En fin. I have arrived in Switzerland. It took awhile. About a year in fact. And it’s been a helluva journey. At the beginning of last year, I didn’t know Switzerland was my destination. I just knew that my life wasn’t what I wanted it to be.
In California, I felt like I was on the Titanic. I had almost a decade of decisions and momentum behind me and I could see the iceberg, I just couldn’t turn fast enough to avoid a disaster. (How’s that for a life metaphor?)
Regardless, in February 2009, I made the decision to leave California. That decision was tough for many reasons–most of them pretty personal–too personal for my blog (if you can believe that!). It was a tough decision none-the-less. Last May, my good friend from Yellowknife came down and helped me pack up my studio and kick my butt back to Canada. (If that isn’t a good friend, I don’t know who is). We headed up to Alberta for my nephew’s graduation and my cousin’s wedding at the end of May.
I remember sitting at my Aunt’s kitchen table in Red Deer one weekend. When she asked how I was doing, I said: “I’m just surviving Auntie Ann. I am just surviving.”
And she just looked directly at me and said, rather pointedly: “It’s all a decision Jennifer. It’s all just a decision.”
And I realized it was exactly that. I wasn’t making many decisions. I had made some decisions. I even knew why I was making them. But, right then, right there in her kitchen, I realized I didn’t seem to be making the right decisions. To top it off, I was making decisions that seemed to benefit everybody around me, and none that benefited me.
I’d planned a trip to France for the month of June. I wanted some time off. Some perspective. (THAT was a decision to benefit me 🙂 )
I was expecting to visit a few friends. I was expecting to have a holiday. I was expecting to get some perspective. I was expecting to return to Canada and Alberta and maybe even the Yukon to start a new life.
I visited Normandy and the D-Day beaches with my parents. I visited a friend from when I went to University in France. And, I visited a friend and former colleague from Turin Networks. We had a lovely time that week. We visited. We connected. Day-after-day, my friend seemed to challenge me to make some real decisions. To make a plan. And execute it.
So I did.
I made a six-month plan. It took me seven months to execute. Granted, even though my goals were pretty clear, I was pretty fuzzy on the how. I had a lot of loose ends to finish (that’s a quilting reference for my mum). And I needed to finish them by myself. I still have a few things to do.
But mainly, I am here. I am back in Switzerland. My friend (now fiance) and I decided we wanted to be in each other’s lives and I needed to be here so we could start.
To my friends and family who haven’t met him yet–please meet my fiance. His name is Ludovic. He is my bear.