9 Nov 2010

Life in the Slow Lane

A few weeks ago, reading Tea's post from Tea & Cookies made me look at my own reality, face on. She chose to share her doubts and feelings publicly and I found her revelation strangely reassuring in itself at it echoes my own current state of limbo, where I too am stuck in a temporary situation that is at risk of dragging onto the permanent. Sharing one's state of mind is to acknowledge the issues at stake and a positive step towards a solution.



Transpose Tea's torn feelings between two vibrant West Coast cities (San Francisco and Seattle) to my place of thinking where I am torn between two opposite lifestyle situations, i.e. my former fast-pace city life back in England and an off-the-beaten-track regressive village slumber on the small island of Corsica...

My partner has had to go back to England while I remain on French soil with Tickle, our cheeky little dog, both of us still trying to figure out what our mission in Corsica actually is. Meanwhile all our belongings are still stuck in storage and I have to quietly put up with my parents' furniture and home décor style while my own tastes are relegated to a couple of containers tightly locked away. Tickle and I live at my parents and I am back to being 17 all over again (minus the tight leggings, clunky jewellery, shocking lipstick and oversized tops!), made to feel like that naughty teenager who has never grown up to lead her own life out there in the wide wild world...



This crazy situation was never meant to last beyond a couple of months in the first place, never mind nine months! Nine months of teetering around the parental nest is a hell of a long time, a full pregnancy term, over a whole school year, many life-changing events happen in the space of nine months, but apart from a lot of time to think, go through masses of red tape, and try out business ideas, it seems projects and grand ideas haven't quite materialised in the way they were planned out from the comfort of my English sofa...

I do need to get a grip, focus on one project only, and generally come unstuck. Start by making up my mind over which of the two countries I should spend my life, moving forward. Here's the dilemma: my heart might be in Corsica by default but my head is in England. When you are torn between two places, Tea has the solution: 'But if I want what is new, I am going to have to let go of the old.' The other way around applies too.



Meanwhile I do miss the randomest moments from England, aside from my freedom as an independent, resourceful young professional. Back in 2002 a new life chapter dawned as I embarked on a marketing career, freshly single, with a new shiny car to boot, a new job, new friendships. I was fuelled with a will to succeed equalled by a need to flaunt it. I was with it, out there, yet under tremendous pressure at the same time, nearly 3 hours' daily commute to work, marketing evening classes that stretched my working day past 9pm twice a week etc. Yet I was vivacious, bubbly, lean, keen, trendy, slightly selfish and open to opportunities... Life in the fast lane.

Rewind 8 years and I feel I have lost my bearings, my moorings. Life goes one way and then it goes another. In the process, you lose dear ones through death. Then the recessionary markets sweeping through the marketplace, combined with the market-sensitive nature of the marketing industry, make you redundant in a flash. You encounter personal setbacks that stretch you and test you at your weakest hour, when you're down and out. 




Everytime I get on the melancholic side of introspection, nothing is more fitted to my mood than the chorus line from a 1990s rap duet that my brother used to listen to and that has strangely etched my mind into some sort of doomed black-and-white limerick that goes: 'Life's a bitch and then you die, voilà!'. This leads me to a quiet place where I question my choices in life, my complexities, errors of judgement, foibles, mistakes, flaws and contradictions as - simply - a human being has them.

Before I finally reach a decision like Tea, many more weeks or months may yet elapse. I guess that when I am ready to move on, things will start clicking into place. In the meantime I have all the time for the thinking while I live life in the slow lane...

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