Today I woke up knowing that it would be one of those days. Nothing particularly bad had to occur. The sky was even patched with blue. I had a reason to get up and get moving, and a place to be on time. But there is a certain heaviness that hangs behind each of my movements today. Even if the sun were to commence to shine, the sallow emptiness in my cheeks would likely not reflect it's brightness.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
To be certain, I have had worse. I am able to move today, to force myself to buy the bread, some cheese and chocolate (Toblerone, which I devour on the walk home). I can smile at the little girl with her mother on the tram. I can sing to myself.
There have been days that incapacitated me recently. Days where the simple act of making tea spun me into a chain reaction of memories and left me sobbing by the sink. This morning it happened. I thought of home, my last home, my no longer home, my never again home. I thought about how good it felt to drive in my car with the music cranked, singing loudly. I thought about the things I was doing for myself to improve my life that I did not appreciate at the time. I thought about the boxes of Christmas ornaments that I drove, in the Frenchman's corvette, to the Salvation Army donation banks, abandoning all of the traditions I had painstakingly put together for myself. The I Love New York mug that was left in the boxes for the new girl. I imagined my couch, my music, the pink tile in my bathroom, my cats, my cats, my cats, curled up with me while I drank a strong cup of coffee. All this in the space of thirty seconds.
I popped the top of my Stress Vitamins and took an extra dose for the day.
I have given myself a window of time for improvement. If I take care of myself, if I take my vitamins, if I go to therapy and I still am not happy after three months, I will ask my host family to shorten my contract. And probably get on drugs.
The idea of going home for Christmas had me hopeful, but there are these snags. Now it is my carte de sejour. When I went to the prefecture Monday, they told me that because my birth certificate was lacking my mother and fathers name (for reasons I don't know) I could not be given my carte. This means that I can't really leave the country until I have the new birth certificate issued and translated which might take any where from four to eight weeks. It is tempting, of course, to leave the country just so that I don't have to come back. I am that unhappy here.
But I don't want to have regrets. I don't want to leave Paris before exhausting all my resources - because I haven't tried everything yet - knowing that it might still be possible for me to really enjoy my time here. It's not forever, after all. And I will feel like I failed if I go home without trying all the tools in my box, without giving it a real shot. Surely my opinion of France will change with time, with spring with sunshine and a real routine. Those things aren't really solidified for me yet. So I wait.
My friend in Munich called to tell me that she was listening to Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer, and the young own is full of boisterous energy today. I have projects to work on, so I turn on my newly fashioned mix of the best Christmas songs ever and ignore the bleak day outside. The sun has gone into hiding, but I am thankful for my friends and family and distractions. I'll make it through this day too.