Monday, May 22, 2006

On Friday as I was driving to a friend's house, I heard a song on the radio that I recognized from watching Nouvelle Star, which is the French version of American Idol. It was a former '80s hit...nothing special, just one of those songs. Still, it triggered a new emotion for me here...for about 2 minutes I had the feeling that I might actually grow to love France. That there might be a bond developing.

When I was home in February one of my former co-workers asked me, "So, do you just LOVE it there?" I was careful to tell the truth: "Yes, I like it a lot. I'm pretty happy." For whatever reason, I'm sure I'll always remember that exchange. This time around I'm so careful to be calm and realistic and to avoid those intense highs and lows that come along with expat life. It might sound like I'm repressing things, but I'm really not. I'm just not trying to force myself to love it nor am I dwelling on the stuff that drives me crazy. I want to sail along on an even keel, and so far it's working. Life with S. is pretty darn good.

Why did that song trigger it for me? I don't know. I think it was realizing that I understood most of the words, that I 'got' the subtleties of the song (which were, admittedly, not that deep...it's always about sex), and also that I recognized part of French culture that I didn't grow up with. '80s music in English always makes me feel a little nostalgic. Am I transferring this feeling to something French? Is it possible to do this? I think a big key for me will be mastering the language. It just occured to me that I might not always feel like an outsider. Even if I'm not fully French, I'll have found a place for myself here. It's a sign of positive things to come.

3 comments:

Pam said...

Wow.

I have to stay on that even keel and master the language too.

You are so NOT alone....

Anonymous said...

you are so beautiful. I love to read your blog and I really look forward to them. Keep them coming and go ahead and fall in love with France most Americans would not understand but the people that matter would not hold it against you. Have a great week and keep on writing.

bcinfrance said...

I remember some of those "Don't you just LOVE it there?" conversations. And I even DID love it -- but the first year(s) is or are still not that easy.

I remember this one too:
"I bet you just go to Italy all the time!"

Right...