It’s been a while — I apologize for that. It’s not as though life has been busy. It’s not as though I stopped day-dreaming about my grand scheme to move to Paris. It’s not as though I’ve stopped planning it all. I just didn’t feel compelled to write, and if it feels like a chore to force my words out onto this computer screen, then I won’t look at this blog as a muse or a catalyst for change and dreams, but rather as a burden, a job, some unnecessary evil in my life.
I’ve been thinking about my purpose.
I am often asked if, when I move to Paris, whether I would teach there. I’m not sure if I’ve approached this topic in my blog, prior to this posting, but I feel it’s important for me to talk about this.
Teaching is my passion. I love what I do. I love my kids more than I can express into words. I love working with Gifted minds and watching them create and explore. I love going to school every day, and I love how quickly a sour mood can change to happiness when my students get me laughing. Teaching always felt right to me, even as a child, and I feel accomplished with my career choice. I feel like I’m making a difference in the world.
But if you know me at all, you know I’m not a person who can sit still. Even if I’m moving within my career field, it can sometimes feel stagnant. The great thing about teaching, though, is that everyone needs teachers, and English teachers are desired all around the world. Teaching in Paris would be an instant “in” for me, and would get me working and succeeding, right off the bat. I would definitely get myself started in Paris through a career of teaching in a foreign school.
But I have other dreams, other pulls, other desires tugging at my heart-strings (I’m a dreamer, remember?). When I was younger, I also wanted to be a writer. I have a knack for letting my stream-of-consciousness turn into half-competent pieces of writing, I think. And the thought of sitting on a balcony in Paris as I write – whatever it may be, – but something that could provide me a secondary (or, one can dream even further, a primary) means of income, that would be extraordinary. BUT! I don’t want to write educational literature; this I KNOW for a fact. Nothing about that has ever appealed to me, nor will it ever do so. I have difficulty just reading educational literature with jargon and self-praise… no, thank you. If I write, it will be of an existence separate from that of my career in education.
And then there is the “bookshop dream”, another one that has been in the mix for many-a-year (I think it began with watching Beauty & the Beast as a child). I would love to work in a book shop, or be help in a bookshop, until the bookstore owner decided their loyal employee (me!) would take the reigns upon their retirement! I just set up a “Little Free Library” out in my front yard (unofficial and quite terrible-looking, might I add) and I’ve been sitting my by Bay window, waiting for people to pass and have a look; it’s terribly exciting! When a father and his daughter grabbed a few, I was thrilled beyond words! And imagine if I were making money off this endeavor … and imagine if they were pieces of literature I admired or adored that I was sharing with the public, and not just a stack of children’s books that are taking up too much space in my basement …
The thought of working in a big-box literature store doesn’t appeal to me (think: Chapters) simply because the intimacy between a book seller and their product, as well as their customers, just doesn’t exist when you’re lost between aisles and aisles of books, as well as other product produced just to make a few extra bucks, beyond the books. I imagine sitting at a front desk, welcoming a customer between a few feet of carefully thought out stock choices, and offering the client the chance to order his/her product, should I fail to carry what they desire (or perhaps recommend a text that I do carry, which fits into their genre and subject choice).
And of course there is the “perfumerie” dream. This one is new, although I’ve always had a sharp sense of smell. Even as a kid, I could determine what my mother was making for dinner by the smells that made their way into my bedroom from the bottom floor. I would shout it down to her and she would laugh with a, “You guessed it!” Only recently have I really taken to perfumes (a lot of my youth was spent with a signature scent of Escada’s limited edition releases, which now, after spending time in high quality perfume shops, as well as being in possession of a few exceptional scents, I can no longer stand), and with it, have really made an effort to try and pick out top, middle and base notes of those I smell. If this is something I wish to make a career out of, I would have to go to school for it, and become an apprentice for a while before I could make a mark for myself. And I also fear that the severity of my natural allergies (ragweed, lillies, etc) would get in the way of my “scent-skills” during work (3/4 months I’m sneezing or blowing my nose). This dream might just be more of a passion than a career choice, but still something worth getting down onto virtual paper…
And then, beyond all those aforementioned dreams, there is the desire to make a difference with my voice. I’m on the right path for this, but it won’t give me fame or fortune, and so I believe it will end shortly after the endeavor even begins. But that’s okay, because change is a powerful thing, like ripples in a pond, and that would be enough for me, in that aspect of my life.
I’ve always been that teenager who got a different job every summer, just to experience something new, to experience working with new people, to gain more references to put on her resume, to see what “fit” for me, when I bored with the old. I like change. I like experience. I like new scenery.
I like working in a classroom, but I didn’t mind working at a desk (so long as it was work of value; usually something creative). I disliked working in retail for clothing, but like the idea of surrounding myself with books. I love getting out of the house to go to work every morning, but I do love those holidays at home, and the idea of being an individual who “works from home” or in her favourite coffee shop.
I’m a pretty complicated person who you might say, doesn’t really know what she wants. But I know I want Paris. And any road that leads to Paris is the one I’m happiest to travel on.
We shall see where that road might bring me.
Post Scriptum: What career/job/hobby dreams do you have, that differ from the path you’re on, right now?