Photo taken on December 16, 2010 in the 19th, Ave Jean Jaurès
Yeah, it is supposed to say “Brasserie,” but the “Br” part of the lights wasn’t working. No, this was not Photoshopped. It really appeared this way. When I saw it, I laughed, and HAD to take a photo.
Somehow, it is appropriate for this post. 🙂
Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get back up. Chinese Proverb
I have not failed. I‘ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Thomas Alva Edison
Get back on the horse that bucked you. American Proverb (no link, except this one — how to REALLY get back on a horse that’s bucked you)
First off, let me get a couple of things set “out there.”
This post is not a way to fish for compliments or appeal for pity. I have seen too many accusations and/or criticism online of how bloggers can be a whiny, self-absorbed lot, and I am not even going to pretend that this blog is so important that life for myself or for others would somehow not go on if I quit it. I’m not THAT messed up. So I’d like to ask you to just read this post with an open mind and maybe think about similar situations in which you’ve been. If you have any comments or thoughts along those lines, cool. I welcome them.
Next, yeah, I have been really down in the month of January. The worst part of it is that the things that happened in January, as I wrote to Andi of Misadventures With Andi in a note the other day, have to be kept to myself:
“…several things happened in January about which I can’t write — stuff that infringes on other people’s privacy as well as tricky things about my personal situation, too. But of course, I can think of nothing else. Me, who usually wants to be as honest as possible without crossing those lines of privacy, is stuck for words as a result. It’s all that’s on my mind, and it is really hard to blog about “Paris stuff” when there is life stuff going on, you know?”
Together with a shitty early January there was the Motherboard Meltdown that finally occurred a little after midway through the month. We knew it was something that would eventually arrive. With “overclocking” errors and difficult computer start-ups for months, it was inevitable that it would occur. I guess we are lucky that there was no actual fire, something I hear can happen! We lost all our stuff on the C: drive, but good news is that the most important things to me were backed up in other places. Sure, there are some things that were lost, but nothing truly irreplaceable. That I know of. 😉
But, being prevented technologically from writing as well as spiritually/mentally backed up about what in the hell TO write has left me sitting in the dirt, feeling sorry for myself, and playing at a bit of “sour grapes” about the whole blogging thing. The conversation in my head went something like this:
“Well if I can’t write about with honesty what has been going on with me, and I can’t write on my blog because I don’t have a frakin’ computer to write with, then to HELL with it all! Who needs it, anyway?”
There were a whole lot of other ornery thoughts that were going through my mind about the whole “blogging thing,” too. It was not nice stuff.
So, I have been really and truly thinking about setting aside this blog and not writing on it anymore. I’m sure that has happened to every blogger who has been at it for a while, and for a variety of reasons. Some decide that’s exactly what they need to do: stop. Others take a break, and a few weeks or months down the road, return to writing when the muse hits them with an idea (now I am picturing Greek Goddesses with baseball bats). Still others work around in their minds how to get back up on that horse and ride, and just get back to posting.
I’m trying for the latter. I’m working on the principle “fake it ‘til you make it” and composing a post in Google Docs today, something that has taken me all frakin’ day to do. (I’ve been watching Season One of “Battlestar Galactica,” haha. For those of you not in the “know,” see FRAK). I’ve hemmed and hawed, piddled on Facebook and Twitter, bleached all the mold in the shower, given myself an allergy attack as a result, made multiple cups of Lady Grey (Gray?) tea, gone to the bathroom numerous times as a result, and now I am finally in the ninth paragraph, with a word count of about 600 words so far.
As it goes in the 1995 French movie La Haine, one of my favorites, and this one of my most favorite things I can say in French: “Jusqu’ici, tout va bien.” So far, so good.
Our computer was repaired this past weekend. Our trusty, techie downstairs neighbor and friend, David, helped us get it back up and running again. With being connected to my online community once more, it made me think further about my blog and what I want to do with it. With everything working again, it’s a more pressing matter to me, and I realized I want to address where my head is at with the blog. I also want to give some “shout outs” to people who have given me very good food for thought as to whether or not to keep up the blogging, and prompting me to realize this blog is indeed something I want to continue, though it might need some reinvention in approach/theme/content for me to feel energized in continuing it.
