Posts Tagged ‘Future’

In The Beginning There Was Zaum…

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Today is Tuesday. It is the eleventh day of September in the year 2012. It is my Uncle’s birthday and yesterday it was my mother’s. Ten days ago I turned 27 and I am 354 days away from being 28. Today I decided enough is enough and I am taking my head out of the clouds and putting my butt into gear and I am going to make my business, Zaum, what I originally intended it to be. Something amazing.

When I first set up Zaum I had high hopes of completely transforming my life, quitting my steady university job and starting something on my own. I did it to some extent and if I hadn’t decided to go out on my own maybe I wouldn’t be sitting in my apartment in Paris writing this. Perhaps I would have eventually moved up to a more senior marketing role, received a pay increase and taken four weeks of annual leave every year.

I certainly wouldn’t have spent 2010 wondering what the hell I had just done. I wouldn’t have worked at UWA two days a week and I therefore wouldn’t have been able to get an apartment in a residency located in a 13th century convent. I wouldn’t have moved to Paris and I wouldn’t have eaten this:

Caramel tart

One of many cakes I have tried.

I wouldn’t have made friends with crazy italians, mad scientists or staple-artists, and I wouldn’t know the joy of running through Paris at 7.30am and feeling like I have the entire city to myself.

Basically, today I have come to a realisation that while I have in no way wasted my last year and a half in Paris, I think it is time for me to move on the Phase Two: Zaum in Paris. Before it was just Jess – now Zaum has come to stay and is going to blossom over the next few months into something wonderful. To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure what that is, but in the last five hours much brainstorming, butcher’s paper and black pen action has occurred and things are moving.

The reason why I am writing this is to spread the word in the hope that everyone reading this will support me. I know that I am not one to push myself along and am generally inclined to suggest I give up now and get a “real” job. ARG!!! So I am asking you all to kick me, slap me or throw buckets of cold water on me if I start to turn away from this.

I currently feel like a boxer preparing to enter the ring – I even want to jump up and down with my fists held up in front of my body, ready to take the first swing. Bring it on! Zaum is ready to rrruuummmmbbbbblllleeeeeee!!!

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.

Family Times

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

The past few months have been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. I have discovered that ending a long-term relationship really is as painful as it seems in those romantic comedy movies, and that working out what you want to do with your life is extraordinarily difficult. However, amongst all of that turbulence I have also experienced a phenomenal stability that I think people sometimes take for granted. Through attending my third-cousin’s wedding in Paris and returning home to Perth for my Grandma’s 90th birthday, I have realised the joy that is family.

At first my return to Perth felt a bit like a roadblock – I was pushing hard to move onwards and upwards with my life and going to Australia seemed like a step backwards. As it turned out, what I really needed were some hugs from my mum and dad and to spend time with my extended family. With 22 of us heading down to Bunker Bay, staying in rather luxurious accommodation, eating great food and spending so much time together, it made me realise that no matter what happens in my life and how down or lost I feel, my family is always going to support me and give me hugs when I need them. And seeing my Grandma smiling and laughing with her half-brother from Holland and all of her 13 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren around her, it was so wonderful to realise the important things in life.

Bunker Bay sunrise

We woke up with the sun and an early morning swim in the ocean at Bunker Bay

So now I am back in Paris, revitalised from my 2-degree dips in the Indian ocean and inhaling fresh Australian air, ready to take on whatever new paths lie ahead of me. I am hoping these all involve a lot of food, good friends and exciting adventures. Allez-y, France! Je vous attend.

Crêpe and Sacre Coeur

Return-to-Paris ritual completed.

The Future

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Recently I had developed a dream-like world which I was quite certain would exist for me next year. I was going to extend my stay at Les Récollets and simply hop-skip-and-jump between France and non-schengen zone countries to avoid returning to Australia and applying for a new visa. Unfortunately, in the last few days, reality has hit.

It appears the “Schengen Zone” doesn’t want visitors, or people like myself who think they can avoid paper work by country-hopping. They have set a stupid rule that says you can only stay within the Schengen zone (an area of about 15 European countries who have formed a pact to keep the foreigners out) for a total of 90 days within a six month period. This would mean I would have to go to England or Switzerland for three whole months, which a. I can’t afford and b. I don’t want to do. Here lies Problem Number One.

Problem Number Two for my achieving my dreams for next year is that I am not allowed to extend my stay at Les Récollets. Dang. It turns out that a lot of people want to come and stay here (fair enough) and they have already been turned away and put on a waiting list. Basically, if I am allowed to stay here then I would be jumping the queue and really I shouldn’t even be staying here in the first place.

So there we are. My first reaction to all of this news was to break down and declare that my world was over. I then went for a jog, drank some wine, and slept on it and I have since realised there is potential in these new developments.

Potential Number One: It looks like I will have to go back to Australia (I’ll get to use my return ticket after all!) and apply for a new Visa. I am currently trying to find SOMEONE who can tell me if I can apply for a long stay visa in France. No one seems to know or be willing to divulge such information. I wouldn’t mind going back to Australia for February as that would mean I would get to see a REAL SUMMER instead of the rubbish summer Paris put on for me and I could go to a REAL BEACH. Plus I would have to then fly to Sydney to apply for my visa, allowing me to visit my best friend AND I’d be around for another friend’s wedding. So it ain’t all bad. Oh, and I could eat some of my mum’s cooking. Go chicken and asparagus!

Potential Number Two: We would get to live somewhere new. We haven’t entirely decided if we’ll stay in Paris and just try and find an apartment (a scary adventure in itself) or if we will change countries. I am still voting for staying in Paris as I’m not finished with this city and I haven’t written my award winning book yet, but this turn of events has made for a much more interesting spin in my epic tale! Other options include Germany or Holland. I have to say I love the Germans as they are already winning in the “Come and live here!” competition. I can apply for a travel work visa for Germany in France! I could even go to Germany and apply there! That’s amazing. But then I couldn’t go swimming at the beach. And I’d have to learn German. And I’d get fat from eating sausages and drinking beer.

Anyway, that’s how it is at the moment. Lots to think about. I am sad that I am going to be leaving the residency as I have made so many friends through it, however it won’t be far away and I know I’ll be allowed to come to all of the parties. I hope to find an apartment somewhere nearby as I really love living in this area. So much to see and do. But there’s a lot more of Paris to explore. Let the new adventures begin.