Hi! It’s been a while…
Hope you are having a good weekend! I decided to write a little bit on my blog to let you know that I haven’t abandoned it.
I’ve been studying. Taking classes in French is really nice and at the same time stressful and so hard for me but I’m pulling through. I love that I’m being able to do this, having the opportunity to improve myself and my knowledge of the world, my culture awareness, language skills, and much more.
For a few months after my arrival, I saw myself like this dog in the picture above. It’s funny because that’s exactly how I felt. (Photo taken in Amsterdam last year.) I thought, Ok. Life brought me here, now what? what am I going to do? Where to start?
I would sit down and watch from my window… Life was happening out there, and I wondered how I would fit in. We all know that with big decisions come big changes, big challenges, and as expected, I faced many of them.
I was so lost, wondering how life would be like, in Europe… But little by little I figured out what I needed to do in order to make things work for me, to achieve my dreams and adapt myself to life in this country. My husband has always supported and helped me. That makes all the difference. He is a true blessing!
During the first year, I moved slowly, quietly, letting other people talk to me, I couldn’t say a word in French. Paying attention to the minor details: How they spoke, the clothes they wore and how they presented themselves. Do they greet one another with handshakes, kisses or no contact at all? When they talk, do they stand close or far away? What do they talk about? Do men talk to women? Do women talk to women? How do they interact with kids? Do they even talk at all, or do they rely on a lot of nonverbal communication?
Who sits down first at the table, the men or the women? Who touches their food first? Do they use the fork in the left hand and knife in the right, or the other way around? Do they use their hands? What kinds of food do they like to eat? Is the food served all at one time or in smaller courses? Do they talk with their hands at their sides or do they place them behind their back? Where do they cross the road? Do they walk or run? Are the drivers fast or slow? Do they beep their horns? I’d analyze everything like Dhani Jones. What do they wear, and when?
At the same time I wondered if people valued photography here, as they did in the United States and if things would work for me as well as they did over there. I soon found out things are completely different here, actually they don’t take as many photos and don’t share everything on social media. On Facebook 90% of the French/Swiss users are very reserved and keep their life out of the internet, which is good. But for me, it was a shock! Now I ‘kind of’ do the same. I don’t share as many photos of myself as I used to. I still do share pictures because of course, I love pictures! but it’s interesting to see the influence of the people you surround yourself with. It doesn’t mean that I love selfies any less, I still do. It’s just that, I understood that I don’t have to show every little thing I’m doing. I just enjoy my day or suffer my day, one of the two… Nobody will know. And while I watched and questioned many things that were different from what I was used to, without noticing, I changed.
Time has passed and I find myself doing things in a way that I never thought I would. Trying to speak the language perfectly and think like a French or Swiss person is very challenging as well, I need to show that I’m qualified and worthy to be hired for the job I’m expecting to be able to do, to be ready to enter the job market. In that matter, the “École d’hôtesse d’Accueil.” plays a huge part, in my preparation. It seems simple but it isn’t. Even for the girls that were born here. We’ve got to do a lot of studying. We’re really going to be earning that diploma with hard work. What I’m learning there is so valuable. It’s knowledge for life. | All my questions have been answered and many things make more sense now. There is a lot of information to process but I’m excited that in July I will be done and (God willing) with a diploma in my hands.
No matter what I do, photography will continue to be part of my life, even if I have a part time job during the week. I say to myself that it’s ok if I don’t make my living out of photography for a while, is not like I’m failing at it. I’ve been slowly making my way into a new culture. I’m opening doors, getting to know new people, that will be great for my business in the future. I’ll be doing photography on weekends and in the future I may go back to doing it full time. I’m beginning a new cycle, a new chapter. It’s a new time, a new moment for me. This is good. I’m embracing it.
That’s it my friends.
Keep coming back for more free writings like this, I promise I will keep the blog active and share more of my journey. 🙂
P.S I’m working on a Wedding we did in Paris 2 weeks ago. It was very special, I can’t wait to share a little bit here.