Thanks to David’s dad and his generous gift of Chèque Lire, I got yet another French as a Foreign Language book at Decitre today, in an attempt to improve my faltering French since I can’t afford actual classes. The first chapter was about traveling, and more specifically, Quebec. The second chapter was about rencontres and had an excerpt from Nadja, by André Breton.
I’ve obviously taken a break from studying to type this in English, not because I wanted to, but because I couldn’t stop thinking about studying in Quebec and being a French major in college, circa 2002, when I first read Nadja. There are a few things I wish I had done differently back then – studied in Europe in addition to Quebec, for one – but I don’t regret the choices I did make.
I suppose now I’m just longing for the student life because things were so much easier then. I knew what was going to happen for the next few years and I had hope for the future. That’s not to say that I don’t have hope now, it’s just that life is different now. I’m different now. I know I will have a job for two years, but beyond that… I have no idea. I would still like to move to Quebec or at least leave France for a while, but that’s going to cost a lot of money and it’s too hard to think about the future with the current state of the economy.
Being poor has really gotten me down lately. I was poor in the US too, but now that I’m further away from friends and family in a country where prices are twice as high and salaries twice as low as what I’m used to… let’s just say it’s a never-ending challenge. It’s frustrating to be so close to foreign countries and not be able to visit them and learn about their history, culture, and especially language, firsthand. I would give anything to see the world, but instead I’m worrying about paying the taxe d’habitation. I’m not even sure yet how I’m going to afford both of my siblings’ weddings across the ocean next year. I doubt David can come with me since we can’t even afford repairs on his car right now.
My habits have changed too. I used to read so many books and study languages constantly. Now I have very little motivation or dedication to do so. Apparently I’d rather check all of my accounts and worry about paying bills than learn something new. My mind keeps wandering whenever I do try to read or study. I can’t concentrate on anything anymore (as evidenced by my blogging while I was supposed to be studying French. ::sigh::) Maybe it’s just because I’ve been out of the university mindset for two years, but I really miss being productive and accomplishing something.
I realize it’s all a matter of perspective and that there are definitely many, many people in the world in worse situations than me. I have my health, my job, my families, my apartment, my car, my boyfriend… I just wish I could feel that there is more to life than worrying about money and dealing with all of the ridiculous bills that France throws our way. And I absolutely hate having to leave David out of my family’s functions just because of a lack of money. I feel like I’m being punished, but I don’t know by whom or for what. I do feel like it will last an eternity though.