UPDATE ON LIFE

February 29, 2016
DISCLAIMER: This post contains soppy expressions of emotion. 




It's been a while since I have written a blogpost so I thought I would give an update on things happening in my life and what i've been up to. Generally, i've been enjoying life and really appreciating the experiences i'm having and the people i'm around, although I was on a bit of a downer not long ago. It's strange how quickly your mood can change and how sometimes the littlest things can cause those mood changes. 

This term I am not being as much of the jet-setter as I was in the first term, mainly due to the lack of ERASMUS grant and actual need to study and get my head down to ensure I pass my exams. I have planned 2 trips so far: Brussels in March and Milan in April. I am so excited for both but especially for Milan. I have always been obsessed with Italy and always wanted to go there, but have never got the chance. I want my Lizzie McGuire moment!! 

SKIING

A photo posted by AIDAN (@aidandick) on


In January, a group of 6 of us went skiing and it was so so so fun. It was my first ever time skiing so I was expecting to be on the ground more than I was standing on my skis. The ski resort we went to was called "Thollon-les-Memises" which is next to the town "Evian-les-Bains" (the place the water comes from). It's a smaller resort, not like the big popular ones that you've probably heard of. We stayed in a lodge in Evian from the Friday to the Sunday, with ski passes for all 3 days. 

The first day (Friday) we arrived after midday to the slopes, but we were too late to organise getting lessons. There were 3 of us who had never skied before, 2 who were pros and another who had skied once before, so we were a mixed bag. The 3 experienced ones in the group taught us beginners how to put our skis on, how to snowplough and we basically went round and round the easy green slopes for the whole half day. It was perfect conditions as it had snowed the night before so it made the falling that much softer hahaha. 

A photo posted by AIDAN (@aidandick) on


The next day (Saturday) we had booked 2 ski lessons - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. In our morning class, the instructor was impressed at our level so far and taught us the right technique to slow down and come to a stop and how to zig-zag across the slope. We felt like pros by the end of it and I was really really enjoying it. On the second lesson, we were taught how to properly control our speed when we're coming down the slopes. I was doing well although on the odd occasion I would fall, or roll backwards, or just lose control completely until it eventually clicked in my head. I've never had that happen to me before where I can precisely identify the moment that a skill clicked for me and I understood what I had to do. From that point on I was fine and hardly fell apart from once or twice. 

The next day and final day (Sunday), we were all sore and tired and so took it easier than the other 2 days. It was also really icy on the slopes since it hadn't snowed all weekend so trying to turn and control your speed was so much harder. We were doing fine, although wary of the conditions. At one point I had come down the hardest green we had been doing and I decided to go back up to the main, easier, longer slope to go round them all again. While I was on the chairlift leading up there, I watched as our friend Lotte came down the slope at full speed, across another busy slope and halfway up the icy ridge at the other side before eventually falling. I felt useless as I was on a chairlift and it was such a surreal experience. In the serenity of my silent chairlift ride, I watched the panicked scene below as my other friends rushed over to help Lotte, getting help from the people who worked on the slope and I knew that I couldn't rush down to help them otherwise I would fall too. When I got there, Lotte was being put into what looked like a coffin, but was actually just to support her and keep her warm, and was lifted onto the back of a ski-buggy thing to be taken to the hospital. Fast forward to after she was seen, it turned out she had torn a ligament in her knee. Pas bon. Luckily we were all heading home in the evening to avoid anyone else getting injured. Regardless of the injury and scary conditions, I had the best weekend and want to go again and again. Hopefully i'll get to go for my birthday next January. My friend Sarah took a GoPro with her and made a video of the ski holiday. I also took some shots during it, so take a look here: 



MOOD SWINGS AND HOMELY THINGS

At the start of February we received our exam results from the first semester. Unfortunately they weren't the results I had hoped for. It's difficult when you already feel like you're swimming against the tide with all the administrative failures and difficulties we've faced, to then find out you haven't done as well as you think you should have. So, needless to say I hit a downer. Part of me felt staying on in France would not amount to anything significant, like I had wasted my time but part of me felt that leaving would be giving up, that I had so much left to do and see and that I hadn't failed because my french had improved, i'd met amazing people and I had bloody moved to a different country. Luckily I had a 3-day trip home planned for during a week break we got from University, but after feeling so rubbish I decided to extend it to the full week despite the extortionate costs of doing so. Sometimes you have to take a step back from worrying about what people will think, how far your money can stretch, your own judgments of yourself and just do what is best for you, for your mental state. So that is what I did and I am so so glad I did.


A photo posted by AIDAN (@aidandick) on

My stay at home was exactly what I needed. It also helped that I came down with a really bad flu/cold the day before flying so being at home where I can be in my own bed, getting fed soup and mooching about my house is exactly how to get through the flu. I was able to catch up with friends and family, take time for myself and cuddle my dog far too much. Now that I have returned to Lyon I have a fresh mindset, a new motivation to make the most of my time here and a even stronger appreciation for where I find myself and for the people around me. 

Those who know me best will know I'm never one to show affection or deep feelings much, but i'm feeling so so thankful for everything. My best friends from home who listen to me moan and make me laugh and smile, my friends here in Lyon who are a main factor in my enjoyment of living here and my family who have always supported me. Love you all xo


FUTURE PLANS 

Living in France makes me feel like i'm so detached from everything linked to home, Aberdeen, University. It's so strange, but I know I need to think about getting a flat for next year, placements for summer and beyond. For as long as I have studied Law, I have known I do not want to be a lawyer after graduation. For me, it's not creative enough and is very black and white, although a good career i'd rather enjoy something I will (hopefully) be doing for the rest of my life. Despite my disinterest, I know it's a good degree to have for any career path I follow and so I decided to continue studying it. It's difficult to study a degree, especially one that is so demanding, that you don't like or have an interest in. In the middle of second year I was very close to dropping out of uni after feeling like I was getting bad grades, a lack of motivation and no vision for the future. I've always felt I would enjoy doing something along the lines of Marketing or Public Relations, but i've never studied them and don't know anything to do with them. I'm currently trying to find placements linked to PR to do in Summer but I know it'll be difficult considering the amount of people who study PR as a course, compared to me who has never studied it. Growing up is annoying and scary. I wish I could go back in time to being in Primary School when the bane of my life was the 2 minute mental maths test we had every Friday, then I could go and enjoy my break-time, Tracy Beaker after school and calling my friends to ask if they wanted to go the cinema. Fun times. 

The closer I get to leaving Lyon, the more I appreciate it and realise how much I will miss it. It's been a roller-coaster ride, but one that I don't want to end. I can't wait to have these stories to tell people my whole life, from future colleagues to my future children, everyone will hear about my time in France. The experiences I cry over now will be ones I laugh about and reminisce over later in life. If there's one thing I want to get across in this blogpost, without sounding like such a douche, is just to live in the moment. Not in a 'yolo' way, but just take time for yourself every now and then, take a moment to realise the people you have in your life and how lucky you are to be where you are at that moment. Appreciate the people who appreciate you, let go of the ones who don't and just take every experience available to you. 

I apologise for the out-of-character expression of emotion in this post, I promise i'll leave the philosophical advice to the experts next time. Love you all and thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings, you're all great xo

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