Posts Tagged ‘dream’

Growing Up

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

As a kid, I suffered from terrible growing pains. The backs of my knees would ache and throb and at the time it seemed like the worst possible pain to have to endure. As a result, I have very long legs, but I have also come to realise that maybe my thirteen-year-old-self had it good. It turns out growing up also involves sharp stabbing pains in the heart, brain, back, stomach, etc etc…

In four days’ time it will be my birthday and I will move even further away from being “in my early 20s”. I think I will continue to claim “mid-20s” for another year but after that it is definitely “late”. Those of you who know me well will be aware of my obsession with my birthday. I live for this day, and every year as it comes along I become increasingly more and more excited as I count down towards the BIG DAY. I always try and make the day as special and cake-filled as possible; I am allowed to do whatever I want and, more importantly, eat whatever I want on my birthday. And the same rules apply for everyone else in the world on their birthday. It is the one day of the year where you can feel important and alive enough to drown yourself in chocolate cake. Hoorah!

This year, however, my birthday has managed to sneak up on me and I am currently experiencing a sensation that I have never felt before. I am not looking forward to it. Sure, I am pleased that my parents will be in town (especially seeing as ALL of my friends are leaving and going on holidays) and my mum’s cousin will be in Paris from Holland on the day, but it just doesn’t seem right. I always say that as long as there is good cake I am happy, but this year I am questioning this logic.

I think it boils down to the fact that I am scared about next year. I have been doing a lot of ‘thinking’ about ‘stuff’ lately and my plans for the future have played a significant role. Bad, bad move considering I have no idea what I am doing on a daily basis, let alone in a year’s time. So maybe it is time to stop worrying about what I am going to be doing then and focus on what I am doing now.

In four days time, I will turn 27 as a single, relatively young, Australian living in a 13th-century ex-convent building in the middle of Paris. I have great friends and a wonderful family. I am the fittest and slimmest I have ever been in my entire life and my thighs are no longer thunder-esque, they’re more just sturdy posts. I am working on creating myself a life that I love, rather than one that pays the bills and is satisfactory. I was in Italy last week, I am going to England and Poland in October and who knows where I’m going to be for Christmas. Today I am having lunch with 0ne friend and dinner with another. Last night I finally cooked myself a real dinner after three months of living on vegetable quinoa.

I wouldn’t normally spill these sorts of beans in such a public forum but I felt that I needed and wanted to. While I might be getting older, my internal wisdom says that that doesn’t mean I need to ‘become serious’ and ‘settle down’ and ‘get a real job’ because that will just reverse everything that I have done and achieved in the past few years. Instead it is about moving forward and continuing on this journey and seeing where it takes me. And I wanted a bit of an emotional rollercoaster so that when I eventually write my “My Life in Paris” book it is actually interesting. This is turning into a best seller.

I Had a Dream

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

For many people who go to a new country and learn a new language, there is a point in time when you are clearly comfortable enough with the language that you start dreaming in it. I am not a huge dreamer, and if I do dream I never remember it in the morning, so I’m not entirely sure whether or not I dream in French. I would like to say I do because I know many people who have been learning French for a much shorter period of time than me and yet they have been able to dream in French. That’s not fair.

However, last night I had a dream that was half in English and half in French AND it would make a fantastic television game show. It would have been entirely in French, however I was in it and I was stumbling along with my not-quite-perfect speaking ability. Essentially the dream involved me partaking in a competition where I had to run around a supermarket putting items into a trolley. Yes, it was essentially Supermarket Sweep, however it was in French and we were given little electronic note pads that listed an item we had to find. Once we had found it in the supermarket and put it in our trolley, the note pad then changed to show a different item which we had to find. It was great fun!

However, I was at a slight disadvantage as the other competitors were French and therefore didn’t have to translate the item they were being told to search for. However, they were both male and therefore didn’t think like a supermarket aisle, something I am particularly skilled at. So when the next item was a ‘measuring tape’, the boys had all gone to general homewares section, where as I knew it would be in the sewing department. HA HA! Winner!

