Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Poverty Agrees with Me

Apparently, poverty agrees with me. I say this because recently I sent a batch of pictures to my family and friends and the overwhelming response was that I look happy, healthy and like I am having the time of my life. And the truth be told, I am having the time of my life. I can't really explain why but for the first time ever I'm truly content and at peace with myself. For the first time my happiness is not coming from some external source such as an arbitrary measure of success, the amount of money I make or the purchase of a big, fancy, and expensive item or whether or not someone deems me worthy to be in a relationship with. Had I known in my 20s what I know I would have done this trans-Atlantic move eons ago as I would have saved myself from a lot of angst, frustration and overall discontent.

So without further ado I present you with my 5 steps to finding happiness (no guarantee this list will work for everyone but it's worth a try):

1. Quit your unsatisfying job
2. Take a 75% pay cut
3. Move away from your family and friends to a country where you barely speak the language.
4. Continually test the boundaries of your comfort zone
5. Live in the here and now and follow the mantra "no opportunity wasted"

Don't get me wrong folks, it hasn't been all roses and daffodils as evidenced here, here, here and here but the good is definitely outweighing the bad.

6 comments:

IslandGirl4Ever2 said...

WORDS to live by!!
Thanks Jasmin.. finger doing a bit better... Still waiting for the swelling to go down in the arm... (tetanus shot)... Take care and glad you are enjoying Paris.. let me know about the strike tomorrow!!
---Leesa

Roam2Rome said...

You put your finger on it, and I could not have said it better myself!

...this post IS the reason why many of us move.

I always say that moving abroad and experiencing what you just described is like discovering a new color. How can you describe a red rose to someone who lives in a black and white world? They need to go out and experience it first hand... Despite the challenges, it's well worth it! :)

Penny said...

I did the first two ten years ago but it took me that long to get to number 3 (although I did bring my husband and kids with me!). I do believe the whole experience of being an expat has helped me to live in the present instead of worrying so much about the future. I'm glad things are going so well for you

:)

L'Étrangère Americaine said...

@penny, thanks for the comment. I really feel like this experience is something that I HAD to do before I could be open to more "adult-like" responsibilities.

joy suzanne said...

Good for you!! I agree with roam2rome... it's the reason why I left. To find independence, to be challenged, to get turned on my ear, to figure out how to deal. It's been hard but great. I can feel proud of myself, because I survived some really bad months when I first arrived, but I stuck it out and I'm so happy I did... So, anyway, congratulations! You're made of tough stuff. ;)

JouJou Loves You said...

I couldn't agree with you more....

I now live in Tunis, Tunisia, will be here for another year and a half then its off to Paris!

Love your blog!

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