I quit my job and now am on the verge of an extistential breakdown…

So on Friday, I quit my job of 8 years. It has been the only job I’ve had in my career field. It was a great job, but I was burnt out and I got to a point where I felt like if I didn’t make a change now, then I would never be able to.

Result? A tearful conversation where I gave my notice. My boss was shocked. I was shocked that I cried; I’ve never cried at work before despite some very tense and upsetting moments. It was not a dramatic exit – I had my script written out in advance, my boss was very receptive and thanked me for my time at his company, and then I just started to cry and could not stop myself. Luckily, I was able to finish off the conversation and make it to the bathroom before I really had at it.

Now, I am going to be jobless in two weeks, in a foreign country, with about 8 months of savings. I am questioning what it is I even want to do in my career, do I want to stay in my field or try something else?

When I originally planned to quit, it was because I wanted to get into the non-profit field, and do something that felt a bit more meaningful. But after I quit, I am freaking out and sending my resume out to competitor agencies of the one I just left, as I think I have a very good chance of being hired quickly. But I have made a pact with myself today that I will not accept a job for at least 1 month, so I have time to really think about what I want to do. That is why I quit in the first place, right?

One thing that I’ve always wanted to do but have been too busy or too scared to commit to is writing. So I am going to commit myself to updating my blog more often and to pick up my two draft novels that I have been working on for the past few years. Fingers crossed.

 

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Travels & Breakups

I have been traveling almost all summer for work. It sounds more romantic than it is. I never thought I’d miss Paris so much but I am very happy to be home.

In the midst of my travels, I seem to have ghosted/broken up with this kind of boyfriend guy I’ve been seeing. It was not serious, we had not slept together or anything, but had gone on a few nice dates and kissed. I didn’t realize that he even thought it was serious until I got an email from him last week that was a painful plea to figure out what was happening.

I feel something between annoyed and terrible, because I haven’t really been responding to his texts, and I didn’t realize he thought we had so much between us when I almost can’t remember him. It makes me sound like a terrible person, but at the same time I’ve made no promises to this guy. I haven’t responded to his email yet because I have a slight resentment that he is making me feel so guilty and I honestly don’t even know how to respond.

On a separate note, my mysterious neighbor is just as beautiful as ever. I think he is quite a loner, I am good at spotting the signs as I am incredible loner myself. I almost don’t want to get to know him because it is fun imaging things about him. But he is so beautiful, I want to get to know him 🙂

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ch-cha-Changes

I’ve met my neighbor now face to face, and had a conversation. I am pretty proud of myself. I was a bit awkward but he was super friendly. I am not sure what my next move is but I hope to see him tomorrow and invite him to watch the Euros or something…

I also bought a piano. I am super excited. I used to play really well when I was a kid but I haven’t played since I went to college, and on a whim I bought one on Monday and it just arrived to my office today! I am going to pick it up tomorrow because I was in NY all week.

I was surprised in NY – I definitely missed it a lot and still do but I was also happy to get back to Paris today.

 

 

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Abject un-useful-ness-ness

I have been almost completely worthless at my job lately. I am trying to pin what is the issue.

  • The former love of my life is having a baby with another woman. I am trying not to think about this but it is getting me down.
  • I have made no strides on meeting my beautiful neighbor. I don’t think I will until I am done traveling next month.
  • I made a fool of myself in front of some people that I thought could be some long term friends and now I am afraid to see them again.
  • I am in a kind of romance with a guy that I am not so sure about. He is a very nice man, very interested in everything and is great company, but for some reason I do not feel a spark with him and it is really hard getting over this. I am hoping something builds but that is a hard thing to force.

So I am going to suck it up I suppose and try to hang out with those friends again this week. I can try to do something about my romance. I am traveling almost the whole month so I will have a bit of a break from everything which will hopefully give me a little bit of perspective.

When I get back, I will also knock on the beautiful neighbor’s door and introduce myself, if I don’t run into him organically before then. In my fantasy, he will be immediately taken by my American brazenness. He’ll be impressed by how much beer I can drink and how funny I can be. I will fall in love with his timid shoulder turn and smiles. Maybe I will have some cute pastel or floral outfit on. I will put together a few sentences with the 20 French words I know (Aimez-vous Brooklyn Lager? Je pense que vous etez beau). It will be love at second site.

 

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Talking to Strangers

One of the biggest lessons I had after moving was that I don’t know how to make friends. It’s one of those weird things, we kind of just have friends when we are young. Kids are great at making friends. Plus they have all that shared time together. The same for college, everyone is in the same situation and new to each other, looking for friends, so it’s really easy to build up a friend group. Then, when I moved to NYC, I worked with about 50 other really cool people, and by nature of seeing them every day for 8+ hours, we became friends. So basically, my go-to “make friends” method is basically constant, repeated exposure to people and I eventually grow on them.

