It has now been two years (and a couple of days) since I left the States and moved back to France. This anniversary inevitably pushes me to wonder and ponder about my feelings… Well, let’s say it out loud:
I MISS AMERICA TERRIBLY!!
I continue to miss how free I always felt when living there… I miss driving down highways and interstates without having to worry about expensive tolls and fuel… I miss being surrounded by people with a dream, people who will take their lives into their own hands and will work hard and long for what they want and what they believe in… People who will take the road less travelled simply because it is the one that matters to them, regardless of what others might think…
In France, life is difficult these days: unemployment has been between 8 and +11% since 1984 and it is now the highest it has been since 1999. Which means that people will rather stay with a job they dislike than try to take a leap because the risks are simply too high.
Furthermore, it seems that it is not part of ‘our’ cultural heritage to desire a fulfilling job! A career development professional once told me that a few years back, the French workforce started to think that maybe work should be a path to accomplishment but that did not last long and they quickly went back to thinking that work is something that you simply put up with. How so very sad…
Moreover, and forgive me if I am leaning towards clichés and stereotypes, it seems to me that a large part of the French population is very much self-centered and hyper-individualistic. And I feel like all the excrements paving the sidewalks all over the city and the country are a clear sign of how little respect they have for the ones that surround them.
So these days, I have a really hard time feeling at home here. Of course, I love being physically closer to my family even though I might have seen them more often when I lived in the States and came for a few weeks of vacation every summer to spend my time catching up with everyone. But on the other end, I am around for the holidays and the birthdays and I enjoy that very much.
And I love visiting France: the beautiful architecture of Lyon and of all the little medieval villages everywhere.
And I love the food: I do not regret any of all the wonderful dishes, wines, and desserts I have been having since I returned. Turns out I really love food!
And soon, flowers will start blossoming again and I simply can’t wait to put away the coats I have been wearing for close to 6 months and finally sit somewhere, outdoors, under the sun, free of scarves, gloves, and hat…
But I believe this is what happens when you have live between two countries and two cultures: you keep on longing for something that is somewhere else and I worry that I might be one of those people who think that the grass is always greener on the other side… Still, as far as I am concerned, the grass might not have been greener but the sun definitely felt a little brighter and warmer.