April 1, 2013 · 6:04 pm

 

This weekend was so lovely and beautiful that in spite of the chilly temperatures, I couldn’t resist the honeysuckle. After living amidst the city grit for awhile, the mountain air was the perfect escape for this nature-obsessed flower child.

Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul. | The Pursuit of Hippieness

A recap on beautiful, beautiful Switzerland is on its way (so many pictures to edit!), but in the meantime I’ll start off the week with this perfect piece of wisdom:

Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul. | The Pursuit of HippienessSome of the most beautiful words I’ve ever read to bookend one of the most incredible places I’ve ever seen. I was so sad to leave this morning, but I know in my gut that I will be returning, someday. Probably not in the coming weeks, as they’re winding down, but going back to Switzerland at some point in my life is a vow that I’ve made to myself.

plantyourowngarden2This quote spoke to me on such a deep level because it’s so relevant with a struggle that I’ve faced again and again. It’s a struggle, I think, that we all deal with at some point in our lives: the idea of conformity. I’ve always had the reputation, in my family and among my close friends, at least, of marching to the beat of my own drum. The stories of my childhood shenanigans are legendary. I’ve been guilty my whole life of running where my imagination takes me, often without thinking of consequence or even some semblance of reality along the way. I like to get my hands creatively dirty- through singing, music, art, and, most recently, through writing. If it hasn’t been clear from this blog, I also tend to get very sentimental and nostalgic and thoughtful about life (ahem). So, yeah. I’m a little weird.

But learning to marry these integral parts of my identity with that of greater society is difficult. It would be so easy to throw my hands up and say, “To hell with it; I’m going to be who I am and if people don’t like that then that’s their problem and I don’t care.” Long story short: I do care. The lesson that I’ve taken on recently is to stop caring so much.

Of course it’s important that people like you! But that’s why we learn to surround ourselves with those who genuinely do. I have a small, solid group of friends who I care about so much and have come to terms with the fact that I will probably never be one of those people who runs with a posse 20 people wide on a daily basis. I lost myself a little when I first went to college because I became so engrossed with the potential for reinvention. I was far from home with hundreds of people I had never met, a far cry from the tiny town in which I grew up. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to not necessarily be someone different, but a better version of myself. I learned quickly that this “better” version did not actually resemble the person I really am at all, but mirrored someone who I thought might be accepted by my new peers.

I know that I’ve grown since then, but I still struggle with my quirkiness sometimes and often feel that old anxiety when interacting with new people. But it’s something I’m working on every day. The mantra this week is going up on my wall at home. It’s a reminder that I don’t need to let people define the way my life is going (especially as I near the end of my college career). Instead, I can choose to nurture relationships with people who I know will always support the crazy-ass person that I am.

On that note, March has come to a close! And I have seven weeks left in Paris. Seven! I really am at a loss. I have purposely stalled travel for the next couple of weeks because the end is really starting to come into sight and the last thing I want to say on the plane ride home is, “I didn’t spend enough time in Paris.” So wanderlust is on hold, for now. Let the local adventures continue.

Including a visit from my parents this week! I am beyond excited.

Happy April and have a good week!

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