Anyway, I know you’ve probably all but lost sleep over the terrible cliffhanger I left you with in early February. But at last the wait is over, as I can finally reveal (drumroll, crescendo: ) that I chose the terribly paid but interesting 6 months contract over a permanent and better paid, but not so interesting job. That’s it for the nutshell version.
The real-life version involved hopes, plans and tears, suspense and twists, but the funny thing is that in a few years, no-one, not even I, will remember the high drama.
And over a month ago now, I started working in communication for the international relations department of a local university. It has been a weird experience: Not working in English for the first time ever, learning about the subtle codes of the French workplace, and about University life in the 21st century.
Learning to forego anything not strictly falling within the Essentials category has also got its challenges, since Essentials do not include flowers, haircuts, new clothes or eating out. So I go around slightly dishevelled, wearing my last two pairs of still smart-looking trousers. But overall, it’s been nice: Work is fairly relaxed, my colleagues are friendly, and I like what I do.
All good then? Mmmwell, not quite…. And not quite involves old fears coming back to haunt me, as Mr Xmas and I talk about moving in together and plans for the future.
Gradually, my one-day-out-of-the-blue-he’s-gonna-leave-me-like-the-others-did radar has gone into overdrive. I scrutinise Mr Xmas’ face, and every word, finding warning signs everywhere in a nasty kind of PTSD-like fashion.
After many months of relative peace and security, it feels like being thrown back in time. Makes me want to howl and hide…
This song by Belgian singer Jacques Brel has been in my head a lot, recently. It came out in 1977, but (like me, ahem…) hasn’t got a wrinkle: It talks about a strange collection of things, which somehow manages to evoke our universal struggles with broken hearts, the passing of time, and friendship. I love it. So here’s to you, my online friends…
Jacques Brel – Voir un ami pleurer (English subtitles on the video)