Wednesday, 27 July 2011

avoir le démon de midi (lit: to have the midday demon): to have a midlife crisis)

So here it is my new blog! Hopefully I'll be able to keep on top of this one a little better than my other one of late but this new blog is inspired by lifestyle change and a bit of begging. Mainly from my mum.

The method behind this blogging madness is a couple of years ago I undertook a 3 week road trip in the US with my best friend Dawn and as communication with the folks back home was going to be few and far between and my dad has watched too many slasher flicks where teenagers disappear on spring break...

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I came up with the idea of doing a blog so they could follow me every step of the way without me breaking my budget by calling home every day to say I was still alive (and it was better they found out what I had been doing AFTER such incidents as me doing an ilegal U-turn on the freeway near Vegas, the crazy guy in the pickup who followed us along the PCH at Big Sur, the 2 guys who stalked me along Venice Beach offering to carry my bag for me, the fact the approach to LAX has 7 lanes of traffic and that our sat Nav died halfway through the Nevada desert.... Noooo they don't need to find out about this stuff till waaaaay after the event :) and if you are that bored that
original travel blog can be viewed here:

Little did I know my friends and colleagues would also start to follow these adventures and they actually became really popular! So much so that when a short while later I set up my own business as a personal trainer I went on to start up a fitness and lifestyle blog. Again the power of the Internet meant people as far away as the Middle East started reading about my ventures and I even got to write a couple of fitness articles for publication off the back of it. Good work. So that's how I got blogging.

So why this new blog why now?

Well recently things went a bit 180 for me and as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air would say 'my life got flipped turned upside down'. Ok ok it's not as dramatic as that but things as they inevitably do; changed. To quote the poem 'with every goodbye' (google it) learn to build all your roads on today because futures have a way of falling down mid-flight.

So what happened? Well in short; I was settled in Central London (Canary Wharf) running my own Personal Training business with my partner when it happened (as these things do) we split. Actually after repeatedly cheating on me for a year he ditched me and ran off with someone else. Hey no one said life was easy, but you'd have thought people could be a little kinder...

I had initially given up everything, my whole life as i knew it, friends, family and moved to London from Devon to be with him so....gasp shock horror what do I do now???

week 1: I moped like you wouldn't believe
Week 2: I got angry and when I get angry I get pro-active
Week 3: I started to reap the benefits of week 2

Anyway about week 2; this prompted me to get off my backside and re-evaluate. I came out of a 12 year relationship prior to meeting this guy (divorce going through at present) and horrendous as it was I survived so What were my plans previous to this person being in my life? PARIS! I had always wanted to go to Paris. Back in 2009 I successfully auditioned to be a stand in for the role of Annie Oakley in the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show at Disneyland Paris but to date nothing had come of this. Why Paris? If I'm honest, I just don't know. I am just in love with the place and always felt I belonged there.

Anyway last year I had been doing lots of research into moving out there and getting work so I dug out all my old notes (that's how serious i was) and came across a website useful for anglophones looking for work in France so I revisited it and BOOM!!! There was a job a little way down the list: "international primary school near Disneyland Paris seeks anglophones assistant teacher to teach sports and activities...."

I barely read the rest of it before my CV was winging it's way out.

I didn't think I stood much hope but hey you have to try else you will never know.

2 weeks later I was sat staring at the river Seine being watched over by Notre Dame Cathedral and trying to work out what the hell to do with my job offer. Yes that's right OFFER I only bloody got it. So here I was being offered my dream and all I could think of was that I loved London and was pretty happy there and I really loved this guy and whinge whinge whinge moan. I looked at the boats full of tourists cruising up and down the Seine cheerfully waving at me and remembered that little over 2 years ago I was one of them waving cheerfully to the people like me now chilling by the river and thinking 'lucky buggers they get to live here' the amount of times I had sat in this exact spot wishing I didn't have to leave and now here I was being given a total get out of jail free card and I was seriously thinking about how to hand it back...

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Just as I was thinking seriously you ungrateful cow listen to yourself! 2 messages appeared in my inbox. 1 was from my best friend Dawn saying to me much the same thing and telling me to stop moaning and book my f******g 1 way ticket to Paris NOW and The second message was a number I didn't recognise, it was a friend of my mums who had asked for my number so she could contact me. All it said was; "Hi Karen, my name is Sharon and I work with your mum. I just wanted to say how fantastic your job offer sounds. You are a beautiful and talented young woman so follow your heart and do what is right for you". Much nicer than Dawns message ;) Dawn was right though I was thinking it myself I mean 1. Who wouldn't generally kill for the opportunity or the freedom to take it and 2. How self centred is it when the biggest problem you are facing in life at that moment is: do I move to Paris or don't I...?!
Oh what a world. So at the age of 31 i thought que sera sera (is there a French version of this? Je ne regrette rien?!) and typed out a message which said yes I'll take the job and senT it before I could change my mind!!!

So the last couple of weeks since I took this position have been spent trying to work out what to do with the 2 year UK contract I have just taken out on my new iPhone 4 (doh!). Opening a french bank account and how to keep paying UK direct debits when being paid in euros. Trying to find somewhere to live whilst I am in London then getting a moving date so I can think about getting all my stuff sent out to France plus the whole seriously this venture is going to BANKRUPT me, but that's a minor detail haha.

So far I have to thank the amazing Zoe out in ile de France who has helped me massively to the point I now have accommodation in the form of a house share in Condé-saint-libiaire (population 1500) for bending over backwards to help me, believing i am the schools prayers answered for a dynamic new sports teacher (not much to live up to then) putting me up for the interview, welcoming me into her home when I could have been a mad axe murderer and also for letting me play with her dogs and chickens and plying me with veal, champagne and red wine the other week. she is like my anglophone angel.

Anyway the next few weeks will be crazy, I am currently in the limbo that is 'sad to go but ready to move' as I say goodbye to my awesome clients (more like best friends) and pass them over to the very capable hands of Matt which means work will be getting quieter and quieter and I'll be stuck twiddling my thumbs a lot and thinking too much. I have even packed already! Already my thoughts are turning to the fact My diet is about to change drastically (they don't get wholemeal out there, my friends are currently delighting in the thought I am about to embark in something which will see me return fat as a house, one word guys:NEVER wishful thinking on your part haha) and I will be back living in the countryside again but that is absolutely nooooo problem really looking forward to it! Most important concern though is that i won't be able to just call my family and friends whenever I feel like it so got to overcome that but hey distance is nothing!!! Already said goodbye (well a bientot!) to mum and dad and best buddy Dawn til who knows when and i realise i may not see the big bro and niece til xmas but as they say in French ce n'est pas pour toujours and I have to suivre mon coeur... What's a little distance I'm not the other side of the world exactly.

Told you I have been thinking too much!

Anyways I have been sat in Starbucks using their wireless long enough this afternoon and I am actually suprised as typed this entire thing out on Matts iPad, get me being all modern! However as I am writing this on iPad there are lots of things I would like to do the appearance of the blog that I have yet to figure out how to do on this thing yet so apologies it does look a little bleak although did find a fancy Paris background for it! Anyway enough I gotta go:

Laters x

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