Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Master Reset

Man, this has been one hell of a year.

Shortly after I wrote my last post, a lot of things happened at once. Most of them happened inside my head.

I was completely miserable in that job. The one thing that I'd been working towards in the eight years of living in France was, in fact, a huge mistake. One of the reasons I was so unhappy before that job is that I was absolutely the kind of person that defines themselves by what they do for a living. I knew I wasn't a Stay-at-Home-Mom. Therefore, I must be a successful office-type person.

But, no. I found myself at a conference in Paris, surrounded by office-type people talking about banal office-type things, and I thought, "what the hell am I doing with these people? This is not my place." But I'd committed to it. Stéphane's transfer had been granted, and like it or not, we were moving to Reims.

And then, my job exploded. The post ended up being not at all what I'd applied for, but I soldiered on. Instructions changed every few days, work was piled up, and still I soldiered on. Finally, my work started to slip, mistakes were made, instructions continued to change and work continued to pile up. I couldn't sleep anymore, I was constantly sick with stress, Fry cried everyday, and so did I.

I finally cracked.

I quit my job. My doctor put me on medication because I couldn't deal. (There is more to this, but more than I'm willing to say in a public space, to be honest.) I literally stared at walls for hours on end. The only things I could handle were playing FarmVille and sleeping.

Slowly, the fog started to clear. I started to realize that, in my head, landing a full time office position was the equivalent of happiness - the last time things made sense was before I moved here, and I worked full time, and I had friends and activities and a life.

But the truth is, I'm not the same person that I was in 2004. I don't see the world the same, and I don't have the same ambitions. I'm a mother. I've rediscovered my creative side. And, most importantly, I don't have to define myself by the job title on my paycheck.

I picked up an old business idea of turning my original embroidery into kits I could sell online. Since May I've been stitching pretty much non-stop. In the meantime, this past summer, we packed up our things, spent a week in Pas-de-Calais, and then we moved to Reims. Within the first week we knew we'd made the right choice. Everything just makes more sense here, whereas in Tiny Town everything seemed to be a struggle, like we were constantly fighting against the tide. Fry is settling down in his new school and continues to surprise us every single day.

And now I'm relaunching Suis le fil. I've started an Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds to do it right, with the correct equipment and design. I'm really proud of it and I've already had some positive feedback. I'm still looking for a part time job to hold me over until I can really get my business up and running. I'd love it if you'd consider checking out that page and maybe share it around a bit.

Thanks, to every single one of you, that have continued to check out this site, that have reached out to me, that support and encourage me. Y'all are the best, ever. xoxo

Friday, March 15, 2013

The light at the end of the tunnel


I haven't been here for a really long time. I'm not even going to look to see how long; there's no point.

The job has been a complete roller coaster. I am exhausted. The job on its own is challenging, frustrating, some days too much than I can take, and then adding in driving an hour each way to work, the effect my being gone so much has effected Fry, my general insecurities, my penchant for caring too much and laying awake in the middle of the night stressing about work... it's been a bad time. Bad enough that we decided that, in the case that Stéphane didn't get his transfer, I would quit, because the stress on our family is just. too. much.

Poor Fry. He's four now, in his second year of pre-school, and acting out all the time. It took us a little while to realize that he was acting out because I was suddenly gone from his life. I was always the one that brought him to school, picked him up for lunch, brought him back, and got him at the end of the day, most of the time. Now I barely see him in the morning (sometimes he's still asleep when I leave!) and we only have a couple of hours together when I get home, including making dinner and getting him to bed.

We knew this was going to be hard, but in my mind it would be a temporary sacrifice for making a better life for our family - moving to a bigger town, both of us making decent salaries so that we can travel, save for future projects, giving Fry bigger and better opportunities for his future as well. But this morning was hard - so hard. I'm home sick, his teacher has been out for two weeks (another stable adult who has been a super calming and focusing influence in his life), and Stéphane had to take him to school kicking and screaming. It completely broke my heart and I'm crying just thinking about it.

We got the good news this week that Stéphane got his transfer. This weekend he'll ask for the schools where he would like to be placed (he'll be targeting the Greater Reims area) and in June we'll know where to hunt down an apartment. In the meantime we need to start figuring out what we're going to do with this apartment and preparing to move. And I need to figure out a way to explain to my darling boy that all this upheaval and change will be good for us, that Mommy being gone all the time is temporary, that soon we'll be the close-knit family we've always been.

In four/five more months, we'll get our lives back. Summer can't come fast enough.