Actually, I don’t know if I won because I woke up before the competition had finished. But I felt like I was doing ok. I have high hopes for coming back next week to play on for more great prizes!

Dreaming of a Midnight in Paris

Friday, August 12th, 2011

I have been meeting a lot of new people during my six months in Paris and recently, whenever I mention that I am a writer who has moved to Paris to ‘be inspired’, the person I am speaking to asks if I have seen Woody Allen’s latest film, Midnight in Paris. As I generally dislike Owen Wilson, don’t really enjoy Woody Allen’s work, and found the advertising posters for the movie to be particularly off-putting, I had avoided seeing it. However, everyone insisted that I go and see it and so Tom and I finally spent a rainy afternoon sitting in a tiny cinema, reminiscent of the Luna cinemas in Perth.

Midnight in Paris

Oh it's so awful...

Ok, I will admit it straight away – I cried at the end of the movie. Not because the movie was so amazing or the script so wonderful, but because Owen Wilson’s character was me. Someone searching for something that they can’t necessarily get but hoping that Paris will provide them with the answers. No, I haven’t gone back in time and met amazing writers from the past or fallen in love with someone from the 1920s but I do walk the streets of Paris wearing rose coloured glasses and seeing this city as the be all and end all. The main reason for my tears was that the movie painted Paris as I see it – amazing sites, beautiful people, constant excitement – and it frightens me that I am going to lose it all soon. Owen Wilson’s character arrogantly decides to “move to Paris” – although I do wonder how French immigration feel about that – and all I want to do at the moment is make that declaration myself. Luckily for Owen, visas don’t exist in the movies.

Anyhoo, the movie itself was fun and easy to watch and I didn’t completely hate Owen Wilson but I think that’s just because we suddenly had something in common. The script wasn’t bad, the plot was acceptable and Woody Allen managed to make a fairly exaggerated story line seem somewhat acceptable. It is a fairy tale for adults but who doesn’t like to escape with the fairies every now and then? Plus it was fun to play spotto with the scenes in the movie – I get a bit of an ego kick when I watch a movie set in a city like Paris and tell you exactly where they are. Owen Wilson spends a lot of time down near the bridge Pont Neuf (built by Henry III in the 1500s) and keeps walking past where I explained the history of Paris to my tour groups.

Pont Neuf

Pont Neuf in real life

Oh, and I think the reason why I managed to like Owen Wilson was because I detested his girlfriend and her family so much. Those characters were a bit excessive with their dislike of Paris and their over-the-top wealth. I found them to be more unbelievable than the characters from the past.

Living Your Paris Dream Challenge

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

I have received a few requests for Parisian dreams lived vicariously through me which is very pleasing! Please keep them coming. The more specific they are the better. Pretend I have no creative thought and need to be told exactly what to do. It’s your dream, not mine! I can’t read your mind.

So, Tom’s mum has given me a broad, though butt-kicking, challenge to do one fun thing everyday just because it is fun. No thought processes allowed. For those of you who really know me, you would be aware of my tendency to over-think things and to weigh-up pros and cons, consider what other people would think, etc etc. No more – now I am to be free and easy and jumping at any opportunity that entices me. Sounds like a plan.

So today was day one of “Jess’s Fun Times in Paris” and what fun was had! MY GOSH. I woke this morning to the delightful sound of falling rain. I thought at first it was Tom’s computer having a heart attack, but I went downstairs to investigate whether or not I had to go for a run (my morning ritual involves my alarm going off at 7.15am so that I can get up and prepare my calorie count for potential french pastries) and discovered it was raining quite hard. No run possible with that water creating slippery French pavements! That was fun thing number one: sleeping in.

Then, after breakfast, I wrote on my blog before Tom suggested a run. Dang. But I managed to run a decent length at a good speed and it started to sprinkle which added that element of “I’m running in the rain next to a canal in Paris!”

