It feels like I never left this spot, and yet I just got back.
My trip back to Canada was a quick, yet enjoyable one. I didn't do anything besides visit with family and close friends and watch English TV while snacking on North American treats I can't find in France. I celebrated my 31st birthday with a delicious marble & fudge cake (and my name piped on the top!), and visited all my favourite stores and hangouts in my hometown.
For once, I didn't feel the dread creep over me as I waited to board the plane back in Toronto's airport. In fact, ever since I've moved to the Alps, I haven't had to stifle tears during the flight here from Canada. I suppose that means I'm finally starting to accept (and maybe even like!) my life in France, and that the quality time I get to spend with Canadian friends and family is enough to keep me going when I come back here.
But then I wonder: What is there to like here? I have Max, of course, with whom I'll be celebrating 7 years of marriage in July, my bébés, a nice place to live, beautiful scenery, and loads of cheap delicious wine and pastries. Is that enough to live a fulfilled life as an expat, though?
While in Canada, I'm reminded of how important it is to just see and spend time with family and lifelong friends. Skype and Facebook and email are great, but they cannot replace seeing your best friend's eyes light up as she looks at her new baby, or taking a walk along the pier with a great cup of takeout coffee and your Dad (or Mom, or Grandma). I miss them terribly when I'm here, but I miss Max and the comforts of my life in the Alps when I'm in Canada. And you know what? I think it will always be that way. Missing someone means that you love them, and when I can't physically be there with them, I keep them in my heart until I can be.
I'm back now, and I have no idea what the next few months will hold. I tried to gloss over discussions of unemployment while I was in Canada, because it gets annoying (and a bit embarrassing) to constantly answer the same questions (link to a great post on the subject by my friend Deidre over at decoybetty.com).
I know the people asking these questions mean well and are interested in my life, but talking about my lack of career/job/job prospects/income all the time makes me feel like more of a failure. I have a hard enough time accepting for myself that I'm a 31-year old unemployed university graduate, and I just wish I didn't have to talk about it -- like if I don't talk about it, it will go away.
That said, I know very well that a great job will not just fall into my lap. I have to get out there and make things happen. There are limits beyond my control, of course, but I have to stay positive as I think about what I could do, and what I would want to do. Whether or not there are opportunities for such jobs in my neck of the
I've got a 4-day job search seminar hosted by the unemployment agency to attend in a couple of weeks that might actually be helpful. I'm going to go with an open mind, and see if there are ways I can improve my résumé and cover letters. In the meantime, I've got articles to write for Dogster.com and Catster.com, a dog to walk, cats to cuddle and a husband who has more confidence in me and my abilities than I do.
I'm back in France and I think I will be ok.
|A little something from my Canadian life to help ease the transition back into my French one ;)|