(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Monday, July 7, 2008

a new me.

In the spirit of reinvention, I dyed my hair a darker brown last night.  I figured hey,  I'm going off to a new life, a new town, a new country.  How about some new hair to go with it?!  I have a houseguest and after a couple mimosas, I went for it.

Now, most women know that timing can be everything when undertaking a dramatic change in appearance such as haircolor.  Who hasn't gotten the bright idea to dye your hair the night before a big job interview or hot first date?  *buzzer sound* not always the best move.  I had a bit of trepidation while undergoing the process last night ... would this be a bad omen? if I didn't like my hair would I also be coloring my experience in a negative way?  well, doesn't matter because the hair is okay and I am continuing to assure myself my trip will be as well.

I have to confess to some anxiety.  Questioning myself a bit as the counter clicks down.  Was I crazy? hormonal? reactionary?  If this is such a good idea, why aren't more people doing it? not to mention those that I recently encountered here that had the similar intention and have turned back from their idea.  Ruh roh.  Do they have more sense than me?  Do I need to wake up and smell the coffee?

S'okay, folks.  I'm not backing down.  I've had some major life crises through the years, and I recognize the questioning as perfectly normal.  Kind of like a sounding board.  Its the answers I give myself that are just as important as the questions.   Am I crazy? a little.  Hormonal? not yet.  Reactionary? no, this has been a long and well planned effort.  More people doing it? Its my dream, not theirs.  Those whose minds have changed? It took me 10+ years, with other starts/stops, they will come along too I believe, just in their own time.  More sense than me? no doubt!  Coffee? time for a new brand.

So, while the hair may be a new me ... I'm not counting on France as some panacea to solve all of the old Kim's issues or 'flat spots'.  

I think it will be a newly expanded me,  a growing and evolving me.  Still me.  But improved.  

Kind of like Tide.  Still a best seller.


nate said...

i think it's a fantastic idea and yr certainly not the only one considering it! i hope it doesn't take me another 8 years of consideration to act..

La Framéricaine said...

Yippee! I get to be the first to comment today!!! "Do a little dance..."

By now I'm probably no longer the first but that won't take anything away from my enthusiasm for your impending adventure!

Congratulations on the new color. It's always nice to inaugurate a new phase with a new do.

I actually have so many questions for you about your departure:

--Where are you flying out of?
--Are you going straight to Brantôme? Or are you going to stop off and decompress in Paris for a few days?
--Did your stuff arrive in good shape?

With respect to anxiety, I figure that you already did the singularly most anxiety-producing and irrevocable thing you could possibly do in life--birthing and raising offspring AND YOU DID IT TWICE! With that in mind, Mignonne, there isn't anything you can't do and do well.

The most refreshing thing about going to France will be the fact that you can lay down "being American" with a capital A and just concentrate on discovering K's inner French person.

As enriching as is culture, it is also a veritable straight-jacket of habitual behaviors. You will be able to hang yours up and watch the culture shock waves roll by. I'm excited for you!

Please blog about the blow-by-blow of what you will be doing upon arrival in France. I need some vicarious living booster shots!


Je ne regrette rien said...

NATE! yippee! I wish I had done it 8 years sooner. But I confess, still I am scared shitless. most likely that is good for my development?!

LF-hmmm. here goes:

flying out of Portland. Into Paris. Driving straight to Thiviers, collecting keys, etc. Nothing has arrived yet. :-( still lurking between UK and France. *sigh*. see this is the price one pays of consolidated shipping vs. a container of one's own.

as mentioned above, I'm a little frightened at the propspects unknown ahead. but not in a nightmarishly terrible way. just in a slightly uncomfortable way.

Our Juicy Life said...

Well...anxiety is normal, your moving to france. It's a huge change and i think most people would love to do it but couldn't. We are only going for a year and so many people ask us how, why, are we scared, wish they could..well they could, anyone can, but only some of us do.

Glad the color turned out well. That's a good sign.

No you are not crazy, not hormonal, no reactionary...your passionate, about the lovely country of France. Embrace your anxiety...turn it into excitment, because once you pick up your Renault Express and the keys and arrive in your new home you'll be living and owning a home in France. There will be plenty of excitement and probably a bit more anxiety to come, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's to be expected.

You are an organized, logical, smart and courageous woman, someone I admire and so look forward to drinking a good bottle of bordeaux with.

La Framéricaine said...



You are a much younger and more energetic woman than I. When I move to France I'm gettin' off the plane and goin' straight to the CDG Airport IBIS Hotel to take a hot shower, a Valium, and an eight hour nap. Then I'm gonna get up and take another shower, eat, and sleep again--naked--until all that cramped up flying misery is out of my mind and body. Then, and only then, I'm going to start heading for my home and people spouting off in French at me! If I don't sneak up on France, I just get sick.

That part about being scared shitless will probably dissipate rather quickly when you start engaging with your new home and your new neighborhood and neighbors. When's your first houseguest going to show up wanting a tour of town? It's summertime so you will probably have folks wanting to come visit you right away. I would love to be there with you the second or third morning for café au lait and pain au chocolat. Miam, Miam. Did you pack your Julia Child compendium?

I'm not gonna rag you about it here but one of these days you'll have to start telling us about your personal French fantasies.

I used to tell my husband that his French family was a huge pain in my ass with its 4 hour lunches right through the time I wanted to spend actualizing my own French fantasies in cafés, bars, bookstores, museums, metros, cinemas, and monuments!!! I, unlike many, did not go to France to eat, nor, Gawd forbid, cook!!! I wanted words and voices to drool on. Paintings and photos and films. Even though you have your house to put together, don't forget to create your fantasy of France because it's in your mind, not in France. You will have to give birth to it just like you did your babies. I'll be looking forward to hearing about that.

"4 bottles of beer on the wall..."

Randal Graves said...

I would've gone with the orange mohawk, but hey, that's me. That's haute couture, right?