Well hello blogging world! I’m still alive and I haven’t gone anywhere–which is part of the problem in a way (not that I’m alive, that’s a good thing). When I was living abroad in Spain, I blogged about my travels and living life abroad. Now that I work full time in New York City and live at home, it’s been a bit challenging to find inspiration for blog worthy material. I don’t want to abandon the blog because I enjoy writing and getting feedback from followers and fellow bloggers. But what do I blog about when I no longer live abroad, when this is what was the blog’s main focus to begin with? That’s the dilemma I’m facing and this is where I will stop boring you with my blogging conundrum. I just wanted to reassure everyone in case this was keeping you up at night.
Insomnia jokes aside, I have been thinking a lot–which is always dangerous–about my blog. I’ve blogged about Spain and France (as if the last ten posts weren’t any clear enough indication) ad nauseam. If you’ve read my “About Me” page, you know that I’m trilingual. Or at least, I claim to be trilingual. However, I’m sure there are skeptics out there who have read that page and rolled their eyes thinking, “Just another twentysomething claiming to be able to speak several languages and to be a worldly traveler. How so very… millennial.“*
(*I’m still trying to figure out if the term millennial is used as an insult or a compliment. I just recently became aware that this is the emerging word that has been used to describe my generation. Not too sure if I’m feeling it but I guess that’s beyond my control.)
You may be thinking, “Amélie, I highly doubt anybody thinks you are exaggerating the fact you speak three languages.” Well, I didn’t think so either until some friends started “endorsing” the fact I could speak French on LinkedIn. At first, I didn’t think much of it–how nice of them to vouch for me. That’s what friends are for!
Then I do what I always do–think too much. Why are my friends vouching for my French language skills all of a sudden? Is it really necessary? How many people have to endorse me before employers start to think, “Okay, it’s official, this girl REALLY DOES know how to speak French! Let’s hire her!” And what of the fact that NOBODY has endorsed my Spanish? I have my freaking MASTER’S in Spanish–how is that supposed to make me feel? Not to mention, I feel like endorsing my French is kind of overstating the obvious–like the fact that I have two legs and two arms or that I have a movie named after me (not the other way around–I was born 12 years before Audrey Tautou sauntered around Montmartre and stole her father’s garden gnome). The French language has always been a part of me and will continue to be for as long as I live–it’s very odd to see other
fellow Americans who don’t even know how to correctly pronounce Bonjour well-meaning friends “legitimizing” my claim to the French language via social media.
Therefore, I am left with no choice but to endorse myself. Once and for all, I am going to prove to the world that yes, I do speak French and that I have been bilingual since forever. And to do this, I have now the fantastic excuse to post this literary masterpiece I discovered while helping my mother clean out the attic (being the dutiful daughter that I am). This was such a mega blast from the past for me that I lay on the floor clutching the wrinkled “manuscript” in a hysterical laughing fit unable to get up, which only made it worse when my mother snatched the item from my hands and began reading it aloud.
This is probably the first story I have ever written. I was six years old, so this dates from 19 years ago. It is entirely in French. And yes, I will translate. I present to you “J’ai peur de la nuit” also know in English as “I am afraid of the dark.” Indeed, the cover is covered in brown stains and fairly wrinkled. You can barely make out the ghost on the left. These images are scanned so you may have to click on each one to get the full effect.
The interior page after the cover. And there goes my anonymity with my last name:
The story begins: In a big house, there were two girls whose names were Julie and Fleur. [They are meant to be sisters by the way, I forgot to specify this.] They were scared of the dark and always scared of noises [?]. They had heard a strange noise.
[It’s hard to see but in the corner there is a closed door and there is written Ouou! Ouou! That is the French equivalent for “Boo!”.]
The two girls were very scared to open the door to see if there was somebody there. They saw nobody behind the door [what door is this and where is it in the house?]. “Let’s go look somewhere else! I’m scared!” said Fleur. “Me too!” said Julie.
[One of the girls is carrying a candle. You can see I messed up the first attempt and didn’t bother erasing it. And through the doorway, that is meant to be a chair.]
The two [girls, I clearly remember forgetting to include this word] went into the kitchen. They saw all the pots and pans on the floor and put them on the table. The mother arrived in the kitchen. She asked, “Why aren’t you both in bed?” Fleur said, “Because we saw all the pots and pans on the floor.”
[Actually it was because you both heard a strange noise, but carry on with this illogical story. And those are pots and pans on the table, not miniature sperm.]
And now for the grand finale: All of a sudden, Fleur said, “I see the ghost!” “Me too!” said Julie. “Do you see him, Mom?” said Fleur. “I am going to throw a pot at him!” said Julie . So she threw the pot at the ghost. “Bravo!” said Fleur. The End [The ghost is saying “Au secours!” which means “Help!” I also think Fleur is clapping, applauding her sister’s bravery.]
[I don’t even know what to say about the ending. I was nearly having a seizure, I was laughing so hard when I read this.]
And there you have it LinkedIn! Physical proof that I could write in French at six years old. I do like to think my handwriting has improved (I no longer write in cursive) and that my writing style is more sophisticated. I also no longer illustrate any stories I write since my drawing abilities have not evolved beyond what you see on these pages. And yes, I was an unusual child (just look at this story’s plot!) but that is another post for another day.
If you still don’t believe that I can speak French, that is okay. I’m just going to shrug my shoulders, sigh, and say “C’est la vie.” And maybe throw a kitchen pot or two at you.