La vie en rose.

Some people say that life is a test; I disagree. Life, I find, is more of a learning process in which each day brings a new lesson. Of course there are those moments when we are tested – pop-quiz style, if you will – to see how much we have recuperated from such lessons; and this week those moments seemed to me to be consecutive.

The week started out in a tumble: a floor-mate and I had a disagreement (I call it that since the word leaves enough vagueness as to what the “disagreement” was about because, frankly, I still don’t know myself). Now, I’m not one to favor dependence on others for happiness or entertainment; however, confrontation makes me uncomfortable and to be involuntarily placed in that kind of situation undoubtedly dampened my mood.

School was a series of tumbles. It started off with me being about half an hour late for one of my courses. In all honesty, it was not my fault as classes (and professors) continuously change here for the exact same course. As such, the new location was a few ways away from its usual spot and, after wandering around for fifteen minutes looking for a sign from above of how to find this blasted classroom, a classmate happened upon my lost self, himself being in the same position, and we both found the class together…eventually. Apparently administration had sent an email out to the entire body. I beg to differ.

But anyhow, the school mishaps continued as I purposely stayed for the full day on Thursday – as in twelve hours and a bit – just to buy tickets to go on a trip I had been eyeing for a while. The tickets were on sale at 1 p.m. and the plan was to get there half an hour early with money and all.

They were sold out before noon.

On that same day, I received an email from the coordinator of another trip I was registered for this past Saturday that it was now cancelled due to the weather. I had about had enough.

I felt as though life had tested me this week (quite well, I might add), and all I had retained was but a sour mentality and a lot of extra time.

Then the cliche thought came to me as it always does to the voluntarily lazy who eventually realize time’s worth: I was gaining nothing from feeling sorry for myself. Even more so, there was no need for me to feel sorry myself. I mean, I’m in France for crying out loud! So a few things didn’t go my way. I build a bridge and get over it. I snap my fingers and get back to what matters. I pick myself up, and I move on.

And so I did.

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Le Palais des Papes

My friend had been asking me to go on a spontaneous, all-whimsical adventure with him, which I was hesitant to agree to due to my natural tendency to plan in advance; but by now, “what if”s were not an option. Life’s always the one to say, “On your marks. Ready? Set?” and often times, it’s us who chooses to go.

So within a few hours after my Friday classes ended, I found myself on a three-hour train ride to meet a quirky dread-locked fella in Avignon, a city in the province of Côte d’Azur in southern France; a little bit after that, and I had already explored the Pope’s Palace, wandered past the grand Notre Dame des Doms, and crossed the mythical Pont d’Avignon. I even got to cross off my bucket-list ‘performing live in France’ as I joined an impromptu spectacle with some instrumental street performers to sing some jazz and blues. C’était formidable.

La ville: Avignon

La ville: Avignon

And though the tests may get harder and the lessons more challenging to comprehend, the experience will never be less than wonderful. So bring on the next one life, my pencils have been sharpened.

À la prochaine,
Moi

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A Change is Gonna Come

What a way to end off a wonderful trip. Atlanta, like any other place I am sure, is a wonder to behold.

No, it does not house snow-topped mountains; nor does it exhibit medieval castles. Still, it, like any other place on this beautiful Earth, holds dear to it a very beautiful history.

I am writing this after recently returning from a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Centre on Auburn Avenue, where my family and I visited his previous residence, walked past his and his wife, Coretta’s graves, and studied videos and observed still photos about his life’s journey, from the beginning until the tragic end; and my mind is just swirling with thoughts.

It is easy to simply open up a textbook or a pamphlet and semi-consciously read about a land’s history; but to actually be physically present where the events described on paper are put in place brings everything to the front – right in one’s face – where the truth of the past can neither be denied, questioned, nor forgotten.

The comings and goings of the center..

MLK Jr. At A Glance: The comings and goings of the center..

King Jr.’s life was bittersweet, and as I read small information stands, I wondered why when positive change happens, there is one, if not many, who try to prevent it.

This reflection made me begin to reflect on my own life, and the changes I see coming…and am purposefully preventing. Of all the things I predicted I would get out of this trip, an epiphany was not one of them.

Still, I can only assume that this is to be expected, and can only hope that I do encounter more moments like these as my travels continue because I do want to grow as I experience and absorb the livelihoods of others transfer and transform around me.

In terms of how I spent my other days in Atlanta: the ‘Peach State’, it was a mixture of everything, as this trip was planned to go unplanned. Hot spots to visit may include (and are not limited to) Atlantic Station, the Georgian Aquarium, Centennial Park, and just the regular neighbourhood stops to chat with local people who can tell you about ways in which Atlanta was, is, and will always be a place they call home.

Me taking a picture of him taking a picture of them taking...

Georgia Aquarium: Me taking a picture of him taking a picture of them taking…

Alas, now it’s time for me to gather my things and head out of the state that houses Tyler Perry’s Madea, and the one of the only places where one can freely exercise the term “y’all” without a sideways look from another end.

Georgia, you will always be on my mind.

À la prochaine,
Moi

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