Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What I learned in 48 hours

The setting: Paris
The reason: That girls weekend out we claimed we would take for two years 
The date: A few weeks ago
The people: Just American girls living in Toulouse
The results: Well......

I was thrilled to wake up at five am to board a plane. The night had not gone so well, but no one woke up as I sneaked out of the house and into 48 hours of freedom.
Breathe. Whew.
I smile as I watch Toulouse covered in darkness still, the taxi zooming in record time to the airport. I even had time for a coffee as I lugged my suitcase down the wide hallway. Of course I had to take the broken one. Darn.
But nothing was going to keep me down.

Getting into Paris I zigzagged my way through frustrating Charlse De Gaulle. The French always think things require no explaining. Oh, well. I'm all grown up and stuff so I ask a question that seems to be rather stupid to the man answering, but which I then hear asked by about twenty other people. Yep, put up a sign and people wouldn't have to ask.....

The train took me first to the Joyce Meyer conference. It was thrilling to be there, though a tad lonely as everyone else was with large groups. But it didn't matter. I was there listening to one of my heros and I was happy. My body changed from hot to cold to hot again as worship began and then Joyce Meyer came out to talk. The conference was organized badly with little food to feed the people and no more coffee at one point, but it didn't matter. Not to me. I just wanted to be there.

The conference ended and I trekked back to the train exchanging my suitcase from one hand to another. In heels of all things. Because I am out and in Paris and I refuse to wear anything but! One train and two metros later I emerged in the heart of Paris, turn my head and find my friend standing right there with a large smile on her face. My own smile competes fro being bigger and after dropping of my stuff we practically link arms and head out into Paris!

We walk. And have coffee. And talk.

And talk. And bask in the glory of no kids and no time restraints.

We go out and do not worry about our kids or husbands. We smile. A lot. And laugh. A lot.

We make sure we will do it again and lament that 48 hours is not long enough.

Strangely enough I do not miss my kids or my husband. It is only 48 hours after all, but I find that I am different in that aspect. But that is okay with me. The past two years have been hard, when I look back. I have had little help with Principe working so much and I needed a break. A breather. Honestly, I probably needed a longer one, though I took what I could get at the time.

Of course coming back you are thrown right back into life and the chaos that it is. We are told we are moving. This summer. Principe took the job. We have to pack and sort out school and buy a house and learn to talk Texan. Because we are moving to Texas of all places!

48 hours helps but I am thinking I need another break already. A chance to gasp for air between the school, the move, the terrible working hours Principe still has until August, the family visits, convincing the girls they will make more friends, saying good-bye and trying to finish my book(s).


Paris, Come back!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Choosing a career path

When I was in high school I assumed I would be someone in business. I could imagine myself traveling with a briefcase. Going to meetings. Wearing high heels. Being a force to reckon with.

All considerations of the fact that I knew nothing about business aside....

Then I started to write and I imagined myself being a famous, brooding author. I could see myself being considered so beyond intellect and ....deep.....that my opinion would be sought after by all factions of life.

Then I saw myself as a photographer and write snapping the world around me and showing everyone else who didn't dare leave their couches what the world looked like.

Wow. I was a snob. I certainly thought a lot about myself.

I did none of those things though. When I met Principe and came to the point in life where I had to choose something more because I was choosing him, I ended up choosing translation. I told myself, and others, that I wanted to translate books. Mostly I said this because I didn't think I was good enough to write the books myself. I certainly didn't want to say it outloud and look foolish to everyone else by having a dream that was unreachable. Those I did tell told me just that: it was unreachable.

I dabbled in translation, working for a small firm before it went under. Then I did it freelance. Then I became a mother.....

During motherhood I have written two books and a half books, but haven't had time to edit, review and sell them. Over the years I have tried, but being across the Atlantic impeded me a bit.

Or perhaps it was my lack of self-esteem.

But being a mother has taken center stage as well as keeping my family above water while living in France. It takes more time to live in a foreign country. You must learn the language and culture and school system and medical system, etc. Especially if you are going to have a good time and meet people.

So, my career in on hold. But no longer. I have a determination I didn't have before.

And if I were to do it over? Perhaps I would wait a bit longer to have babies. They do take a lot of time. But most of all I would start reading and studying how to change habits and getting out of my ridiculous mindset of not being able to do things because I was a mother or living abroad. If I could do it over I would realize sooner that learning to increase my confidence is not demeaning, in fact it is smart. I would admit that reading for entertainment is okay, that writing for entertainment is okay and that not everything I write has to be a noble prize winner. Because, honestly, I've read some that aren't so great in my opinion. But it is just that. An opinion. And we all have different tastes and I shouldn't be stupid or snobby enough to think that mine is better than someone else's.

Or that someone else's is better than mine.

So now I am starting over. All the stories in my head that I deemed "not deep enough", "not intellectual enough" are coming out. They are being written out and thank God for digital format because they are going to be published. And anyone looking for an escape from the daily grind of feeding small mouths will have it. Perhaps I won't get a noble prize or be able to sniff at people in New York press conferences, but I will push entertainment into the daily grind for some. And that alone will make me happy!

My books will be a lot like a Happy Hour caipirinha in Paris...