If we were having coffee, I would ask you to come to my house. I would set out a table full of cookies (or biscuits as the English and French would say) and talk about how confusing the Paris weather has been. This morning it was raining and this afternoon it decided to be sunny and slightly warm.
I would show you the drawing my sister Silvia did, the one I plan on printing and hanging somewhere in my apartment. She drew it for my blog series, the one you are reading right now, Coffee Conversations. She is talented, and I wish I had an eye like hers. She will do so much with what she was given, and I am excited to see where it will take her. As far as I know, I will be her fan from start to finish. (Please check out her Instagram, linked to her name above)
I would then tell you about my first French presentation in front of one of my classes. It was the same day as one of our exams (that week I also had two other exams in two other classes). Even though I am the girl that sang in front of people, loved acting and put on shows her whole life, speaking in front of people in French gets me quite nervous and shaky. My subject was on the rivalry between Spain and France between 1610 – 1648 (a subject I asked for). Once I began speaking, I could hear everyone whispering to each other. At one point, I definitely heard, “tu sais d’où elle vient ?” (do you know where she is from?). I powered through it, my voice shaking, but I did it and once it was finished I was proud! One of my classmates came up to me afterwards asking me where I was from, thinking I was Italian (which is not a first but I have also gotten Russian and German, which those have surprised me).
The subject was vast, and my professor had asked me to make sure not to fall into talking about only the battles between both countries but more about the causes of the rivalry. That was difficult to find, most sites and books wanted to talk about the religious war (The Thirty Years War) and battles, so it was easy to overlook one of the battles the professor had actually wanted me to know. Other than that, she told me that my presentation was good and that I would have a good grade.
I am in a moment of struggle at the moment though. I love what I am studying, and I am loving this semester so much more than the last one. The classes I am taking are the history classes I actually like, over the world wars of the 20th century and Europe in the 17th century (last semester it was ancient Greece/Rome and the medieval ages). But I am in a moment of struggle creatively, and questioning what I really want to do with my future. What can I do to stand out? What should I speak up about? I have always been a person who starts something, gets really into it and then slowly fades out. I want to find something that keeps my attention for the rest of my life, because I do not want a 9-5 job, nor can I keep nannying because I can’t grow in that job. I need to find something that fuels my inner fire. Have you struggled with this? Doubted yourself? Not felt good enough in a field? Scared to pursue things? Most people are surprised that I am feeling this because at the same time I was that girl that decided to pack up her bags and move to the other side of the world without knowing how it would turn out (better than I thought, but still a struggle). It is a moment of doubt, but I imagine, like with everything else life has thrown at me, will make me stronger.
What about you? How has life been treating you? Do you like the coffee? The French do love their Nespresso machines which drives me insane, it doesn’t taste like real coffee.
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