100th Post: Looking back at 3 years of blogging

Drumroll please…

This is the 100th post on this blog! I’m super impressed with myself.

I would be more impressed if it hadn’t taken me two and a half years to do it, but that’s okay. Quantity is not the goal here. (I’m not entirely sure what is the goal here, so don’t ask.)

Let’s have a look.

Continue reading “100th Post: Looking back at 3 years of blogging”

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Why Do You Blog?

My blogging philosphy is pretty simple. I can explain it with a Venn diagram.

Have time

See?

Sometimes I feel like blogging, so I do. Sometimes I have time but I don’t feel like blogging, so I do other stuff instead. I’m not a professional blogger on a schedule. It’s more fun that way. I like to write a post or two a month, but I don’t beat myself up if it doesn’t happen. I don’t need to create more sources of stress for myself! Gee whiz, as my mom would say.

(Curiously, I always get the urge to blog when I’m supposed to be doing something else, but it’s not too late to procrastinate, like when I still believe I’m going to get all my lessons planned in advance. Has that happened in the history of EVER? Um no. Sorry, Lansad students.)

I started blogging just because I wanted to. I didn’t really know why, and I felt a little stupid about it because there are SO many blogs – what could I really add to the clamor on the internet?

But I did anyway, because why not? I wanted to see if I liked writing, if I was good at it, what I would enjoy writing about, and I was surprised. I thought I would be a better writer than I am (but how will I improve if I don’t ever write anything?) and I didn’t think anyone would care about my personal musings – I thought I would focus on more useful posts about living in France. That’s all I was looking for in a blog when I was scouring the internet four years ago, preparing to move to France.

My posts can mostly be divided as follows: practical posts about teaching English and living in France, rants about France, ramblings about life, and posts on travel. The practical posts are by far the most viewed, but rants and ramblings get the most interaction. No one gives a f… that is, a fig about my travel posts but I write them anyway because I like to. I like having a virtual scrapbook of memories and photos. I can’t keep up with it in real time, but I get there sooner or later (#slowblogging). Sometimes I write a post and then I realize it’s stupid. Sometimes I publish it anyway.

A little while back, a friend made a poorly-veiled comment about my blog that pissed me off and hurt my feelings a little, and now I feel the need to defend my little corner of virtual personal internet space. None of us like being judged, especially unfairly so, and aren’t your friends the people who are supposed to, like, not do that?

Anyone who knows me knows that I am my own worst critic for everything, including things that matter and things that really, really don’t. I’m not an artful storyteller like Jodi from Legal Nomads or a word wizard like The Everywhereist (everything she writes is gold. Gold, I tell you), and I know that my photos aren’t works of art (hello, my camera is an iPhone 4s). Sometimes I read what I write and I hate my stilted writing style and annoying voice and compulsive overuse of parentheses. WHY AM I NOT ABLE TO TAKE A YOGA SCULPT CLASS AND TURN IT INTO QUOTABLE HILARITY?! (Maybe because I don’t go to yoga sculpt class. And I would never admit to peeing on myself on the internet.)

I particularly hate the introductions to any post where I make a list because they feel so contrived. I’m working on one right now but maybe I won’t publish it. I probably shouldn’t confess how much I don’t like French cheese anyway.

I don’t really stress about this stuff too much, though. I like ranting about the prefecture on my little blog, and I like when people write me nice comments (thank you!) and I kind of like posting seventy million photos because I just couldn’t narrow it down (sorry about that). I’ve been though more blog themes than I can count (the free wordpress.com kind) and I like the one I have now. I think it’s nice. You are under no obligation to agree.

I can’t remember who shared this post by The Local about Americans in France – a couple people, I think – but I couldn’t help cracking up at the description of American bloggers in France.

“You’ll find this Yankee at one of the nearest hipster cafés… Instagramming their €5 cappuccino. The title of their blog is something like “An American Girl in Paris”, “Ma Belle Vie”, or some clever wordplay of their name and a couple French words…they’ll probably also dedicate blog space to bemoaning French bureaucracy and recounting their daily expat mishaps and cultural clashes, which can be embarrassing (but cute and funny for the rest of us).”

Guilty as charged! Am I so unoriginal? I am morally opposed to €5 cappuccinos, but I would definitely, definitely take a few “artistic” shots of it. With my iPhone 4s.

Anyway, I’ll keep blogging however I want until I don’t feel like it anymore. Is that cool with you?

If you blog, why did you start? Has your blog changed over time?

Coucou! (and other French mistakes)

When I was learning French and I went to France for the first time, I thought “coucou” was a term of endearment, an affectionate diminutive, like “sweetie” or “honey.” Actually, it just means “hi there!” So… I was just flattering myself every time someone said, “Coucou C-Rose!”

(Around the same time, I pronounced “gare” to rhyme with “air” instead of rhyming with “are” or “aarrrrg!” (…the pirate noise). This means that instead of actually saying “gare” (rhymes with “aarrrrg!”) I was really saying the word “guerre” (rhymes with “air”) without realizing it. THAT means that instead of saying, “I’m going to the train station” I was really saying, “Bye-bye, I’m off to war!” Olala. I’ve come a long way.)

Gare TGV Avignon
This is “la gare.” (I don’t think we need a picture of “la guerre.”)

Anyway, that is just a long-winded introduction to say coucou… to you! I just wanted to say hi and thank you for following my blog. I started blogging just recently because I wanted to see if I would like writing, and if I did, what I would like writing about. I wanted to see if I would like blogging as much as I like reading blogs. I wanted a place to share the stories of fun, funny, and weird things that happen in France and to share my photos because sometimes I take more than Instagram can handle. My family doesn’t read it, and neither do my friends. I’m just writing because I want to. And I’m glad you’re reading!

I’m writing this from the airport in Lyon (bravo on the free wifi, Aeroport de Lyon!) because… I’m off to Barcelona! I haven’t been to Spain since I was thirteen (um.. some time ago) and I’ve never been to Barcelona or this region of Spain before. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to blog while I’m there or not, but soon I want to share more about Montpellier and tell you about a tragic encounter with French bureaucracy… when I’m ready to laugh about it.

In the meantime, salut! (“Salut” is the French version of “Aloha” minus the island cool – it means both “hi” and “bye.”) See you next time!