Now in Paris, I only work with one other person (who is much older than me and in a different life space), so I find I need to create these “exposure sessions” with other people. This is very difficult to do, since everyone is basically a stranger.

Of course, one person I would like to create these “exposure sessions” is the beautiful neighbor (I have heard nothing from him, though I still have my dreams). However I wouldn’t mind making friends with some other people too. I met a girl last week who is really fun, and we went out for lunch and hopefully will continue to do things together.

Unfortunately, I lost a friend who I had been handing out with for the last few weeks as yesterday he made another move on me and I rejected him pretty strongly since it he wasn’t taking my previous rejections to heart. I’m not sure how exactly our fragile friendship will continue. Besides, he was infuriating with these advances because he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Unfortunately, it seems like he won’t accept “I’m not interested” as a reason which I find pretty disgusting from him. He said it would be something different if I was with another guy (translation: he will respect my boundaries only if there is another man in the picture to enforce them? Thanks guy, good to know you view me as property rather than a person). But on the other hand, I am sad because he was fun to hang out with and I have no other friends. I’ll see if he contacts me later this week.

 

Aside, there were some great quotes from BBC World Service yesterday, my favorite being – “eating plastic is something thats not generally considered of as a good idea.” Thank you BBC, I was considering for a moment eating the plastic wrap on my sandwich, but you changed my mind. Whew.

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Expat & the Donald

I am at one year of being an expat this month. It’s a bit hard to accept for a few reasons. Firstly, I feel like I am way behind what I would have expected last year. Secondly, how did a year pass already? I feel like my life goes so fast now and I’m just holding on trying to get through. I will give myself a little bit of a pass on the “1 year” thing because I’ve spent almost 6 months of that 1 year not in France.

I’ve wondered a lot over this year if my move was a huge mistake. I transferred for my job thinking that it would be relatively easy to move, that I would immediately make friends and assimilate in the culture, that I wouldn’t miss home at all. After all, I am still young, I am well cultured for the most part, and I had made it just fine in New York City for the past 10 years. So now one year later, its pretty shocking that I don’t feel at all at home yet here in Paris, I have maybe 2 friends and I still don’t feel that comfortable around them. I am kind of in disbelief that I’ve really moved to another country and really been here for so long, I have almost nothing to show for it and feel like I’ve really stagnated socially and emotionally.

Then, in bouts of homesickness, I will look at US news and keep getting shocked by what I see. Specifically the Donald. I keep thinking he is a joke. It’s hard to really understand exactly how it has come to the fact that he might be our President. I keep thinking any day now will be his last but he only seems to get more support. And I keep being surprised to see Trump still in the news, thinking that this must be some sort of huge mistake or joke that somehow the media is all in on.

I’m trying to understand what it would really mean if Trump was our president. I suppose I won’t have to live in the US during his term and can stay here safely in France (though the upcoming French election does not look great). But can we really, in this day and age of global communication, elect someone who is unashamedly racist and bigoted? I would expect that kind of rhetoric from an Xbox live chat room, not from someone campaigning to handle world relations.

I still don’t really believe he can beat Hillary, but the fact that he has even gotten this far is shocking. It seems like America is a big joke, being very removed from the day to day news. Everything he does seems to be a gaff. I am hoping there is more to this story than I realize abroad.

 

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weekends in the rain

So in Paris, it apparently rains all the time. This is not something I would have believed had you told me before I moved here (my visions of Paris were always sunny, light bouncing off limestone, Haussmann streets, men with baguettes, etc etc). As it turns out, Paris is pretty dirty, people/men openly pee on the streets, it rains all the time, but everyone really does buy & carry baguettes.

I had a really good weekend for the most part. I went to the Louis Vuitton Fondation to see the Daniel Buren’s installation and the Chinese Artists in times of turbulence and transformation. Both were very cool but I really loved Buren’s installation, where he put colored screens within the large “sails” of the Fondation building. The building itself was spectacular. It was designed by Frank Gehry and looks like his style. I’ve also been to the Guggenheim in Bilbao and have to say he makes incredible spaces especially for viewing art. I suppose this is no surprise since he is world renowned.

I also saw Captain America. It was pretty good. I could have done with less Iron Man though. More on that next time.

Then, last night, I had a moment of shame. I was going to an event with some strangers (it was a meet-up like thing). I got to the event but then was too shy to talk to anyone so ditched after 5 minutes. I thought I had gotten over the “talking to strangers” thing but apparently not. I’ll see what I can do next week.

Lastly, I left a response to my neighbor. It was a friendly message, I gave him a heads up there is someone in the building leaving notes with a photo of someone-who-looks-like-him on the back, and that I felt like an idiot for leaving him the original note. He hasn’t responded, so probably has written me off as a crazy person. I’m trying not to think about it too much.

 

 

 

 

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