Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One of those days

There are days when the sun is shining, you’re maneuvering the roundabouts like a pro and parallel parking like it’s second nature. It seems the DJ has a list of all your favorite songs and you sing along in key (or at least there’s no one in the car to contradict you). You did a half-decent job at work and feel like you have a purpose in life.

And then there are the other days. Where the gray sky and fine drizzle are anything but romantic and the seventeenth century houses you pass on the way to the neighborhood grocery don’t inspire you at all. You wonder if you’ll ever have a job that’s stable and well-paid and related to anything you studied in school. And it takes ten minutes to park your tiny French car in a space that should accommodate an SUV.

I’ll join the bandwagon of other expats who are mood-swinging at the moment. I’m writing this on a good day, but the other day was a lousy one. A ten-minute conversation with a civil servant showed me that I might not get that tiny amount of government aid for this month where I’ve been working just mornings. Because my job has such a weird part-time status it might not be considered for this parental leave program. And I don’t know if I’ll get many hours in December as I’ve got this strange employment situation and I’m between two companies and just generally ARGHHH.

And I wonder if I really am fundamentally lazy. Should I go for training? To become what? And to be paid what? I just want someone to tell me what to do. That this is the right answer. But I know that we generally only see the decisions we’ve made as right or wrong way down the road. Part of me will always be jealous of my schoolmates who are doing what seem to be “fabulous” things. I think I just want to know that my next paycheck will be the same as the last one (or better). Can I really see myself doing this job, which can sometimes be rewarding, into my 60s? Will I be the boring fuddy-duddy English teacher recounting her glory days stories of America in the late 90s?

If someone out there has got a crystal ball, I’d like to borrow it for a year or two.


Crystal said...

I need a crystal ball too...or someone to make all my decisions for me...it would make daily life so much easier. I remember thinking almost every month at your current (and my former) company (can't mention the name for obvious reasons) that I had no idea how much the paycheque was going to be, and even if it was a good one, that the next month could be half of that. I think ultimately what you need is a stable, non-paid-per-lesson type job in order to have some stress taken away. I know I need to follow my own advice, but I also know how hard it is for us to find any job other than teaching. Focus on the positives though (again, I need to follow my own advice): you have a loving husband, an absolutely beautiful baby, great friends who love you (even if they are far away!), and a new apartment. And, you have a job...even if it's not a career, or well-paid, you have somewhere to go to get a paycheque. The sadness will get better (but Im not naive enough to think it will pass completely one day) and Im sure it has a lot to do with the weather. Hang in there kid, I'm right there with you :)

P.S. Im coming to the north this weekend!! Will you be around?

Jenenz said...

There's so many things that make us feel "complete"; family, friends, career, experiences...the list goes on and on. Finding the right combination is easy for some, difficult for others. I guess most of us fall in the middle. We have our top items that are priorities and that rock our world. Even when we know what is important and what our personal values are, it's easy to feel that there is something missing or that we're not living up to our potential (or other's expectations???)

You are blessed with baby, husband, family, friends, living your dreams in France. You never know what life may bring you if you keep your eyes opened. The sun will come up again, and maybe a new job will cross your path. Or you may decide that your life is defined more by how you live it than the kind of job you have.

Sigh, such is life, eh?

Lindle said...

"Snap out of it!" (Cher from Moonlight)

"No one gets out of this life alive" (words of wisdom from Bugs Bunny)

"Love this life, don't wait til the next one comes" (Crowded House)

"Let's Dance...under the moonlight, the serious moonlight..." - David Bowie

Hindsight is always 20/20. We never know if the choice we make is the right one, but we have to make the best of the choice we've made at that time.

Keep your eyes open, and your ears tuned, and watch and listen to the world around you. Something will catch your interest and spark a desire, and that you should explore. Not following those leads are the ones we regret later.
:) your mudda