Sunday, 4 November 2012

Reality, check.

I have to make a good impression with that guy , I keep repeating myself before I enter the publisher's house. One week end to make a good impression. Then I'm going home in England.

Oh and how do you make a good impression again? Mmmm I don't know I never tried.

Smile and pretend you know what you re doing.
A few hours .... and a few glasses (bottles?) of french wine later
Him : Great , you can also go live with your mother, that's fine.
Me : How do you dare use this agaisnt me?

Now , how the fuck did I end up having this conversation with a total stranger ?????
A few days before , at work, in England :
'' Annabelle, we think that you need a little break from this job....'' My 2 managers/friends are looking at me like I'm on the verge of a massive breakdown .

I thought they had booked me a bed in the nearest mental hospital but they probably cancelled it when I received the news quite sanely . I was given 2 weeks notice.

Sure. I will book the bed myself then.

My name is Annabelle, I lost my job and home for the 6th time this year.

Welcome Annabelle.

Back to Tours, France, at the publisher's house
Him: You're so irrational Annabelle, How can you go live in a Thai monastry or take a single ticket to Australia alone , with no money and no plan and you are scared to be in your own country?

Me, pointing at the book : Now who's making money out of my irrationality huh ?

Annabelle 's lame argument 1- Publisher zero .

Me : I'm not going back to the start , I'm NOT fucking going back. And stop acting like you know me, you have no idea who I am .

Him : darling , you hardly write fiction.
( NB : He also works in a mental hospital he told me earlier. I feel very sane now)

Publisher 1 - Annabelle who writes as she thinks 0

Him : Why are you so scared of your own country? What's so great in your little traveler's world?

I know the answer. I'm not telling him. Only the french outside of France can understand this.

Him : You are free in France TOO.

Oh shit. How the hell does he know that. Hang on. He read my book. He bloody PUBLISHED it!
How do I ALWAYS put myself in an awkward mess?

Me, under huge threat now and feeling that lack of freedom that I can only feel in this country : '' Look , I don't know you . And I'm not going back to the start. Now leave me alone''

I did not do all this to move back to France with a fucking french man AGAIN. I failed last time. France fucking failed me.

Did I say that out loud.

Hell yeah.

Mental hospital this way.

Give me another wine, please.

Him : Have you heard of the concept of facing your fears? This is your success Annabelle , he says pointing at the book.
You take it or you leave it. But you've got to face REALITY, for once. MAKE A CHOICE. Your dream is to be a writer right? I'm offering you to come work with me here , in your own home country and work to become a writer.

Bloody french men, what do they know. ( this one? A LOT)

Breathe , Annabelle, breathe.

I did not come here to face reality , I came here to sign books , record a video , feel famous for a week end and go back to my backpackers' hostel in England looking for waitresses jobs in Canada and how to spend Christmas in Australia with another credit card .

On the plane back home to England
I started to read my own book on the plane . I ve always dreamt to do that.
Imagine me, with a silly grin openly displaying the back of the book so my neighbour sees the picture and says
'' Oh , it's you who wrote this book, wow congratulations''
And I would say
'' Oh yeah , you know it's just a book''
Hell Yeah .

I turn to my left and the guy next to me is snoring away , with not a care in the world.

Damn reality.

Coffee is coming , thank God. For a minute I forget coffee is 4 pounds ( and I only have a Euro on me) , I'm squeezed in between 2 people and I'm wearing 2 jackets to not pay for excess bagage .

Damn reality ( aka Ryan Air)

I'm back to England, the Land of the Free.

And I do feel so free here.

This morning , in the breakfast room at the hostel

I'm talking about travelling with a french guy I just met and I ve been trying to sell him my book. Let s face it : I SUCK AT SELLING.

Anyway , we start talking about important things : how free we feel outside of our own country. Like me , he lived in Australia, and away from France for years.

Bloody french we both say, always complaining and moaning, We feel so trapped there....

Travelling opens our mind and we can do whatever we want, no one cares , no one judges, no family pressure.... We become citizens of the world, nobodies...


'' Travelling can also become your prison though, if you're not careful '' he announces , obviously knowing what he was talking about.

I smile. I did too.

My Spanish friend comes with his phone on google map and tells me

'' Look , Annabelle, that's where you're going to live ! ''

REALLY? Oh shit, I always thought it was more South.

I realise, like always , that I cannot place the place where I was going to live on a map.

'' Good luck for tomorrow '' other backpackers come and hug me good bye.

'' Good luck with the French '' say all the french expats I met recently ( panicking for me)

What they really meant was , '' good luck with your freedom''

Yes, I do feel free outside of my country. I then look at my book. and wondered '' What's the point of being free if you have nothing to fight for? ''

You can either fight for other people 's dreams or.... Fight for your own.

No matter what YOUR reality is ,  you are ALWAYS free to choose...

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