Updated: Jan 23
Today, as I was wandering through the tiny streets of the old part of Cagnes-sur-mer, smelling the ocean air and gazing at the snow-capped alps in the distance, I marveled at my life. My precious, unique, beautiful life that I am so grateful to live.
I rose this morning before the sun and pounded some coffee before I took the walk from my studio apartment to my job, which in case you did not know, is riding racehorse professionally. My colleagues and I were out on the first horses by 7am and did our first set of workouts in the dark. Just as we were returning, the sun was rising over the ocean creating a scene of red, orange, and yellow that looked like something out of a painting. I was surrounded by the sounds of horses galloping and people yelling at each other in French along with a hint of cigarette smoke and the feeling of the sun on my face. Believe me when I say there is nothing that can compare to the adrenaline rush of galloping a horse 60 kilometers per hour where you can look over your right shoulder and see the Mediterranean or look over your left shoulder and see 10,000 foot alps. I can't believe this is my life.
After I ate lunch, which was nothing special, I worked on my online university work, because I am (unfortunately) still a student. I didn't let this take the wind out of my sails and decided to go exploring when I was done. I chose Place Grimaldi as my destination and walked all the way there since, for the life of me, I could not find the bus that supposedly exists to take you there. It would have been nice to take the bus because the walk was actually a hike straight up a hill, but if I had I would have missed out on the charm and romance of the cobblestone streets lined with various greenery.
When I got to the top and saw the view, that will forever be hopelessly lost due to the inadequacy of my phone camera, I had to FaceTime my mom to tell her "I can't believe this is my life!". There were groups of people playing "pétanque boules" in the courtyard and an elderly couple that is apparently in much better shape than I am because they biked the entire way up that miserable hill. When I am there again, hopefully with a loved one, I would love to try one of the restaurants overlooking either the ocean or the valley, and take a stroll through the Grimaldi castle all the way to the top, which was closed today because of the wind.
It is days like these that I remember why I choose to live my life according to my own timeline and my own desires. I often feel quite lonely watching my friends have the typical "college experience" on the other side of the world with the burden of knowing I will likely not graduate in time weighing on my shoulders. But days like these, when I meet new people that I will never see again but I will think of consistently, or when I am galloping a racehorse next to my colleagues who are actually some of my best friends in the world, or when I gaze upon the old building of a new place and wonder how I got so lucky to be able to live this life that I live. It is within these moments that you find some of your deepest sense of understanding of your life and the world you live in.
I will graduate college someday. I will not be in Cagnes-sur-mer forever. I will not have this job forever. This is all fleeting. And that is why I am going to hold it close to my heart and appreciate every single piece of beauty I can find, while I have it. I will choose again to live my life, the only one I will get, according to my own passions, desires, timeline, and path, rather than blind myself to what could have been by reducing my vision to what I have been told to do.