It’s Time for Something Light

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A few weeks ago, during an incredibly difficult time, I looked up air fares to Paris, saw that they were cheap, and bought a flight for a week later. I am not known for making great decisions, but this one was one of my best.

I had a few goals in mind: to practice my French, to learn the Métro (the subway system), roam as many arrondissments (neighborhoods) as I could, and learn the city like I learned London: with no plan in mind and on foot, and by myself so I would be forced to ask questions, speak the language, and figure things out like a local. That is exactly what happened, and it was one of the best trips of my life. Most of my thoughts, after that trip, have been about how to get back. I dream and daydream about the streets and the cafes, the smells, the food, the lifestyle, the people, the SKIN CARE, and the beauty in all things French. My memories of France have been like a magic healing balm for my soul.

I have studied French since I was in the eighth grade and even majored in it in college. But, I wasn't fluent because I had never immersed in it, day after day. So on my 50th year, I decided that I would go to France, or a French-speaking country, as much as I possibly could and dive into the language and culture. And I also enrolled in a real French school, l'Alliance Française, in Dallas.

I am officially a committed Francophile.

After the utter nightmare disaster that my company became, after Covid, and during my graduate studies – after several years of being off the social grid, so to speak – I thought I would dip my foot back into public life and share what I was learning about mental health, specifically perfection pressure. I had the blog, the podcast, the socials – the whole setup. I was cautious, because in my former life, being public and visible was not easy. Which was why I decided the next chapter, my "Plan B," would be about studying the effects of the pressure of the expectation of perfection.  But, a personal and incredibly painful situation caused me to re-evaluate the value and damage public life for a private person can cause. As horrible as this incident was, it reminded me that I do not want to be public. I do not want to be a slave to social media and spend hours and hours watching mindless content and chasing after validation and approval, in the form of likes and "engagement." I do not want to feel like others have access to my life, even if it means that I cannot share, which, is actually something that I love to do. Sadly, the consequences of sharing and putting yourself out there can go terribly wrong, and it indeed did for me. But most of all, this situation, albeit a life lesson, reminded me that I needed to be doing something that brought me unbridled joy, not more stress or pressure. For me, that was France. It was all things French, and becoming fluent in this gorgeous language. How badly I wanted/want to be fluent and have access to a whole new world! Yes, this is my new direction.

My studies and work in mental health and clinical psychology will always be there, but that work, now, is private. What I want to share these days is my love of all things FRENCH, even if just for myself so I have a record of it. But maybe for the 5 or 10 of you out there that follow me, you might like it too. So I'm skipping over Plan C, D, and E, and going directly to Plan F.

Join me as I go on a little bit of an Eat Pray Love kind of journey, discovering this latent part of myself that longs to live in France, travel tips, travel fun, food, products, humor, and whatever else I happen to run across. Who knows, maybe one of my blogs will be about how to move to a little cottage in the lavender fields of Provence!

Avec amour,