get over a negative experience faster and easier, I am all for it. Having faith not only provides you with hope, but a certain strength and courage to keep going.

With all of the above experiences that I described, each one turned out for the best. I found my niche in running (and realized I was a horrible actress–like, all of the worst), I nailed down that little black dress for half price, and I realized that there was an even greater person out there for me. If these things wouldn’t have happened, I may have found a silver lining, but I also might not have.

So did these things happen for a reason?

Maybe.

The seed that’s planting some doubt deals with when horrible, devastating, unthinkable events happen to innocent, incredible, loving and big-hearted people. Why did that four-year old boy so full of life get cancer? Why did the dad who was driving to his daughter’s dance recital die in that car crash, when the drunk driver who caused the wreck walked off without a scratch? What could possibly have been the greater meaning for the hundreds of people, men, women and children, who lost their lives in the attacks on Paris last week? Or September 11th? Or the shootings that have occurred in schools all over the country over the last few years?

I am a very positive person. I am. I always try to look on the bright side of things, to think of the ice cream bowl as half full. I so desperately want to see the good in people, in the world. But when something as sad and senseless as the above happens, I have an incredibly hard time finding that silver lining.

I don’t have any answers to these questions; I am not quite sure what I think about fate and whether or not it exists (and if it does, to what extent). Does everything happen for a reason? I’m not sure. What I do know is that we each come into this life to learn, to grow, to succeed and to fail, and as such, we have choice!  But, there are things we’ve chosen to experience, and to learn from, that are also built into the fabric of our lives. I guess the fate or destiny we create, the meaning behind every experience and action, is what we do when those choices present themselves.

Nothing is set in stone. We each have free choice. That is the beauty of being alive. I am choosing to share this information with you right now. You are choosing to read it.

There may be a certain amount of fate and/or destiny behind both of those decisions.

But – it’s what we ACTUALLY do with the information, the lessons learned and the challenges overcome… that is the important part, and what ultimately defines and decides our futures. If we can take anything away from these tragedies is that it brings people together more than ever, it unites us, it makes us take a look at our lives and realize that every minute we have together, every second is not guaranteed. We need to live for the now, live every damn breath as if it were our last. Losing a job, the ending of a relationship or a missed connection? All of these give you an opportunity to try something new, to discover a better and more amazing side of yourself or others. It can be scary as hell, but it can also be the catalyst for something pretty damn incredible.

A silver lining.

So go after that dream, order dessert first, be kind, and always let those closest to you know how much you care and love them.

Not everything may happen for a reason, but you can most certainly be the reason for someone’s smile. 🙂

Question of the day: Do you believe that everything happens for a reason?

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Pardon My French

Bonjour mon amis! Quoi de neuf?

Pardon my French 😉

I just got done watching a ‘Friends’ episode dubbed in the language of love for funzzies. If you want to hear something funny, change the language settings on your TV to French and listen to Joey say, “How you doin?” in a brooding accent. Good stuff.  In middle school, I was selected along with some of my peers for an advanced language class that would transfer over to high school and eventually, give us college credit. We were given the option of taking either Spanish, German or French and I knew right away which I wanted to learn…Francaise baby! I have always loved this language; the culture, art and history of France, especially the city of Paris. Over all the others, I think it sounds the most fluid and romantic when spoken (German was just to flemy for my taste although probably a lot easier to perfect than the rolling of the tongue which if often required in French pronunciation–whenever I tried saying a word or phrase in this manner, I ended up making a weird tiger-roar type sound). I ended up studying the language of love for over five years while in school and have used all of my mad skills since then quite a lot actually…if quite a lot refers to being able to read the occasional back of my shampoo and perfume bottles, listening to and taking barking orders from my GPS (who now speaks French 24/7 due to a programming oops on my part) and how to eat the perfect crepe (I would get an A+ in this category, hands down).

Crepes + Nutella = a Partaayy in my mouth! Worth the trip just for these babies!

In all actuality, I don’t really speak, write or read hardly any French anymore; it’s true what they say: “It’s so easy to ‘lose it if you don’t use it’. This is why I have decided that I am going to try to spend some time every day familiarizing myself again with the language, whether that be speaking, hearing or reading it (and whether that just means the occasional shampoo bottle or dubbed Friends episode). I want to be sure that I can at least try to retain some of the skills I learned while in school. Plus, I want to look and sound impressive to the natives when I finally am able to take a trip to the city of lights.  I would hate to be the stereotypical American tourist who, when at a restaurant and wanting to order a basket of french fries (frites) actually orders a basket of liver (le foie). How embarrassing (and totally disgusting!) would that be?!

One of my bucket list items awaiting a check mark (among many others) is to one day visit the city of love and lights, maybe even take a painting or cooking class there, perfecting my Picasso brush strokes and my Julia Child beef bourguignon. Come to think of it, I have actually been to France before. Twice in fact. The first time was when my family took a trip to Disney and made a pit-stop at Epcot and the second time was when I celebrated my 21st birthday in Las Vegas. Although both faux Frances did a pretty darn good job of replicating the food and culture and even the Eiffel Tower, I am going to take a wild guess and say the actual place is just a tad bit different. Bigger, better and even more beautiful than I could imagine! It will be quite some time before I can save up enough moolah and have the time to make that happen, but rest assured, that item will get crossed off my list.

The famous Louvre Art Museum, home to many pieces of art from the likes of Da Vinci, Decartes, Picasso and Rembrandt!

L'arc de Triomphe 🙂

There is nothing quite so picturesque as this 🙂

The beautiful and majestic Eiffel Tower. How amazing is that?!

C’est la vie 🙂

Question of the day:

Do you speak/want to learn how to speak a second (or third) language?

Besides French, I would also love to someday learn how to speak Italian and Mandarin.

Where is one place that you would love to travel to that you have never been?

Italy–the architecture, the history, the culture and the food (pizza and gelato? Yes please!)…definitely a must-see! 🙂

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