I spent the past few days organizing the six rolls of films I brought with me from my stay as an au pair in France earlier this year. It took me a long time, but I have finally put them all together in one post along with thoughts and writings and explanations, and most of all a lot of feelings.END OF NOVEMBER 2010 - MIDDLE OF APRIL 2011"When something begins, you generally have no idea how it's going to end."- Meredith Grey
I remember one day when I had just arrived, I went into town together with my host mum
and had to wait for her while she had an appointment. I went into a café, had a coffee,
wrote into my notebook and tried to grasp that new, entirely french world around me.
I thought I could be doing that more often if I ever felt like I didn't know what to do because
my thoughts were chasing after me. The atmosphere in cafés is just so different from
the rest of the world out there and despite the people around me, I could concentrate
completely on myself for a moment. The truth is I never did it again during the following
four months, for there was just no need to.It's wednesday night and I miss you by my side.
It's easier to be the one who stays.that moment when others realize you’re hurt.their comforting silence is what you needed most.
Knowing where to go from here? I'm getting there.the mornings in the beginning"It was not the feeling of completeness I so needed, but the feeling of not being empty."
- Jonathan Safran Foer
When I suddenly miss everything,
I attempt imagining how I would feel if I would be home now,
before my time here is up.
And although it is hard,
I realize I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
And things are easier for a little while.
on my way back [home
Sometimes you might have to take a step back to see what you should have done.
And sometimes you get the chance to do so when you take the next step forward.
It was here, watching Grey's Anatomy and simply spending time with Zoe, that my
homesickness disappeared completely for the first time.
And it never actually came back again.feeling lost in the amount of time as a wholeThe Station
Where I spent my afternoons drinking cider black and coffee and exchanging top ten things
lists and eating muffins when someone left and just sitting around in the sun because things always
seemed to be okay when we were there. A place where I met people who were important at the
time and who I might never see again now that we're not there anymore.
Cece, who used to randomly wink at strangers.
Zoe, who left far too early.
You're lying on the couch reading that really good book, and you catch yourself thinking
how you'd like your life to be just a little like it so that you won't have to close it when
you're finished and search for the next good one. It would just continue for a while and
then change but that's okay because even good books have bad sequences.
Things are going okay and you're about to forget, forget all the pain and feelings you were
trying to get over. And then you take one step back and start thinking about someone you
met. All the people they know and what they mean to them, all the places they went and
all the things they experienced. And suddenly you realize you know nothing about them
while they still feel so familiar. And as the fear of not meaning a thing to them is eating you
up, you want to share everything.
Lisa, who I was spending so much time with that I couldn't even imagine not seeing her
every day anymore when going back home. I miss making fun of people with her who
kept telling us to “stop speaking german” because they had no idea what
we were saying. I miss buying her drinks although she'd payed for my last one and we
just took turns all the time. I miss having a midnight snack with her and writing silly notes
for her host mum after a fun night, and having laugh attacks right after waking up the
next morning because we remembered everything we did and talked about and because
we were still feeling a little drunk.
I miss having coffee and making pancakes with her, although we continually reminded
one another that we ate too much and needed to do more sports.
I miss spending my free day with her although we never managed to go up the
mountain until 12 and started complaining about how tired we were half an hour
later. I miss going boarding with her and talking about everything and nothing in the lifts.
(Our favourite pist was called Les Aiguillettes and we pronounced it wrong until a french
guy taught us how to say it correctly.)
I miss hanging around at her’s while she took care of her children, because I was too lazy to go home.
I miss texting her 5 times a day because it was incredibly important to tell each other
how annoyed we were.But most of all, I miss just having her around.
How could I ever forget about you?
Emily, who's singing with the band Beer Pressure I absolutely loved.
Anaëlle, who came into my room on the very first day at the end of november,
gave me a kiss on the cheek without having talked to me before, and made me realize
that things are going to be okay.
Charlotte, Anaëlle's best friend who lives just a few houses down the street.
Lilou, who asked me "je peux voir?" every time I took a photo with my film camera,
and every time I tried to explain that you can't see the photos right away because
they are on a film inside of the camera. It doesn't make much sense to a child, does it?On my own, I am no one. time to concentrate on myself rather than observing situations I am no longer part of
Ash, who called Serre Chevalier for us to make après ski "a little bit fucking earlier".
Lou, who drunkenly agreed to be my new best friend after Lisa had left.
Gillan, who loved us although we always wanted coffee when other things were so much
easier to make.
Joe, who wasn't pissed.
Kieran, who drove in the middle of the road instead of the wrong side "for it was safer".
A day in Briançon when my old life encountered me as my mum came to pick me up.
The very last day actually.
Françoise, who it was so easy to become good friends with in such a short period of time.
I miss sitting in a park and car with her to eat pizza, and spending so much time with her on our
days off that we didn't know what to do when we were home with our children again. I miss
going to another pub with her just because the drinks were cheaper, and the silly things we did.
I miss making jokes with her because she is one of the wittiest people I have ever met. I just miss
seeing her every free minute during my last weeks in France.
Tom, who was the only one who didn't wear his own hat at the end of the night, and who still
went swimming in a hotel pool with us.this was the first winter that wasn't dark