27 January 2012
Home is where the cheese is?
So here we are, January 27 and back in Paris. Japan was an amazing trip filled with the fast-paced energy of Tokyo, the calm of two different Ryokans (traditional Japanese Inns) and then the zen of Kyoto's temples and mountains.
Coming home to France didn't feel like I was coming home. I was leaving one country where I felt like a total foreigner and coming back to a country where I still feel like a foreigner. Thinking about arriving in France didn't have the same comforting feeling as if I was heading back to New York. Home is where the heart is? Not for right now...
While Twitter surfing, I found this note that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote to his daughter, Scottie when she was 11 years old. The letter, in list form, talked about worries and things to think about.
Things to worry about:
Courage, cleanliness, efficiency, horsemanship
Things not to worry about:
Popular opinion, dolls, the past, the future, about growing up, about anybody getting ahead of you, triumph, failure (unless it's your own fault), mosquitoes, flies, insects in general, parents, boys, disappointments, pleasures, satisfactions
Things to think about:
Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it? *
Now while I'm not worried about insects, dolls, my parents or boys and Scott & Zelda should have taken their own advice about making their bodies useful instruments, I think the three simple things to think about are a good guiding principle for my Paris life in 2012. During the trip, I use the quiet time to think about the last five months in Paris and how I want to live the next five plus.
Scholarship ---> Get a job.
I stopped working at the end of July and I'm ready to go back. Having unlimited time is wonderful but as I've mentioned before, sometimes having too much time is more overwhelming. There are so many things that I want to do that I don't know where to begin. I didn't work as hard as I did in New York to just come here and not continue my career. I believe that I still have more to add to the silly world of advertising and am too young to be a Lady of Leisure for much longer.
Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them? ---> Improve my French.
The bane of my existence. The French language. But you know what? It's my own fault. I don't study as much as I should. I don't practice the 200 flashcards I made. My Rosetta Stone headphones are in some box down in our cave and I hate going to cave, so they'll probably stay there. I'm only signed up for one more month of lessons and am not sure if I'm going to sign up for more. But the only way that I will understand people and people will understand me is if I do make more of an effort. I know this is something I will continue to struggle with for a very long time.
Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it? ---> Get back on track.
We're finally joining a gym this weekend and I'm changing my routine to make running and such a priority. Pre-Paris, pre-moving, pre-wedding running and fitness were two of the most important aspects of my life as was eating healthier. So February is running, gym and no cheese, white bread or meat but an overload on whole grains and vegetables. I'm sure I'll be able to tell a few tales as I explore the co-op/organic stores this weekend trying to find a few key things for the Lancelot French Detox to start on February 1.
So now it's off to run, buy a juicer at Darty and have lunch over my 601 French Verbs book.
And stay tuned for fun details about Japan. Those are coming, I just had to get this off my chest first!