After 4 years in England, I already knew I wasn’t a « true French person » anymore, neither a real British. Here are some funny facts of my first week back in France:
I woke up totally dazzled by the bright light of the sun for the 5 first days…grey has been replaced by pink, yellow, blue…where are my sunglasses???
I now fully understand all the conversations surrounding me on the street. As a results, I find myself following 2 or 3 conversations in parallel in the transports or unable to focus on the back page of a book in a bookshop because my brain prefers to listen to the booksellers personal conversation.
I am filled with wonder to the view of boulangeries & patisseries. Last week I nearly took out my camera to take a picture of a very usual patisserie window!
As anyone who had to learn another language in another country, I have this dictionary reflex and I to my surprise I had to seek for 2 French words yesterday while reading the newspaper!!! By the way, one of this word was « gentrification » and the French dictionary was stating « from the English word gentry ». Then looking at the English dictionary, it was saying « gentry from old French word ‘gentil’ « . Great to see the influence on each other languages!
And of course there is also a down side. I had forgotten that the favourite activity of French people is complaining! They are champions in the category and when a French has decided it was the moment to complain, nothing can stop him/her! The rules are simple: everything can be mentioned from the weather forecast, to the bad traffic in Paris (no matter if the speaker is currently in south of France) or the results of the elections (2 years ago)…e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is allowed as long as you use an angry tone of voice! Grrrrrr!
Comme je suis maintenant en vacances, j’ai le temps de revenir sur les quelques mois qui viennent de s’écouler. Je pourrais les résumer à ceci: une bataille intérieur constante entre la peur & la certitude. La peur, qui me vient à l’idée de perdre le confort et la stabilité acquis ces dernières années. Et la certitude que le choix de suivre mon âme aventurière et de prendre le risque d’une année différente va inévitablement me mener a une vie qui me convient mieux. Dans cette bataille, j’ai découvert 2 alliés vraiment utiles .
Le premier c’est les encouragements, et j’insiste sur celui-ci car il me semble que l’on néglige souvent l’impact de nos mots sur autrui. Quand j’ai parlé pour la première fois à ma famille mon idée, j’étais convaincue qu’ils allaient questionner le fait que je ne travaille pas pendant un an. J’étais persuadée que j’allais devoir consacrer beaucoup d’énergie simplement pour affirmer mon choix. A ma grande surprise, mes parents ont offert leur soutien inconditionnel et m’ont encouragée à suivre mon cœur. C’est très fort d’entendre » Je serai là pour toi », « Fais ce que tu sais être bien pour toi », « Tu as beaucoup à gagner de cette expérience, je crois vraiment que c’est une bonne idée ». C’est quelque chose qui restera longtemps gravé dans ma mémoire, et la prochaine fois qu’une personne me confie un projet-rêve je ferai de mon mieux pour l’encourager, car qui sait ou cela peu mener!
Ma seconde alliée a été l’inspiration, j’ai découvert son pouvoir alors que je commençais à partager mon choix avec mes amis. J’ai soudain reçu de nombreux liens sur des blogs, de video et des sites web comme signes de soutien et d’encouragement. Toutes ces petites choses ont contribué à alimenter ma réflexion, faire grandir ma foi en ce projet. Elles m’ont fait réalisé que je n’étais pas la seule personne à emprunter ce chemin et finalement cela m’a ouvert un peu plus l’esprit sur comment être créative avec ma vie.
Voici quelques liens que je voulais partager:
>Comte sur le thème de la nécessité de changer: L’histoire de l’aigle
>Blog d’une jeune québécoise sur la route: http://aphotographerontheroad.tumblr.com/
>Blog magique écrit par de nombreuses québécoises: Les Inspirés
>TED TALK à propos de trouver un job que vous adorez (désolée la traduction français est très mauvaise): Comment trouver et faire un travail que vous adorez
>un comte à propos de ce qui nous retiens: L’éléphant enchainéL’elephant enchainé
As I am currently on holidays, I have a bit of time to reflect about the last past few months. I could summarize it by a constant inner battle between fear & faith. The fear generated by the idea to lose the comfort & stability won these last few years. And the faith in my choice of taking the risk of this adventure to feed my adventurer soul; so I could grow in a direction which suits me at best. In this constant battle, I discovered 2 very powerful ways to defend myself. It came to me as I started to open to my family & friends about my will to make a change in my life.
The first one was encouragements, I really want to emphasis it because we often neglect the effects we have on others when talking. When I opened for the first time to my family about my idea I was convinced they would question the fact that I wouldn’t work for a year. I was sure I would have to deploy treasures of energy, simply to do what I felt was best for me. And to my great surprise, they offered an unconditional support and encouraged me to follow my heart. It has been incredibly powerful to hear things such as « I will be there for you », « follow what you believe is best for you », »you have a lot to gain from this experience, it is a good idea ». It is something I will remember for a long time and next time someone confide in me about a dream-project I will make sure I encourage this person because who knows the positive impact it can have!
The second one was inspiration, I discovered its power as I started to tell my friends about my choice.I suddenly received great links to blogs, videos & websites as sign of support & encouragement. And it has been incredibly powerful as it fed my reflexion, grow my faith in my project, made me realised I wasn’t the only person on hearth going through such a journey and finally it open my mind about how to be creative with my own life.
Here are some great stuff I received (there is more in French, so if you are interested have a look at the french article!).
>Inspirational video about change: https://youtu.be/yXTrWPvP0iQ
>Blog of a young woman on the road: http://aphotographerontheroad.tumblr.com/
>TED TALK : How to Find & Do Work You Love
>An inspirational story about what is holding us back: The Elephant chain story
Deciding to make a change in my life & really going for it has been a long process. I am one of those people who always encourage my friends and family to go for the change they need or want. And yet I found myself taking lot of time to make the first step: quitting my stable, well established and well perceived job for a gap year and the adventure of life.
BEFORE making this decision I found myself doing many other things such as trying to accommodate my life and make some little changes where I was because nowadays having a job is precious and after all I can’t throw out the baby with the bath water by quitting a stable life for the scary unknown. However, my friend Rachel was right: « If this big step is something you are meant to do, it will come back to you at some point ». Indeed, 9 months later, I had dived into work so much that I suddenly realised I had lost the balance with the rest of my life. I was really struggling to connect with people I love and enjoy my free time, I was feeling lonely and disconnected. So I finally admitted to myself that I had to GO FOR THE CHANGE because I had so much to gain from it.
AFTER, from the day I gave my resignation letter, I slowly felt my internal pressure gage going back from the red to the green. I was suddenly so much more relaxed and available with people around me. I had lot of things to sort out in as I was moving country and one of my biggest worry was about not having the time to enjoy people & places a last time and say goodbye properely. However, I was amazed how things fell in place perfectly and how easy things has been during this transition time. I had an happy summer in England, I spent time with friends, went around to enjoy my favourites places and managed to sort my move without any major difficulties.
The TRANSITION period is a very special time. I was still in my old life, but working toward the start of a new chapter. It was special because of all the things people reflected at me at that time about what I archieved or who I am. I found it very energising and rich. When I left England on Monday I was feelling totally ready for my ADVENTURE.