I have always been disenchanted with the competitive, money-hungry blogging model—I still avoid joining spammy affiliate programs or writing copycat content—but then things happened and the fire I had was put out for six weeks.
The last time I took an extended break from my blog was when I was in the middle of an unhealthy relationship a few years ago. This go-round I’ll probably end up backdating some blog posts to cover my tracks. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up deleting this post altogether.
Here’s where my head has been for over a month and a half.
I have reached a point where I am now split between countries, between states, between jobs and between outlooks.
For example, the Romantic says that falling in love with my boyfriend is the best thing that has ever happened to me. There is something unmistakably perfect about how each of us is an individual and how we come together to be a complementary, odd couple of a logical, intelligent French mind and a creative, intuitive American voice.
The Optimist agrees with the Romantic. We’re making plans together, we’re balancing our professional lives with our personal lives to make this work every day. This is real. How could this not work?
But the Feminist part of me gives me a solid bitchslap every time I look at my bank account. Every time I make a student loan payment late or complain that I can’t do nearly as many things as I want because I gave up my full-time job in May to move to Paris. This same part of me says that I should have fought more to keep my position, persisted more to balance household responsibilities and less willing to surrender my family, friends and career.
The Entrepreneur part of me is disappointed that I haven’t been motivated enough to blog over the past six weeks and haven’t been aggressive enough to find more freelance work.
The trouble is that the Creative part of me has been uninspired and, frankly, a bit depressed. I’m exhausted. I’m not inspired because I’m not seeing anything new. I feel stuck back in the United States and away from the life my boyfriend and I were starting to build together in Paris. It’s like being on hold for over 3 months.
The French part of me says that I could find loopholes in the French system to skip over the stress of the whole long-stay visa process, but thankfully the other parts of me have enough dignity to know that this is slightly irrational, highly problematic and absolutely illegal. C’est la vie.
The American part of me is still recovering from when I blacked out during the evening hours leading up to my 24th birthday (aka Election Night).
The Connecticut part of me—the part pressured to be more materialistic, to be like the perfectly proud and privileged “white girl,”—isn’t helping at all, because she’s too busy being complaining about not being able to drink real French wine, eat her favorite French things, or having disposable income to spend on brunches with her friends on the Upper East Side. Honestly, I haven’t included her in my personal dilemma because she’s pretty useless. This is the part of me that’s sad I’m getting rid of the blonde highlights I’ve had for the past four years because I can no longer afford to keep up the maintenance. Whatever. She sucks.
It would appear that the Rhode Island part of me—probably the most honest, most rebellious, most extroverted, the better part of myself that I have always found strength in—can articulate my problems in the best way possible.
“Alright. You’re going through some things. You’re stressed. You’re tired. You’re trying to convince yourself that you’re putting up a good fight, but we both know that you’re lying. You can fight harder.
You’ve been through worse. You know people have been through worse.
So the party’s over. Your depression and absent motivation have been so annoying and it’s painful to watch. So stop. Stop freaking the fuck out.
First thing’s first, let’s forget that French wine for a bit and let’s take a shot of whiskey. Maybe two. Hell, just get all of your fears out on the table. Get out one of the twenty empty notebooks you have piled in your bedroom and write all of those fears down.
Let it out.
All of those fears about being a broke Millennial living at your parents’ house. Struggling to make your student loan payments between the retail jobs and freelancing, and not saving enough to pay for French language school tuition for next spring and not being prepared enough for your visa appointment in early December.
The fears about what you’ll have to do if you’re not get accepted into the graduate school program in Paris for next fall.
The fears about how you’re betraying your liberal and feminist values and trading them in for a culture that leans more towards conventional gender roles.
The fear of not wanting to be repetitive and overwhelming while talking with your boyfriend and your friends about all of your thoughts.
The other fear.
Feel free to write down whatever other White Girl problems troubling you, but we’ll deal with those later in another internal monologue. (BTW, here’s one problem already solved—just buy the white shirt on eBay already, it’s versatile enough for your wardrobe and it’s a better price than your corporate employee discount and you know it.)
Once you’re done commiserating over your list of fears, take one more shot of whiskey for a dramatic, passionate effect, then switch to something else less crazy before you start reliving Why Not Wednesdays from your college and immediate post-grad years.
Now look at each fear on your list and start tackling it. Start resolving the fear by finding real answers.
Remember how upset you felt when someone asked you this summer why you were working such a “lowly” job like retail? Remember how that commentary kept you awake that night and how it pushed you to research and plan out which graduate school program you wanted to attend? Allllllllllll of this stuff you’re worrying about is basically like that conversation last summer, except there are more things to research and more puzzle pieces to put together. And you’re going to have to hustle like hell to make it happen, because no one else is going to make it happen for you.
Drink more water. Stuff your face with those non-GMO cheddar puffs and don’t feel guilty. You’ll live after the extra drunk calories. Before you go straight to bed, open your window, smell the ocean, listen to the waves crashing on the beach.
When you wake up tomorrow morning, get that green kombucha you like in the organic section of the grocery store. Stock up on electrolyte water and the bunny macaroni and cheese while you’re at it.
As long as you choose to find solutions instead of excuses, you’re going to get through all of the international bureaucracy to return to France. Get the hell out of here before this place drives you wild. Again.”