Tuesday, 13 March 2007

How did I get here? (Part 1)

I am a finance officer dealing with european funded projects. My life is decided by Member states and a managing authority. I handle payment claims, work with lead partners and talk about ERDF, 5% checks and N+2 all day. How did this happen?

When I spent 24 hours with Jerome in September 2000, I was headed back to NJ for good to make money in NYC for a year before I went to Rutgers to get my joint Masters and teaching certification in French and ESL. It was time to go home after 3 years in france as an au pair, housesitter, babysitter and (get this one) international coordinator for the Nestle ad campaign at a large ad agency. I had an office on the 6th floor on the Champs Elysées!

And I've spent most of today proofreading sentences containing eurojargon that isn't even real English. If I have to correct another since, for, -ing or present perfect, I may go crazy.

I do remember teaching English and loving it. I do remember how much I loved preparing classes for the art school and my private students. I also remember the bitch-on-wheels boss I had at the language school and how happy I was to tell her to shove it and to threaten her (damn how I wish sometimes I had actually gone after her with the breach of contract and gotten her sorry ass fired!). I also remember the students at the art school - the ones who actually came to class - who said "we don't need English. Our art will speak for itself." That was funny. And at least there were the Chinese exchange students to keep me sane.

So, here I am. A beautiful day in Lille, my life seems to be a trail of circumstances and happenstance and luck. If I hadn't run track in college, I wouldn't have come to fRance the first time and I wouldn't have gone to Aix and then back to Aix and met my canadian friend who intreoduced me to the girl from Nimes who lived in Lille who introduced me to Jerome. And I wouldn't have come to Lille and worked at that terrible English school where I met the Canadian whose girlfriend worked for the place I'm at where the evil woman got fired. And my daughter's godfather is a Chinese exchange student from the art school I taught at...you see my point. I just wonder how I strayed so far from my original plan...But I love it. Sometimes I just need to remind myself that I am living a dream, even if the dream now includes cleaning diapers, cat litter, paying bills and taxes and dealing with French administration on a regular basis.

I think I'll buy a baguette on my way home to remind me of what France is all about.

1 comment:

Deb said...

I need to "rediscover" France as well. I'm still stuck in my American ways!

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