Petit à petit, l’oiseau fait son nid.

me:  i guess i’m just motivating myself to make something of substance
at this age, in my circumstance, what else can I do?
i have so much time on my hands it’s criminal
Benjamin:  yeah totally
I’m jealous you have time on your hands 
me:  i’m jealous you make a living wage and feel somewhat fulfilled in your work 
Benjamin:  haha
Sorry, Emmanuelle. I know you don’t approve of my self-deprecating tone. This blog, like me, is a work in progress: Petit à petit, l’oiseau fait son nid. This proverb is one of the many shreds of French culture that my sisters and I, and my French-American compatriots, cling to in our exile. I once heard legend of a guy, about my age, whose American mom read him Little Women when he was growing up in France. (That it always seems to be the mom who emigrates gives special significance to “maternal language”)  
The proverb about the bird building its nest little by little is appropriate for any task: learning to tie your shoes, finishing a project in school, building a life for yourself and giving it meaning. It got me through the first two tasks, so I have faith that the same strategy will help with the last one. As opposed to, I don’t know, passively wandering through life and stumbling upon Your Life’s Meaning.
I have a few projects in the works:
  • Studying/research in the Middle East, preferably North Africa. I have a soft spot for Morocco, having lived there, albeit briefly. I’m attached to my surrogate family in Rabat, and wouldn’t mind having that pied-à-terre. To be honest I’m also intimidated by the prospect of going to a place where I couldn’t use my English or French as a crutch. I’m working on that…
  • So I plan to take arabic classes at Truman college starting in March. I think the prof is Palestinian.
  • Oh yeah, and I’m looking for a job. I have yet to figure out how to reconcile my bougie travel bug and academic interests with my budding career in “community development.” I would love to find a home, at least for a few years, in an organization that knows its goals and values its staff. I’m only just learning how to navigate the code words and organizational politics: what does it mean when a prospective boss says the work pace is “chaotic?”

Lemon out.


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