After the Sky

"When you're way up high and you look below at the world you left and the things you know, little more than a glance is enough to show you just how small you are. When you're way up high and you're on your own in a world like none that you've ever known and the sky is lead and the earth is stone you're free to do whatever pleases you- exploring things you never dared 'cause you don't care when suddenly there's a big, tall, terrible giant at your door... a big tall terrible lady giant sweeping the floor. And she gives you food and she gives you rest and she draws you close to her giant breast and you know things now that you never new before... not til the sky. Only just when you've made a friend and all and you know she's big but you don't feel small someone bigger than her comes along the hall to swallow you for lunch! And your heart is lead and your stomach's stone and you're really scared being all alone... and it's then that you miss all the things you've known and the world you left and the little you own... the fun is done! So you steal what you can and run. And you scramble down and you look below and the world you know begins to grow... the roof, the house, and your mother at the door... the roof, the house and the world you never thought to explore. And you think of all of the things you've seen, and you wish that you could live in between, and you're back again, only different than before.... after the sky..."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Subjunctive thoughts

After reading the first post, Eric told me, "I think it seems that you have resigned yourself to never return to France." That's a good point. After deciding that I wanted to live there, I decided to do some research. Google searches of "How to live in France," "How to move to France," and "What jobs are in highest demand in France?" turned up a lot of answers about red tape and citizenship issues, I think I did resign myself to that idea. Basically, it's hard to move to France. Very, very, very hard. Because of the European Union and its immigration/work policies, one has to be more experienced, more educated, and basically just better qualified than everyone else in the European Union. That's intense.
Of course, there are ways- there have to be ways. Americans live there. There must be a way to do it without being super-woman. But.....
So, this is where I am: riddled with self-consciousness about my education, my abilities to speak French, my dedication to my goal. But I have come to an important decision: I will live in France within the next 5 years. That leaves me plenty of time to go to law school, work hard, and find a job in some sort of legal field in France.
Now I just have to have the confidence enough to believe that I can do this.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

So, I've always thought that people who had blogs without doing something "grand," like being on a great vacation, or studying abroad, or being in the Peace Corps were self centered and, well, boring. Maybe that's not something I should put on a site dedicated to the words and musings of everyday people, but there you have it.
So why me? I'm just writing this for myself, as there are so many words and musings out there on the world wide web that my words are a drop in a very large ocean. So what compelled me to add to the water?
The answer to that is... Broadway. And France.
Well, Stephen Sondheim and living abroad, to be more precise.
They still don't seem like they go together very well.
I was listening to Broadway musicals with my sister in the car while I was home for Christmas, and we were singing along to our favorite song from our favorite musical and I just thought, "after the sky." What a good title for a blog. Something that describes the return to "normalcy" after a great adventure, a life-changing experience, or something personality-altering in another way.
I'm sure we've all experienced them; I don't think there would be a popular musical about it if we didn't. But they are so profound and life-changing that they must be documented I suppose.
While I was on exchange in France, I wrote a blog about "les petits triomphes"- that is to say, little things that one might take for granted every day, but that suddenly seem so much...more when done in another language, in another country, in a different culture. And completing even the most menial tasks, like getting a haircut, was suddenly a great adventure, and something to relish in when completed successfully. And upon my return home, everything just... was easy again. No great feats to accomplish, no great obstacles to overcome, no great feeling of satisfaction after getting exactly what you ordered at the bakery.
So, what do we do then?
That's the question I've been asking myself since my return, almost 5 years ago. What now?
It's been 5 years, and I still get teary-eyed and my heart beats faster when I smell something that reminds me of France. I still get shaky when I watch a movie set in France, and I see the places that for me, were the scenes of my greatest adventure. How does one return to that? Is it possible? And, if not, what do we do then? What's next when the great adventure is over at the age of 24?
That's the subject of this blog: what do we do when we're home, when you're back again, only different than before...after the sky?