How do you grow if you are too comfortable in your routine life? How do you challenge your current ways and try to connect with new and different people if you don't put yourself in new and unfamiliar surroundings? I have learnt this over and over in my life. When I worked at the call centre for McMaster University, I learned that I cannot improve my donor scores if I keep saying the same thing every time. If it is not working, don't try it again! It's the same lesson I learn here; a new city, a new language, a new culture that is a sure way of learning and growing. It's taking myself out of my comfort zone to experience something new. Sure, I may humiliate myself in the process.
My pronunciation in French is quite horrible compared to what I thought it was. For Madeleine, I said Madilin- I didn't fully pronounce the 'n'. For the Invalides, I said Envilade- totally messing up the vowel order. And for Les Halles, I said lesalle- It doesn't require you to actually pronounce the 's' in Les because the 'H' in Halles is not a vowel, well obviously! All these errors I made in the last 24 hours.. How pitiful since I only just saw these locations- one being right outside my window. The bottom line is that I made a fool of myself trying to describe these historical and well-known locations in Paris because my colleagues didn't understand my pronunciation. I only learned this because I put myself in these situations, and these are the humiliating examples I chose to share. There are definitely more!
I think everyone has many doubts when they embark on a new journey in life that is out of their comfort zone. I have regularly had them in the last few months and especially in the last few weeks. But, challenging your ways, taking yourself into the unknown, venturing off into new territories, that guarantees you will develop your skills, teach you new ways to enjoy life, and at least allow you to meet new people from all walks of life.
After work today, I went to an Orthodox club meeting. I met so many wonderful accomplished people with varying backgrounds. What a wonderful time I had learning about the backgrounds of others and telling them about my experiences. I conversed in Arabic, stumbled in French, and supported in English. I even discovered I have a common friend with someone! This lightened my heart and allowed me to readjust my perspective on my experience here in Paris.
The unknown is scary, but it's worth it!