Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The Sky Isn’t Always Blue

One of my friends recently posted on Facebook that we could look a little more miserable in the photos we post from France.
In the lavender fields of Provence
I told her we never think to take pictures when we are miserable.
But remember, a photo is just a snapshot, just a millisecond of a person's life.
I'm not saying we are unhappy, but moving to France is not a balm for all wounds.
If you had worries where you were living before, those worries will come along to the new life, too. And maybe they will even be enhanced.

Here we were in Perpignan at the canal before we made our way down the street stopping at bars and restaurants
When we lived in the U.S., Earl and I both worked five days a week. We spent evenings and weekends together and couldn't wait for a free schedule to spend even more time together. But, we should all be careful what we wish for.
Spending every free minute together is an adjustment, no matter where you live.
I would not have wanted to attempt this new life without my partner, but if I get frustrated with something, you can guess where my barbed words land.
We argue about the same things here that we argued about in Ohio. After a fight the other day, I so longed for a friend, a long-time friend who knew us both, who knew the history of our marriage, who had listened to other arguments and seen the reconciliation afterward, to lend an ear. But the time zones and the lack of a phone, except when I'm on data, prevented me from reaching out to my U.S. friends.
Luckily, I've made friends here and could turn to someone, but the backstory was way too involved.
One of the great friends I've made in France. 
Moving to France comes with its own set of worries too.
Buying a house, buying a car, setting up a bank account, getting a visa --  all in a different language ratchets up the tension. One friend in the same boat wakes up with hives every morning. Another has nightmares that cause him to dive out of bed, taking down the men in his dreams who try to attack him. We laugh the next morning when we see new bandaids on his knee or his shin, but his nightmares are a symptom of the stress he's wrestling with. You wouldn't imagine that from the pictures posted on social media. Everyone is smiling, sipping wine, toasting.
We try to allay the added stress by enjoying the other moments of our lives.
Canoeing on the Charente
Visiting new places offers a world of opportunities. But we don't leave behind our worries and our arguments. We're still working on that.
Posing in front of the bridge in Cognac


Unknown said...

Shakespeare said, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet". An extraterrestrial clematis only smells sweet when you are with people you care about. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Paulita said...

Yes, definitely makes the trying times easier.

Sim Carter said...

I love the raw honesty of this post. Having traveled for a month with my husband, I think I can relate in some small way to what you say. Cheers and Happy Fourth of July!

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