October 4, 2012

Cathedral Light

Since I simply can't keep my blog posts caught up with my crazy schedule, I've decided to organize my posts by place or theme!

Today I want to share with you the beauty of light in Gothic cathedrals. The majority of these pictures are from Sainte Chapelle, but a few are from Notre Dame. If you happen to visit a Gothic cathedral at the correct time of day, when the sun is low enough in the sky to create golden light with long shadows, you're in for a treat. I tried my best to capture the glow of it, but nothing substitutes actually being there.

The past two weeks I was lucky enough to have two visitors: My mom and my grandma! I showed them around the city, and pretty much checked everything off their Paris To-See lists. I felt like a pretty adept mock-tour-guide!

I have to admit though, it was so hard leaving my mom at the airport bus stop. It was like I reverted back to being 4 years old. That moment when you're left at kindergarten for the first time, and you feel absolutely hopeless and heartbroken. But thankfully, after a few days of rest (which included copious amounts of sleep and medicine), I was able to get over not only my residual cough, but also the feeling of loneliness I had been battling since my very first day in Paris.

I realized during this time, thanks to some pokes and prods from my dear friends here and back home, that happiness doesn't just happen. Rather, it's a choice that you have to make everyday. If I allowed myself, I could have been depressed and scared for the entirety of my stay, but that simply isn't an option for me.

It's time for me to embrace being here, to fall in love with Paris, to see all that I can see in the next four months, to remember that my hometown, family, and friends will ALWAYS be there for me. I'm never alone with all the love I'm being sent through prayer and good wishes. Big life changes are extremely difficult for most people, but if you are determined enough, all it takes is a choice to be happy.

On my wall, I have written: I am in charge of how I feel, and today I choose determination, bravery, strength, and happiness. (or insert whichever type of abstract nouns you have need of)

If you're reading this right now, you are studying abroad, and you are experiencing culture shock, loneliness, homesickness, regret, or fear, take comfort in the fact that probably 98% of people who study abroad feel the exact same things. There was even a point where I almost came back home, only three weeks in. Take it one day at a time, and find a way to become happy, even if it takes time, a whole month even. You can do it!

And if you're not studying abroad, just enjoy my photos and live vicariously! :)










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