My expat mantra: Je ne regrette rien

IMG_4321I came across this bracelet while window shopping in Paris and I just couldn’t leave without it. I have long loved French singer Edith Piaf and her famous ballad “Je ne regrette rien,” but the song has taken on new meaning since I’ve moved abroad.

The title of the song literally means “I do not regret nothing,” which is grammatically incorrect in English, but the correct way in French to say “I regret nothing.” It’s a tiny difference in translation that I’ve always found ironic since I am not one of those people who says “I have no regrets, because it led me to where I am today.” I’m just not that cool! I do regret things.

I regret jobs I did not take, options I did not explore, trips I did not go on. Making the decision to move abroad was a big one, but one I did not want to regret. So, I jumped in wholeheartedly.

Fast-forward a few months to expat life. It has been a life-changing decision. I’m intimately learning about other cultures, traveling to new places and opening my mind in ways I never thought possible. But, I do miss things back in the states. Weddings, baby showers, family dinners, moments. I can’t be in two places at once. I made my decision and I chose Switzerland.

So, whenever I get down about something I’m missing back home, I think about this song…

Is there a song lyric you return to again and again? A mantra?

My mom and I say “Oh well, that’s Turkey” when something goes wrong–a reference to an Eartha Kitt song–and everyone loves Frozen‘s “Let it go.” Sometimes songs make more sense of the world than we do on our own. Wishing you good music this weekend…but for now, a few links:

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