Giving GRACE is permission to forgive your “mistakes.”
I stood in this spot yesterday and snapped photos as quickly as possible. The god rays (crepuscular rays) moved quickly over this little church. It’s on my beach walking path that I take with the girls, my French bulldogs Rose and Pearl. They waited patiently for me to do my work.
And I thought deeply about grace, all of the little (big) things that have happened during my transition as an immigrant here. And the grace I didn’t give myself.
I have friends who have just moved here, within an easy driving distance from my house in Bretagne. They’re from SEA, and I keep reaching out, politely knocking on their digital door front. “Can I bring you anything,” I say, “Are you okay?” I receive sweet messages back, but I know what it is like to be in their shoes.
We come from a culture where overwhelm is sugar-coated by keeping others at a distance, and you work through it in survival mode. I did the same for a long time.
Look, no matter how you cut the cheese, you will make mistakes in this country. And moving to France is SO hard.
As a traveler, an ex-pat, an immigrant, or just A REGULAR NORMAL HUMAN BEING, the pressure we put on ourselves for perfection in this process of transition & constant change is uniquely our emotional baggage to carry. It’s enormous. And unnecessary.
Today, if you are reading this message, regardless of where you are and what you are doing:
Give yourself the grace, the permission to make mistakes.
Give yourself the grace to have lapses in judgment.
Give yourself the grace that today, everything feels wrong.
Give yourself the grace that you weren’t able to tick everything off the to-do list.
And give yourself grace to recognize that tomorrow isn’t forever, but it might be the same as today.
In the context of TFL, traveling or moving to a new country is a lot about picking yourself up and dusting yourself off. And that is okay. YOU are okay. And I am here if you need to bend my ear.