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. Continue reading “If We Were Having Coffee: Art, Presentation and Doubt”
When I was a teenager, I thought I knew it all. My parents always drove me crazy, and they ~ didn’t understand ~ me. I was a moody teenager who was lost and angry and expressed myself through theatre, music and writing. That was all I ever wanted to do. When we moved to Indiana and I had the problems I did with my high school administration (explained in this post), I felt even more lost. I was not going to be able to do college like any typical student, and getting my degree was going to take longer. So after graduating, I did a year of community college, worked two jobs and still did not feel satisfied. It just wasn’t what I wanted to do. So I decided to take a year off and head abroad (honestly, it was only suppose to be a year!). Continue reading “A Decision to Start University at 21”
No one told you about the loneliness. Not the happy, look at the Eiffel Tower loneliness… the sitting on the couch in your tiny studio apartment when you realize you haven’t spoken your native language in days loneliness. The loneliness of realizing that when you speak English, you start mixing all of the languages, and you begin to feel like you do not speak any one of them correctly. The loneliness of wanting to do things you used to do all the time – especially at this time of year. Pumpkin patches and hay rides, pumpkin carving and drinking apple cider. No one told you about how things back home change. How your best friends move on, move houses, break up, hook up… How your sister is no longer 15 but actually now 18 and will be going to the ballots to vote. Another important event in her life you will miss. Continue reading “What No One Told You About Being an Expat”
I think there is a moment when living abroad that you begin to forget the distance between you and what used to be your old home. The old life is continuing without you, you are living life without it, and there comes a moment when you realize those two things are no longer connected. The only glue is the people you care about.
It starts with the little things, like the style of speaking, the style of clothing and those changes become bigger and bigger. One day you’re sitting in your apartment with a French acceptance letter into university, French books spilling from the walls, and you realize this is now your life. You are speaking a language that used to just be beautiful mumblings, you are making a life for you.
It hit me today while I was watching a soccer match with French people as they were yelling and cheering about their team scoring, and it reminded me of football season in America. But this was different. When I screw something up, or do something out of the cultural ordinary, I tend to say “well in America…” but then I wonder if it really is like that in America. Or is it me?
This is a rambling post, but it was an interesting feeling today. I felt far from my culture, the land that raised me, the people that made me, but I know that I will never be able to shake that off of me. It is who I am. I will never lose it. Though it feels far today, I can’t deny the feeling that everything that I am working for at the moment feels like what I need to be doing. I am proud of that.
If you are an expat, have you ever had a day like this?
I wondered about the explorers who’d sailed their ships to the end of the world. How terrified they must have been when they risked falling over the edge; how amazed to discover, instead, places they had only seen in their dreams
– Jodi Picoult Continue reading “Risks”
Give me 6-12 months in a new town or city, my mind will start to think about the next city to live in. It is a habit, something I cannot help. I noticed it the last move, between Oregon and Indiana. I absolutely adored the suburb I lived in outside of Portland, the friends I had made and the high school I went to (my teachers made going to school worthwhile). Then when we arrived to Indiana, I cried for months. Why had I agreed to move when I loved home so much?
Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow
I always find I feel most inspired as I walk around this city or on the metro when my thoughts are high above the clouds. Then when the daily dose of reality begins, my mind forgets. Continue reading “Little Black Book”