vendredi, avril 08, 2005

A small epiphany

We've been here for just over three months now, and when anybody asks how it's going, I tend to snarl. It's clear that I'm in stage 2 of settling in. Stage one was surprisingly easy; stage 2 is making up for it. I hate everything and everybody. I'm a maelstrom of nostalgic emotion for the life I've left behind, yet noone from London except my mother ever calls me, and here in France I have not only to make the effort to build a life for myself, but also for my children, and my husband too (he is not dissimilar to a lot of men I know, in that he takes no responsibility for his social life at all. Even when it comes to inviting his family over it's always me who suggests it. He's happy to join in, if I organise it, but never happier than when he has nothing to do but hang out with his wife and children at home. Sweet, huh? Hmm).

So when my friend Erin asked me on the phone yesterday whether I'm really nostalgic for London, whether I really wish I were still there, I surprised myself by my confidently negative response. Of course not! No way would I rather have stayed in London than come to live here. This is an adventure, noone ever said it was going to be easy. Good god, did I really say that? I've become so accustomed in the past few weeks to feeling furious that I hadn't realised until that moment that however furious I am, I am never sad. Lonely, sometimes, but not really sad. I don't even mind being lonely particularly - I never get a chance to feel it for very long because the kids come home from school and I can't feel lonely with them yelling at me - and I find it a curiously consoling state of mind. Being lonely makes you feel very close to yourself, in precisely the opposite way to how being with people can often make you feel frighteningly dislocated.