(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Saturday, August 16, 2008


okay, I confess to having some. Of the "what the hell am I doing all alone in a foreign country?" variety.

I imagine (boy is mine active) that this is normal. After all, I've spent huge swaths of my life alone in a not so foreign country, why would this be that much different?

And it isn't. But I guess maybe I hoped it would be.

So maybe that's it. Not only has my long-visioned quest been to live in this strange, new land. But not to do so as all alone as I've grown accustomed to being. Actually I am pretty good at being alone. I've mastered it. If this is what it is, I'll live. No pity parties necessary.


Because that is not my first choice, I have angst. That I'll be here and unable to connect. The past couple of days I've stayed in. Well except for that walk to the market. And today I'm staying in, waiting for appliance delivery.

But tomorrow I'm going out. Going to a vide-grenier. and an art exhibit at the hotel owned by Irish. And next week there are language classes. And I hereby resolve to plot outings.

For this whole thing has to be about MORE than a house. But god, I hope it also isn't about months and endless months of me knocking about alone. or complaining about said solitude. because I refuse to have regrets.


well hey, that would be a good blog title. *Knocking About Alone.* could work into something.

queue Al Green music.



Randal Graves said...

It's natural. I often prefer alone time, but even us antisocial types need some connection now and then. Hell, nous avons d'un blog, n'est-ce pas ?

I bet that once you get more comfortable speaking en français - and that's just one thing - you'll feel less alone, feel part of the fabric of life.

La Framéricaine said...

I appreciate your candor on this subject.

I've always thought that you went to France because the box got too small in America and you had to have more psychic room.

I wish you great success in creating contexts in which to plant the seeds, grow, and nurture new relationships with the people by whom you find yourself surrounded in Brantôme, le Périgord, France, and greater Europe.

The house itself is a place from which to come forth. There is so much to explore and discover. And all of it takes time--something we cut up into minute units in the States.

Hopefully, your new life will offer opportunities to deal differently and more creatively with that time.

Je ne regrette rien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Je ne regrette rien said...

I hope my post is not misconstrued. I have always cherished my independence and solitude.

I did not come to France to find a man. One reason I came though, was to find like people. One of the reasons I was alone so much in the states was the dearth of like people. And the French approach to life, what I know of it, would seem to suit me.

So, I'm just pissing and moaning a bit because I have taken a step backwards in some ways (language, par example) in order to hopefully take some leaps forward...in terms of forming new bonds and circle of friends.

One also has to remember that the folks one encounters aren't just sitting, salivating for the arrival of a new person. They have their friendships and relationships formed and it takes some time to invite and accept others.

So rationally I know and realize, all things in due time. But the blog is to express the experience. And the past few days sentiments have been tinged with a little loneliness.

In the meantime, you'll all have the dubious pleasure of 'listening' to my laments, though infrequent I promise they will be.

RG-that is what I think as well. It will definitely take some time.

LAF-exactly, the time thing again. in the states we are on high speed productivity mode, get that project done and move on. I'm not sure of the surroundings here and how I would be viewed in those terms, but I'm certain I'll find out

Diane said...

It took me about 4 months before I found some like minded folks in Scotland I clicked with enough to feel comfortable hanging out with...like with most things you just gotta give it some time and in the mean time enjoy the solitude.

After all it could be worse, you could have me living in your basement. :P

Je ne regrette rien said...

Diane-you know what a moody bitch I can be, you're too smart for that! hmmm...no WONDER I hate being alone ... bad company! lmao.

thanks for the pointers, I'm sure you are right!

Randal Graves said...

You say bitching and moaning like it's a bad thing. Who the hell wants to read post after post of "OMG LIKE LIFE IS LIKE SO PERFECT AND PERKY BARF!"

We know what you're getting at. Finding like minded people is nearly the most impossible task there is, right next to finding a stash of gold doubloons in your backyard.

If anyone has found such a thing, nevermind.

Our Juicy Life said...

of course your feeling bit out of place you are in a foreign country, you don't know many people, you don't speak the language and you have only been there for what - 1 1/2 months! What you have done is what people dream of, but it's a big change and huge change. You will find your place in Brantome and France. You have to be patient, there isn't a mass email that goes out to everyone in your village saying you are now in France, so please come and introduce yourself. Soon everyone in your village will know you and you'll branch out and meet more people and we'll be there soon, we are only 3 hours away.

Je ne regrette rien said...

RG- whew, I feel better. and you are right, who could undertake this excursion without SOME crankiness. I've done all the self-editing I could muster without exploding, so it is good to let off a piffle of steam. thanks.

OJL-what can I say, I am Type A all the way. definitely one of my shortcomings. The voices in my head keep telling me I should be doing more, I should be further along, look at the bright shiny knife...oh wait, no that WAS those OTHER voices (lmao) I keed, I keed. But I'm feeling better already, I also have posts to share on language class which started this week and is making me feel very good inside. not because my French is good or anything, but because I am DOING it. OMG-

PEOPLE - I AM DOING IT !!! I am here, IN FRANCE!!!

somebody pinch me.