He nodded again and smiled. "So you'll think about it," he decided. "I think you'd be great - it's a very good role for you and I do want to keep you on the team - but it would mean spending considerable time in Paris."
I've been looking at my photos from Paris, taken nearly a year ago when I spent the first weeks of my 32nd year flitting about western Europe. Despite my mad crush on London, shivering memories of Stockholm and admiration for Barcelona, Paris was the most compelling place I've been. Drenched in beauty, undeniably dramatic - I am enchanted with the very idea of having a flat there. Wandering the streets, eating the food, watching the people.
I want the job - Adam is correct in his assessment that I'd be quite good at it for it plays to all my strengths and removes exposure to a couple of my known weaknesses. I'd expand my visibility and learn important skills.
"It's very appealing," I concluded my conversation with my boss.
- Chienne and Sprout couldn't go.
- I love where I live - proximity to family, this pretty house, my easy commute and treasured routine.
- I don't speak French.
- I'm not very fancy - I doubt I'd fit in well in Paris.
- There are a lot of unknowns - it'd be crazy-stressful to make the transition to living abroad.
- I'm not sure I could even find guacamole there. Doesn't seem very French.
"I'm open to various arrangements," Adam replied to my question of how it would be structured. "Let's say you go there for six months and get to know the teams very well. Get exposed to the role and learn what you need to know. Then you'd come back here - same house, same office, same team - and visit Europe frequently."
I could buy art. And shoes! Drink fabulous wine. Explore the countryside. Take photos and have adventures.
Hang said art and wear said shoes, casually offering replies to compliments that, "Oh, these? I picked them up when I lived in Paris." The very thought makes me want to twirl in delight.
I think also of the access to the rest of Europe. Weekends in Italy or Spain or Greece. Taking trains and soaking in culture. Developing a more global view of work and life and love.
I'm young - well, relatively. I'm talented but grow self-destructive when I feel bored or trapped. I crave beauty and power and risk even as I shy from all of them. And think of the quality blog posts! Of all that I'd learn and experience and think about!
Hold on, though - No
- What if something happened to my parents?
- What if something happened to me? I grew ill with depression while separated from all that is familiar and comforting? I'm not great with change - it takes time for me to adjust and wriggle into comfort again and that transition can send me into spirals of despair.
- Something Bad Could Happen! I know not what, but it could be Bad.
- I need stability and routine and comfort. Craving beauty and power and risk is one thing, but it must be balanced against the vital environmental traits.
- I would be scared.
"When would this happen?" I asked and Adam shrugged.
"July?" he guessed and my stomach flipped with excitement and clenched with apprehension. I patted my tummy sympathetically as I felt myself grow a little sick.
"I don't know," I finally said. "I'll obviously consider it."
I find it very appealing. But I'm not sure how realistic it would be to actually do it.