Friday, June 1, 2012
This is a hard time of year for me in general, and this year it has been especially so. My brother and mother both celebrated birthdays in May so I always think of them and how much I miss them and wonder about all the things we missed out on. My brother would have been 50! He probably would have a wife and kids… So a funk is not unexpected, but still not appreciated. I especially worry about the blues when I think about my mom. I know it’s not possible that I inherited her manic-depression since I was adopted, but I’m always hyper aware of my emotions and worry about them. Growing up around someone experiencing those horrible depressions and crazy manic stages heightens awareness of any mood swings. So even though I know I do not have her disease, I worry. I am generally a happy-go-lucky, easy-going person, so it freaks me out when I get so down and it lasts longer than a day. I know it will pass, I just have to be patient and accepting.
Being alone here in France makes it just that much more difficult. In some ways I think we should have waited until September to move to Paris. That way the girls could have finished out the whole school year, we could have spent more time with family & friends and enjoying our newly-remodeled house. We could have had more time to prepare (as if you can ever fully prepare!), and would have come in at the beginning of the school year with all the other new families. But I tend to forget how rough it was to have Sean living in another country and only able to come home for 1 week each month, and how my social life had already dwindled. When you are on your own, the invitations don’t flow your way as much, and you don’t feel like entertaining at your house on your own. I had a view of what life would be like as a single parent, and it’s not too bright when everyone around you is all coupled up. Note to self – divorce will not be fun! :-)
Moving to Paris in the middle of the school year has proven tougher than I imagined – for me. The girls have had no problem sliding right into life here! I have met so many wonderful and fun people here, but all the groups have already been established since the beginning of school and sometimes it feels like I’m intruding. I know that’s probably just me feeling that way, as everyone has been very welcoming, but there it is. The friends I spent time with at home have been my friends for many years, and I forgot how hard it can be to make new, close ones. And here, we don’t have the luxury of time as people move in and out due to work all the time. My friends at home know me so well, I always feel comfortable being exactly who I am. Here sometimes I feel like I am on a job interview – worrying that I’m on my best behavior, saying the right things, trying to get people to understand who I am, hoping not to feel like the odd woman out. Again, I know it’s just me as everyone here is very nice and wonderful. Most of the time I am fine and having a blast, but sometimes it just feels hard and I feel alone - especially with Sean gone so much.
At home we had plans most weekends with friends. Either going out to dinner, a bar, a movie, over to someone’s house for burritos & dominoes, or having people to our house. Here we are much more insular on the weekends and I miss hanging with friends. Howard House made it so easy to have people over any time we wanted. The nice, open kitchen, large family room, pool in the backyard, separate space for the kids – plenty of room for people to come eat, play and hang out. Chez Way here in France is not as amenable to having people over – the main living space is much smaller, and the kitchen is tiny and removed from the family room. All this makes it harder to hang with and cook for friends. We need to get better about dealing with it and figuring out a way around. Things here are similar to home – not very many people invite others to their houses for dinner (or whatever), and since there are no real “bars” in the ‘burbs, if we want to hang with friends, we will have to invite them over here.
I also miss our parties. Man I used to love throwing parties. Not sure I’ll ever get to that here (due to space and missing ingredients), so just another thing to miss.
Sean keeps asking me why I’m so bummed out right now and I don’t have a straight answer. If I did, I could figure out how to deal with it and move on. Part of it is the family situation I mentioned above, but I know that’s not the whole story as I did most of my grieving at the beginning of the month. Part of it is the fact that I’m annoyed with myself for being such a sensitive wuss about making friends here, I’m disappointed in myself that I have not done the language learning I had promised myself I would & my French sucks, and I’m tired of being injured and not being able to figure out a way to workout and not get hurt. The possible future I’m facing is freaking me out as well. R&C have informed me that they do not want to go back to the US for high school. They would like to move to another country after 6th grade (so many of their friends here have lived all over the world), and then maybe come back to ASP for high school. On the one hand I am so happy to hear this. I am so proud of how flexible and quick to adjust they are, and that they can see the benefits of their current life. The school here is great and the opportunities they will have are just amazing. On the other hand I am freaked to think I might not return home to my family, friends & beloved house any time soon. Sean’s work is going well, the kids are happy - I think I’m the only one who misses home so much. I know I can’t think that far into the future as who knows how things will change each year, but it’s wild to think we could be living in Europe for the next 7 years!
Sorry that this post is not full of fun, happy news. We are off to a bbq tonight and going to a private party on a boat on the Seine tomorrow night (I know – what he h*** am I so down about!), so I’m sure I will snap out of my funk, become re-energized and ready to embrace this experience. Allow me this moment of weakness – I’ll write about the wonders of living in France soon enough!