Takes longer to do things here than it does in the U.S. I once was a pro at speediness and at doing many things at once, but I don’t do that anymore. I have slowed down a lot, and am surprised. It’s because I am no match for French culture, or a society that appropriately takes its time: These things are ultimately important – effort is spent here. These things are not – they will be done when I am able. These determinations are made across the board when doing business, but not with personal relationships or friendly communication, which are replied to in a U.S. amount of time, if not even more promptly. I haven’t figured out what it means when someone doesn’t get back to you at all. I’m chalking it up to a faux pas on my part; I just wish I knew what it was that I did, so I don’t do it again.
Hard to find work. Like way, way harder than I thought it would be. Unemployment is high, but I was confident that I would find something, anything, that would add a little comfort to the budget. I’m realizing that I most likely need to devote more time to the process. I’m motivated to succeed.
I do have a couple of small jobs on the table at the moment: 1) Tutoring a teenager who wants to improve her English, 2) Working with a school in Paris on hiring strategy, 3) Teaching a writing class in Cupertino. Alas, #3 is why I am returning to the Bay Area for the month. #2 doesn’t feel like it will pan out, but I am getting experience working in a start-up environment, which for me is super–different than a county office or district, and #1 is coffee/pizza money. The local search gets put on hold until I get back, and then I can throw myself into it again. I have joined up with the unemployment office, Pôle Emploi, for the job alerts, and have also been looking into consulting work, or airline work in the States – something I could fly back and forth for, or something I can do from a distance.
I have a mantra that I say to myself a couple of times every day: “Stay confident. Trust the process.” I am. I will.