Friday, July 18, 2008

Slow on the uptake

Apologies once again for my lackluster blogging display of late. The fact is, I've barely been home in Barcelona in the past month. Between the move to Paris (which is supposedly happening Sept 1, but seems to have already sort of happened, since I seem to be expected there weekly) and my regular work travels, well I think I've been home for 8 days out of the last 30.

In the meantime, I'm overwhelmed with uncertainty. We've been waiting for all of this to be official since Frenchy graduated in early May, and it didn't really become official until nearly two months later. And in fact, in my opinion, nothing is official at all, since I haven't received the slightest bit of information about how this move is going to occur, financially, logistically, time-wise... zip.

Tomorrow we are headed to San Francisco. I mean, I've been home for four whole days, so it seems like the right thing to do. No, in all seriousness, I've been asked to speak on a panel about video games and advertising for the OMMA Gaming Conference. Pretty cool, huh? While I'm there I'll round out the week with some gaming-related meetings, catch up with old friends, and then stick around the US the following week for... VACATION. It's about time! Far too long coming, which is probably contributing to my frayed nerves. Just a week, but I'll manage to see my entire family all in one go.

And that's something else I really need right about now. In the last few weeks, I've noticed I suddenly feel really far from my family. Maybe it's simply because we haven't seen as much of each other as we usually do, or maybe I'm starting to feel ready to head back to the States again. Who knows. But hopefully a week of family time will be just the ticket to help get me through the coming weeks and months of stress, lack of security, frustration, and uncertainty for which I'm fully preparing.

Next stop, my home state of California!! (And I promise that I will fill this space in with all the past month's adventures, from Finland to Belgium and everything in between, on the looooooong flight tomorrow.)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Hall & Oates

When I was 4 or 5, my favorite songs were Maneater by Hall & Oates, Our House by Madness (a song my mother still hates to this day), Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, and Every Breath You Take by The Police. In fact, I still list these among my all-time favorite songs, despite having listened to them all way too much.

Anyway, lately Hall & Oates have come back into my life in a major way. I can't explain it. That smooth cheesy goodness goes so well with the view from my living room window and the balmy Spanish heat. And then tonight I had the best idea. I told Frenchy, the next incarnation of our band should be as a HALL & OATES COVER BAND!!!

And then I had an even better thought. I know Halloween is still nearly four months away, but you can never start preparing too early. Don't you think we can pull it off?

The question is... will all the Frenchies get it? Highly dubious... Might have to celebrate Halloween in the gaytastic West Village.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Back to Normal

Today I'm feeling much better. Better than I have in a while, actually. Things are starting to fall into place, as they always seem to do. Of course there will be plenty of challenges and hurdles in the coming weeks and months, but probably nothing I haven't dealt with before. Well... okay they will be in French this time, but whatever. Details.

I've also had time to get some exercise again, which I hadn't managed much of during my hectic travels of the past couple of weeks. Nothing like a few kilometers in a swimming pool or on a road bike to get me back to my regular old happy self. And the beautiful weather here doesn't hurt a bit either. Most people are complaining that it's too hot - and it's certainly warm - but I'm reveling in it, after spending the majority of last summer south of the equator and thus in winter.

This weekend we are off to Paris again. I'm there for work all week, and we have bookend wedding weekends. Three weddings in three days in three cities ... I should make a documentary. The first is Saturday in Belgium for my old IESE teammate Juanra. Then a friend of Frenchy's gets married Sunday in Paris, and the following weekend his cousin in Strasbourg. Confused yet? Don't worry, so am I. But isn't that all part of the fun?

Freaking Out (Just A Little)

I'm not really one to admit when I have anxiety. Very few people are privy to my nerves and my concerns about the future, and the rest of my friends and acquaintances (so I've come to learn) seem to view me as someone who goes through life, carefree and without worry, landing in one adventure after the next, and laughing about it all the way. Which is true, for the most part. I do seem to get myself into an awful lot of "adventures." But that's also the way I tend to look at it... and tell others about it. One person's lost luggage (or twelve) is my "haha that'll be a funny blog post." But it's also REALLY ANNOYING sometimes.

The point is, I'm stressed. Really stressed. I admit it. It's July 1. I will be in Barcelona a total of 8 days during the month of July, and not in a row. Two months from now I am meant to be officially working in Paris. In other words, another city, another country, wherein I'm STILL a foreigner. Another language. Another work visa, another social security system, tax system, metro system, social system. Another apartment, another mobile phone, another bank account. Another way of life that isn't the one I grew up with. Another time to uproot myself and what I've come to know and start over again.

So basically, I freak out every day. Some days I freak out a lot, some days just a little. Some days people know about it, most days I keep it for myself... which probably makes it worse. Yesterday was one of those days I broke down and filled Frenchy in, and I admit I felt much better afterward. But that is one of the things that scares me the most about all of this - now there are two of us involved. It's one thing for me to move to another country, uproot myself, change everything, go with the flow. It's another thing altogether to ask someone else to do the same, particularly when they never particularly planned to go back to that country in the first place.

And so here I am. The countdown has started. After nearly three years, only two months remain in my Barcelona life. Finally, the sun is out here. It's hot. UNBEARABLY hot for most people. But I haven't complained because I'm just so delighted summer is finally here. Life is good. The city is clean, small, easy to manage and get around. I see the Mediterranean from my bedroom window. The beach is 5 minutes away on my moto... I probably won't even be able to bring my moto to France. I love my moto. Some of my old IESE friends are even moving back to town... right around the time I leave. This isn't going to be easy.

And yet every time I worry, my typical Noelle voice chimes in: "It could be worse. You could have no legs." Or "It could be worse. You could be jobless in a bad economic climate." "It could be worse. You could be forging ahead alone."

All true. And all of these things remind me of just how lucky I am. And yet, it's there... that nagging feeling that I've built a sand castle and now I'm jumping on it, mixing it all around, ruining it. That I'm taking someone along for this ridiculous ride... Someone who has been so flexible, so kind, so understanding, so supportive... What if he gets sick of all this "adventure?" So here I am at 1am, where I often find myself late at night these days. Awake. Thinking too much. Wondering how it's all going to turn out and yet knowing that in the past everything always turned out fine. One voice competes with another inside my head. And then another voice, his voice, telling me it's all going to be fine. Geez, I hope so.