Saturday, 4 May 2019

Life in Lyon!

Bonjour tout le Monde...I am back with news from France. This time for the last time. :)

Usual weekend breakfasts: fresh fruit from market and bakery goods :) 
I have a whirlwind of thoughts circling around my brain as I prepare to write the final blog post of my abroad Erasmus.   
Empanada day!! 


   The light at the end of the tunnel me regarding the past year is precisely what I am doing right now. I am sitting in my grandparents garden wearing shorts and a t-shirt, with a steaming hot bowl of porridge beside me basking in the Transylvanian sunlight. 
     It seems hard to imagine that merely a month ago I was doing 8 am to midnight shifts with 5/6 hours of sleep and my only proper meals were made on the weekends. 
     The past year has taught me three things in whole :
1) you are stronger (physically, mentally and emotionally) then you think. 
2) you have so much more potential and are capable of so much more then you ever thought possible. 
3) the only certainty in life is change. 
Brasseries Georges- Choucroute!  

     I can arguably say that the past year of my life has probably been the toughest one thus far. 
     Not much changed since the last time I left you off in Saison. We were still starting work at 8am and finishing at midnight or after. I still went to the market each weekend as I had the chance. The chef was still unhappy. And we still didn't get much sleep. And then one morning I woke up and it was all over. All the blood, sweat and tears of the past year were suddenly in the past and I wasn't sure how to react to it all. It took about a month , up until just recently that I've finally managed to absorb it all, all the accomplishments of the past year. 

   Budapest and Lyon and everything in between has taught me a lot about myself , other and the world alike. I have had the chance to see places, meet people, taste food and wine , learn the art of being independent, learn where my strength and weaknesses lie and understand the importance of a strong family  background and support network. 
      It is only when you truly throw yourself in the deep-end like this that you learn whether you'll sink or swim. 
Moroccan family lunch at Saison. 

      I've also learnt that failing at something doesn't always equate us with failure. Failure and what it means to each individual is all about point of view and perspective . We can look at it as a devastating catastrophe or as a bump in the road and another opportunity to grow and learn. I believe that these are lessons that life would teach us all regardless of where we learn them. But having completed the past year has certainly sped up the process for me. 

      I wasn't sure what to write in this blog, I didn't want it to be a repeat of things that I have already said. The year went as fast as it came . But throughout the toughest of times I have had one motto that has helped me immensely "This too shall pass". Life is all about change and nothing lasts forever . Whether we resist that change or allow it to mould and shape us is entirely up to us.  

    Sometimes you have to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself what you really need. Quitting doesn't always equate failure , sometimes it is a necessity for our personal well-being too. But if I've learn anything so far, it's that learning to accept and flow with the situation you're in , will make your life immensely easier. 

     I have a few words of advice for whoever is preparing to set off on their own Erasmus year as we speak. 

1) Leave home with your heart and your mind open. It will be very difficult to absorb everything you can learn I'd you are not open to other ways of life. 
2) You can do it. You can work in the top restaurants, learn from the best and become one of the best. And if that's what you want, you will do it.  
3) Push through the hard times and make the absolute best of your days off. 
4) Don't forget about family. When you need them, that's what they're there for. 
5) Make good use of fresh fruit and veg markets. Eat healthy. Sleep. And BUDGET! ;) 

All the best, 
A bientot, 
Hanna <3
Lyon on a windy day . 


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