First goes to MJ, the American Mom in Paris, with whom I had coffee on Tuesday morning. I was talking about some of the stuff I’m addressing in this blog, and she commented to me about the incredibly loyal and special following I have here. I got all mushy inside, and thought, “Why yes, I do have a very loyal following.” In fact, many of those loyal followers took the time to comment on the previous blog I wrote, the one about the computer meltdown, and they had very nice and very uplifting things to say.
I also got kind notes from people who were sending good thoughts for a quickly repaired computer: an old and wonderful college friend with whom I’ve reconnected via Facebook (yet another nice reunion!) wrote to me, I had an email from the aforementioned Andi inquiring on how things were going, and I had notes and Facebook wall posts from my blogging friends of long ago in other blogiverses far, far away. Too many people have made me feel cared about in the past several weeks.
Then today, I saw this photo from Virginia of Paris Through My Lens. The photo was taken on the evening of January 10, 2011, which was one of the most fun evenings I have had since coming to Paris. I love Paul and me in that photo (Paul is the dude on my left. Both of us are in the upper right of the photo. No, I don’t think you are unobservant and can’t figure it out, lol, I just thought there may be a new visitor here that may not know what Paul and I look like. Okay, maybe I am writing that out for the grossly unobservant amongst us, hahaha! No offense to you observant folks, though). I view it with bittersweetness, however, for January 11 quickly became one of the worst days I have had in Paris, in fact probably one of the Top 10 worst in my life. And it involves the shit about which I cannot write and so that’s all I am gonna say about that. But I look at that photo and it makes me cry, for good reasons and bad ones. It’s an awesome photo. A commemorative one for me.
What I realized with seeing the photo is this:
“I can DO this. I can get back up and write on this blog. It’s okay if I have to keep some important and life-shifting things to myself — all I need to do is write about the fact that’s what I need to do, and people will get it. Or at least the ones who really are kind and understanding people will get it.”
I have come to realize today that I want to do this. I still have some doubts about it, doubts about where to go from here on this blog (more on that in another post, perhaps), doubts about its value in my life, but I know I want to keep up the connections I have made in the Paris blogging community. I know I want to be that voice for people who are interested about Parisian life from my perspective, or those who are looking for a little vicarious living to brighten up their day.
So there you go. Back to the blog.
Project: Happily Ever After
I also wanted to mention that back in late December/early January, I received a preview copy of a book to review from author Alisa Bowman. Her site (and book title) is Project: Happily Ever After (Saving Your Marriage When the Fairytale Falters). I read the book, started making notes on it, and was planning on posting a review of the book before mid-January. Life interfered with doing so, something which Alisa was very gracious about. I’m still planning on writing about my thoughts on the book for it’s really well-written and enlightening on its topic, something I know a little about from having been in two of them, now approaching a third: marriage.
I wanted to at least mention the book in this post because Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I think this could be a terrific Valentine’s Day gift for a friend or loved one who is struggling in a marriage relationship and is wondering whether or not to end it. It’s the true story of how Alisa went from wishful thinking of planning her husband’s funeral (the relationship felt so bad to her, she was wishing that her husband would drop dead), to the joyful renewal of the feelings they had for one another at the beginning, when they fell in love and decided to get married in the first place. It’s a story full of hope, and one I’d like to share my thoughts about in a post in the very near future. With V-Day just a few short days away, however, I thought I would bring up the book now, so that if you are interested, you can go and check the website out, or go straight to your local bookseller or here on Amazon.com and get a copy. If you or someone you know is in need of information on how to save a marriage, or needs to figure out whether his or her marriage can be saved, this book is definitely worth checking out! In fact, I would venture to say that even if you have a great marriage, this book provides information on how to keep it that way.
Okay. That’s it for now. More soon, I hope. I also hope you all are well and enjoying February in your neck of the woods.
(an alien parisienne)