Je Suis Chaude Patate

After 2 months of courses in my Petroleum Economics and Management program in France, I had a very sad realization. I miss my job.

I don’t miss the fatigue and stress brought on by being awake for days. I don’t miss the gut wrenching feeling every time my phone rings. But I miss my job. Lately we’ve had several lectures about rig operations. Yesterday we had a lecture on wireline. Yes. In a few hours, a lecturer attempted to teach 30 students of various backgrounds what I learned in four years of practical experience with the industry leader in wireline. I wasn’t bored; I was nostalgic.

Going to class from 9-5 every day is hard for me. I miss the flexibility and my “non routine”. I miss Lynn and our two woman band, Simon’s Bender. I miss going out at night being a causal affair. I miss working and always having disposable income. I miss my kids and teaching science.

I don’t miss the food. Or the traffic. I like Paris. I feel very fortunate to have lived in Qatar and struggled with my expatriation in an extreme situation. Compared to that, Paris may as well be home.

The best way to make a place home is to get involved in the community and do the activities which you would be doing at home. I joined a crossfit gym. I paid for 6 months up front, so I’m absolutely committed. I spend my evenings with the good people at Crossfit Original Addicts in Paris. I’ve made a couple gym friends and am always happy to see them. At first I was terrified, forcing myself to go and just barely getting through the exercises. I was embarrassed to not know any French and would hide in the back and copy everyone else, hoping to go unnoticed. Occasionally I would whisper to the person next to me for clarification. I’m not shy, but new settings are always intimidating. Now, I skip into the gym and greet everyone in French. The coaches know me and teach me key words like, “toes”, “knees”, “stand”…etc. I’ve become proficient to counting to twenty. I feel energetic all the time.

It’s not Denver. It’s not Doha. It’s not Dallas. And it sure ain’t no rig. It is Paris.