Monday, February 11, 2008


I've received many queries about my new job, my house hunting. I feel I've been neglecting this blog. But the truth is, as I look at the blank page I find I'm empty. As I read another blog that I may find moving, I'm at a loss for words to comment or react. I feel mute and shy suddenly. I fell overwhelmed by my own past abundance of thoughts. I feel like a stranger.
I've been ill. I started with a nasty flu two weeks ago that is still hanging on to this day. I live at a very high altitude, and this makes any kind of shortness of breath that much harder. Isn't poignant that my loss for words is accompanied by my very real loss of breath? Isn't that rich?
I started a new job. This new job has been surprisingly easy. The truth is that my real job as a translator is much harder than anything I have seen thus far on the outside. Being my own boss, managing my own time, placing a monetary value on what I do, knowing that any single mistake could cost me, trying to get my impossibly late and tightwad Italian clients to pay, closing the door to my office when I'm not working, even only in a symbolic sense, are all so much harder. Suddenly I'm complimented daily on my efficiency and organization, which in truth to me is no effort. I am running my own tiny office and really have no supervision as long as things get done. And I get this wonderful thing, a paycheck, every two weeks. I am still translating, but I am working only for my favorite clients. Not bad at all.
We are house hunting. The excitement over house hunting is in a neck and neck race with our anxiety over coming up with the down payment. Patience is not one of my virtues and never has been. And the four of us have been living in such tight quarters for so long that the dream of a house on the hillside is so big, so tantalizing, that I am constantly reining myself in. It will happen, but not soon enough for me.
My mother and sister in law are arriving for a visit on Friday... Did you hear that? Did you hear the cannonball that I just dropped through the floor? Enough said. I promise to try and write about that in a coherent fashion, but for now I am steadfastly refusing to think about it.
So that's it. The secrets I cannot seem to write about. The blender in my head.


Tandy said...

You are so very brave, Jennifer. Sharing what's on your mind with the rest of us, when you haven't quite finished processing it yourself is not easy. Hopefully, the process of writing some of your thoughts may in fact help you crystallise what you really think or feel. I know it does for me (I don't have a blog, but I keep a sporadic diary). I guess I had not realised that your current living -quarters were quite small. You've shown us pictures of the snow and the breathtaking landscapes, so I imagined that space was in abundance. It's hard to have visitors (especially in-laws?) in cramped conditions (I live in a one-bedroom flat with my husband in London -- I know what I'm talking about!). Funny, I know what you mean about your work: I used to work free-lance, teaching English to executives in French companies. I was only paid per hour I taught; no holiday pay, no salary when I was sick... I have worked in an office, in London, for the past 7 years. I agree with you that the security of the monthly pay-cheque is quite something else (but I miss the relative freedom I had when I was making my own appointments). Sorry if I'm rambling, but I was really touched by your post today. Good luck with it all -- house-hunting, the visitors, the job. You seem so strong and courageous, I'm sure everything will work out just fine.
Best wishes.

anno said...

It's good to hear from you, friend -- I've been thinking about you. I hope you are fully recovered soon and ready to navigate the churning waters in front of you.

Jennifer said...

I hope you are feeling better soon. Especially considering the upcoming visit. You will need all your strength for that!

How long are they staying?

Fourier Analyst said...

There have been times lately when I could not even write my to-do list!! And this would come after a night of broken sleep where I have written dozens of things to put down on the list in my head, but then when I finally have pen and paper -- zip!!
Sometimes in order to even be able to write a list, I find I have to focus, and lately my life allows very little time for that. We Moms in our multiplex modes are always switching gears and starting or working on different tasks, but rarely really finishing anything or when we do we have not time to enjoy our accomplishments. It sounds like you are in that place. You are so busy that you don't even realize how much you have accomplished. Darlin' you have survived a move, changed languages and cultures, not to mention time zones and altitudes, and your family and your marriage are still intact! You have integrated your kids into a new school system, have navigated your life in an entirely new social environment, and started yourself on a new career path! Now you are on the road to finding yourself a nest and afterwards will be busy making the place your own. In the meantime there have been family obligations, joys and sadnesses, stresses and strains and frictions. And you, as the center of this chaotic you-niverse, are pulled at in all directions in all dimensions. And here you are fretting about not being able to continue astounding the blog world with your insights! RELAX!! We still love you and will be here to absorb all your wonderful thoughts, when you are ready to share them. In the meantime go find yourself and give yourself and hug from all your loyal readers!! And get better soon!

jennifer said...

Fourier Analyst-
I just cried