By this stage it was lunch time so a fresh baguette with cheese, rocket, tomato and nutella (not necessarily all together) was consumed and greatly enjoyed before Tom and I hoped on our Velib bikes and headed to the movie cinema to watch Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Ahhh… Johnny. How can a girl not have a good day when Johnny Depp is part of it? Yes, I am one of those girls but I also went to watch the movie because I think the Pirates series is particularly good. I found this episode to be quite well done with a good plot but a terrible casting with what’s-her-name-who-can’t-act-but-can-pout. I’m not sure how Penelope Cruz has reached the stardom that she has. Sure, she’s hot, but surely you need some sort of skill? She’s good when she’s speaking Spanish because then I can’t understand her. Good to see Geoffrey Rush again and the religious guy who falls in love with a mermaid was pretty.

On our way home, we stopped in at the bakery to buy our second baguette for the day to go with my sweet potato, carrot and chickpea soup. It was still warm, fresh from the oven and released delicious, enticing smells. This is where my official “Do something fun because it is fun” moment occurred. Normally I resist the temptation of breaking off the end of the baguette. Usually I wait until I sit down and eat my lunch and can devour the crusty tip with a dollop of nutella. But not today. I turned to Tom and said “This is my moment of fun for the day” and I ripped off the rounded baguette end with my bare hands and tore into it with my teeth. Worlds collided. Taste buds danced and I’m certain Bambi pranced down the street. The simple things in life can bring the greatest joys and a fresh baguette end eaten on a street corner outside a pharmacy is one of those simple things. Wonderful. I love France.

P.S. Not so dream like news is that I didn’t get that job. Luckily I didn’t reallllyyy want it anyway because who wants to work full time?

P.P.S. Tomorrow is Fête de la Musique in Paris where apparently the streets will be filled with free music performances. The sister of a friend (who I will immediately adopt as a friend) is visiting for the day so she timed it well. Lots to see, I suspect. A guy I went to primary and high school with is in town too so I may actually be able to show him something exciting in Paris.

Living Your Dreams

Friday, June 17th, 2011

So I have had a thought. I have been feeling a little bit ‘lost’ lately – the usual stuff of not knowing what I am doing with my life/what am I supposed to do next?/What am I actually good at?/Should I bother living in Paris if I’m not learning French blah blah blah etc etc. My parents leave Europe tomorrow lunch time and head back to Perth, meaning my backbone that I still rely heavily upon (despite my ever increasing age) will be miles away once again and harder to reach. This evening I reached a conclusion that I don’t really do anything on my own and rely on other people to guide me, to which Tom responded with “No one does anything on their own.” He has a point. Most things we do are responses to something someone else has done or follow guidelines set by someone previously. Original thought isn’t possible – it is merely an extension of someone else’s ideas. So this leads to my unoriginal but potentially fun idea which is this : I propose to live your Parisian dreams.

I am frequently told how lucky I am to be living in Paris enjoying the French life and how everyone wishes they could be in my shoes. Fair enough, they’re damn fine shoes. But at the moment I am feeling that I’m not doing a good enough job in this role of “Paris Enjoyer” and that I need some guidance. That’s where you come in. I want people who are unable to be in my position to tell me what they dream of doing in Paris and I will go and do it. I’ll then write about it on here so that you can then decide whether or not the dream is worth pursuing or if it is best to just stay home. It can be anything (within reason ie. no drugs, it has to be relatively affordable and I can’t die at any point) such as drinking cheap wine straight from the bottle while sitting next to the Seine, hiring a car and driving to the closest beach, or dancing the tango at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Bring it on. Maybe you just really want to know what is currently being exhibited at the Modern Art Museum – I’ll go for you and let you know! It’s that simple. I, of course, get to choose which dreams/challenges to undertake and have complete rights to veto any stupid ideas. Bring it on.

Me in a rain jacket

Prepared for battle.