Gary has been offered a global position with Ipsos n Paris. A three year posting “à Paris” and we’re going to accept it!
There have been a few people who want to know why we would even consider making this type of move. Although some of these individuals have been quite a bit older than us, the list also includes a few of our friends and family. While I love and respect most of these people, I know that they simply can’t imagine turning their current lives on end for an uncertain future in a foreign country, even if it is Paris. In fact, I’ve had quite a few people ask me if I mean Paris ONTARIO or Paris FRANCE. Serioulsy? Has anyone ever actually moved by choice to Paris ONTARIO? I’ve been tempted to say yes, Ontario just to see the reaction!
However, in general, the reaction of these sketics has had me thinking about “change” over the last little while. I seem to thrive on change. It terrifies me yet, at the same time, it excites me – kind of like dropping into the halfpipe on my snowboard. I know there have been many books written about change, what it means and, more importantly, how to deal with it on both personal and professional levels. While I’ve read a few of these books the only one that has really stuck with me is by Pema Chodron – “The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times”. I appreciate the basic premise of this book: when shit happens you have a choice how to react and how to deal with it. YOU decide. At the same time, the choices we make are often rooted in decisions of the past and grounded in the fear of change and the unknown. The first time I read this book it hit me: fear should not be the main factor guiding my decisions. It should not deter me from trying something new or different. It should not have power over me, except perhaps with some of the more risky activities I have participated in with the Babes where a healthy dose of fear may have actually saved me from myself (aka downhill mountain biking but that’s a story for another time).
It also fascinates me that the fear is all in my head. I mean both literally and figuratively. I know this because many of my friends and family don’t think that I ever get afraid. No one else can see it in my head. No one else can feel it the same way I do, especially in the middle of the night. My fear belongs to me alone and I can choose to let it rule my thoughts and behaviour or I can push it to the side and see what happens.
After reading Pema’s book a number of years ago I decided that, for me, being afraid would no longer be a good enough reason not to try. And that’s been my mantra ever since. If I do ever start to lean into the fear and let it take over I’m thankful that I have my ‘Bad Idea Sock Monkey’ to consult who can shove the fear aside for me and bounce up and down saying “wheeeeeeee let’s go do this and see what happens!” (okay, I don’t actually have a talking sock monkey but if he pops out of his box then I know that whatever I’ve been thinking about is a ‘GO’! ).
So, if you ask me if I’m afraid of this move, of the unknown, of the foreign-ness of it all the answer is, of course, “yes” but, on the advice of my Sock Monkey I also say: “Bring it on!”