Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Purpose Abroad

First things first:  I have to say a huge congratulations to my big brother and sister-in-law!!  Baby Sophie Rose was born Friday evening, and I am SO beyond excited to have a new baby niece!  She is absolutely beautiful!

Sophie Rose, 6 pounds 5 ounces, 20 inches

Now, let's focus on la Martinique.

My friend Courtney at La Fille Américaine posted a few weeks ago with some advice for future assistants.  One of her guidelines was to "Decide what you want to get out of the year abroad."

At first, this seems like it would be a fairly simple task.  Well, duh, I want to get the most out of my experience and change my life!  But what does that even mean to me, and how am I going to implement it?

In general, my goals for going to Martinique are as follows:
  1. Learn to just be me.  I want to go to Martinique with the goal to stay true to myself and not be influenced by other people around me or people at home.  This is my experience, and I want to be able to listen to what I truly want.  I want to learn to be myself without feeling that I need to justify my actions (or inactions).  
  2. Improve my writing.  Maintaining my blog is important to me.  I'd also like to find a way to include writing in my everyday life.  I think by writing more often, I will find ways to improve and figure out what direction I want my blog to go in.  Writing a book is also something to ponder...
  3. Live in the moment.  I used to always be a planner, and lately I've been trying to let that go.  I hope that by living in a foreign country for 7 months, I can learn to truly live one day at a time.  I hope to live a more laid-back and carefree lifestyle.  Living in the Caribbean will hopefully help with that, too...  
These are all great goals to keep in mind going to Martinique.  But aren't these just things I want to achieve in life in general?  I want to find a specific purpose for myself while I'm there.  How can I attain my goals?  What are my Martinique-specific goals?

Do I want to:
  • Improve my French?
  • Travel as much as possible?
  • Indulge in teaching?
I honestly don't know how to answer these questions.  Teaching is definitely not my top priority, but I don't know what is.  For a while, I had planned on just going to Martinique and just letting life take me wherever.  Now, I feel like if I don't have at least some idea of what I want to make out of this experience, it might just pass me by.  I definitely don't want to return home next summer feeling like I didn't accomplish what I wanted to.  

I guess that means I have about 3 months to figure out what I do want to accomplish.