It’s weird, but good, to be back

That applies first to being back on this long-neglected blog, and being back in Paris, after my first visit back to Canada in 2.5 years, and to Vancouver in over 3.

There were some cultureshock moments, like shortly after arriving at Pearson International in Toronto.

Upon entering the ladies’, I was greeted by a sight that, 5 years ago, would probably ensured I never left Canada (or that particular bathroom) ever again.

Even the ladies' room has wifi at YYZ.

You’ve got to be kidding.

And, as if reading my mind…

Yes, even here.

OMG, they’re serious.


And mostly lots of a honest-to-goodness FACE TIME with family and friends, who seem to have remembered who we were even after five years away and who have done lots of interesting things in the interim, like spawn and buy cute houses or renovate the ones they have (looking at you, mom and dad).

I desperately want to write more about that trip (and post photos from the scary large assortment that by magic seem to be auto-saved to Dropbox), but I realize it’s simply a procrastination technique.

You see, that’s another weird thing about “being back” – in this case, being back on this blog – is that the last time I was blogging regularly I was a freaked-out expat housewife. Freaked-out because I needed to find an apartment and then a job in this city that I thought I loved but was currently finding to be one big, beautiful, eye-wateringly expensive enigma, and in the background the media wouldn’t shut up about the world economy imploding and that it was The End of Employment for All Eternity.

Fast forward 5 years. We eventually found a lovely apartment and I found a job–several in fact, much to my amazement–and re-kindled my love of Paris. I now have a safe job (read: CDI contract) managing a small team, plus the prospect of better benefits and yet more vacation in a few months thanks to a corporate acquisition. My office is literally in the heart of the city, a stone’s throw away from the haute couture houses I worshipped when I was a teenager*. I can walk to work almost entirely along the Seine and through the Tuileries park in 40 minutes!

But for too many reasons to list here, I’m itching to try freelancing – and the flexibility that goes with it. Me, a lifetime employee. Me, living in country that has an income tax policy that, while harsh for just about everybody (including, famously, Gerard Derpardieu), is particularly harsh to the self-employed.

Ok, it would be really exciting at this point to announce that I actually left that all behind me and have been running a thriving freelance biz for the past year.

Not quite. Since I am a Capricorn after all and have been addicted to some really great blogs on this sort of thing (more on that later), I’ve managed to resist quitting outright and have been testing the waters. So far, they are neither tropical warm, nor arctic cold. But i need to dip my feet in once again before I’ll know how viable this idea is.

But I couldn’t resist stopping here to say hello.

* In honour of that fashion-mad, semi-artistic teenager I was, today I wore blue leopard print tights from my “tights of the month” service to work.  I love this service (so does HerrKaa – I wear more skirts), and love as well that no one bats an eye here.