Thursday, 24 March 2011

You're part of my milestone(s)

I have now passed the six-month milestone of my life in France. It has been quite a ride. As I reflect back on my myriad of experiences, there are some I expected, difficulties one could predict, meeting some lovely people but also rather too many really negative experiences. But experiences they are and it's certainly true that I would never have experienced anything like them if I had stayed in NZ.

My life in NZ has been dismantled. I can never have back what I had there even if I returned. That was always a strategy of mine - to make it really, really hard to abandon my dream of France and slink back to NZ when things got tough. And tough they did get. I think they will be challenging for a long time to come but I've made it this far.

I'm living hand to mouth, with no savings, no security of any kind other than my resilience which must expand with each travail that comes along. I wanted to grow. I suppose I must have, subtley, but I don't FEEL stronger. You, Dear Reader, don't see the times of despair, the tears and the fear I experience on train trips or alone in my room. The language difficulties are the most frustrating and isolating.

However, it doesn't take a lot to lift me up, fill me with hope, discover a flash of joy, a momentary flash of feeling comfortable. I don't need anyone's religion to have faith. I have to create my own brand of faith in this endeavour. What is the basis of this faith? I don't believe in God and I'm not sure about destiny. I don't know and I don't need the answer- I can live with ambiguity in this. Self-delusion? Quite possibly but whatever works for me- whatever keeps me on track and not looking back too often.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of time to review my single-minded determination to do this and the enormous sacrifices it has cost me. I never had a comfortable life before but that old life seems positively safe and luxurious compared to the results I have now.

But it doesn't matter. It will only matter if I give in and try to go back to what I can no longer have. The world has moved on and so have I. My life has changed and so has Laura. She's an independent woman now, with her own life and car and friends. My only regrets are giving up some of my precious possessions and not being able to share life with Laura. I miss my friends but of course but they all have their own lives which suit them. I was, effectively, alone in Auckland. I figured I might as well be alone in France where bigger things were possible. NZ had run out of plot lines for me-I needed a new writer.

So lets see, what's happened so far? Bought, had an accident and sold a car; was rescued by paramedics and admitted to the emergency department in a hospital; was was robbed in the Metro and experienced a police station; was visited by a radio-active cloud; had a brief affair with a french gangster who was 'unhinged';was a friend, briefly, to assorted other guys; washed a car in a snowstorm; spent Christmas with a French family in Brittany; was evicted temporarily by my boss and had to stay with his 2IC; spent a fortune on french doctors and chemists; lost my patience with the french immigration service (to good effect); discovered the ins and outs of all sorts of insurance; shared good and bad moments with some of my colleagues; bought my first flat-screen TV; attended an earthquake memorial service for a city I used to call home; explored all communication options to find my mother (not all that successfully); visited the Cathedral of Chartres and many interesting places in Paris; started a new job doing web development stuff and translations; checked out British pubs and couchsurfers; upgraded my shower and curtains; acquired a tolerance for some french plonk and cheese; met a lovely retired dentist.

Not too bad for six months. Did I miss anything? Check the blog archives.
I've been writing this blog for 11 months. I'm not sure how long I will continue but I do have a lot more interesting and unexpected experiences to go and I do enjoy sharing them with you. I can already promise you there's good stuff in the pipeline.


Alison said...

So wow - how many people could have packed that much into six months, eh? You are une etoile indeed. Here's to the next six months!

Lizmah said...

Hey Frances,

how's you? Just about to jump into the ethos.

You should be rightly proud of yourself.

Just started twiddling a blog... we haven't left Auckland yet. Still sorting out the houses

love xxx Liz

Anonymous said...

Just read this blog after I posted on your Facebook.
Good luck with your French Connections and w romance. I believe you just might have found it in J.C. Sometimes friends turnout to be lovers too...

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