On Thursday, by modern society standards I have reached a big milestone marking my first day the “other side of 40”.
I am not ready to describe how it feels, because frankly it doesn’t feel like much of anything. The only thing I feel is this urge to take a look at my life so far and I am moved to tears at the realization of how good life has been to me.
I cannot help but feel so grateful for the beauty of what surrounds me, the love of my amazing little family and the friends I have gathered through the last 4 decades of my life and who have stood by my side all this time.
Grateful for the opportunities life has opened for me right when I needed it the most, for life in general and for the very good feeling that the next 40 years are going to be lots of fun!
This is not the first time I am an expat but when I came to settle in the UK back in 2001 I had never properly settled anywhere else so it was just another place. One that I loved for sure but just another city/country. It wasn’t until I met C and his family, that we got married, bought a house and have babies that I finally felt like I had found my place, my home.
Then in August last year I left that home, happy and looking forward to new adventures but I never knew how I would tear inside and how difficult it would be to feel like an outsider everyday as you wake up. Not having the comfort of “belonging” to hang on to.
Winter was tough on me, I felt lonely and disconnected, I rejected so many things that makes the USA such an attractive place for the rest of the world. I questioned why people would want to live here, why anyone would want to leave the beauty, depth and history that Europe has to offer. I spoke with the arrogance of an expat who feels that nothing beats what she’s left behind.
It was tough and somehow it shocked me because it is so unlike me. And this country has been in my dreams for as long as I can remember. I was given the chance to make probably one of my biggest dreams a reality and yet I wasn’t happy.
They say that there are 3 phases an expat will come to face and depending on the person these phases can cover a period of 6 to 12 months.
The first one is the honeymoon period. Everything is new, we discover, we learn and we feel excited every time we discover a new aspect of living in our new country.
Then there is the rejection phase, what happened to me during winter. This is the phase when you question everything, you reject what is alien to you, you judge, you feel the burden of what you’ve lost.
And then the third and last phase, is the one when you come to accept the differences, when you make peace with the sacrifices you’ve made and when you even learn to love your new home.
For a while I doubted I would ever reach that milestone. I started worrying that I would spend years of my life yearning for a small house back in the UK while counting days. Worry that life there was better than life here and I was missing out on it. But we all know, the grass always seems greener somewhere else.
The thing is that life is not perfect wherever you are, it is what you make of it with what you have that makes it almost perfect.
Today it feels like all the knots have untied, that the jigsaw puzzle is complete, pieces have slotted into place.
The last couple of weeks the weather has been great, the gardens have sprung into amazing flowers and the warmth in the air has meant that we have spent tons of time outdoor. We have connected with our lovely neighbors and made lots of new friends. We have a summer full of plans, family visiting and friends gatherings.
We are so very lucky where we are and with what we have and I know now that our life here, for however long we are here, will be a great one. And yes there will always be things that take more time to understand or even accept, but isn’t it the same in whichever country you are, whether you were born there or not?
Here is a snapshot of April 15
We came back from Orlando last weekend and it already feels like ages ago. It was amazing! I can’t really describe fully what this holiday meant to us, but I have loved so much being away just the 4 of us, where it was warm and sunny and where entertainment was in abundance.
We have, of course, spent a lot of time in theme parks. Not being a massive fan, I have found that 4 days at Universal Studios was plenty. That’s the beauty of being so close now, we felt we could go back and do more another time and didn’t feel obliged to do EVERYTHING. So even if it doesn’t happen I don’t think any of us will feel like we are missing out.
Continue reading Florida – Easter 2015
It has been a pretty crazy last couple of months emotionally. We have all decided we didn’t like Christmas here and felt like throwing our homesickness all over the flour. One after the other. It was tough and not pretty because it is normally a lot easier when you take it in turn. There were tears and a lot of rejection for what is right now, our new home.
But then we pulled up our big pants, decided to act like troupers and made it happen.
Now on the first week of March things are brightening up. Well apart from the weather. It snowed again last night but then that seems to be a pretty normal occurrence.
The cold is far worse than the snow. It means that you live “indoors” and that also means that everything like getting ready for a dog walk turns you into a “walking sleeping bag” look alike. I am very much done with this now!
Thank goodness we have the holiday to look forward to, where I have been promised warmth, sun and flip flops.
Continue reading A well overdue update and a night at the Chicago Bulls
Tres rarement je m’exprime en francais sur mon blog, pourtant aujourd’hui ce sont mes tripes qui parlent, mes racines qui me demandent de leurs faire honneur.
La France, ma France vient d’etre touchee dans un de ses fondements les plus beaux: sa liberte d’expression. Des vies viennent d’etre enlevees a leur proches, des hommes et femmes sont morts sacrifies.
Ma France, c’est elle qui m’a donne naissance, qui m’a donne mon histoire, qui je suis, d’ou je viens.
Alors souvent elle m’exaspere, souvent je la trouve trop gatee, capricieuse, emmerdeuse, chieuse. Aujourd’hui je veux lui dire que meme si tout ca me desole parfois, je l’aime et je veux la soutenir. Je veux la serrer fort et lui dire que nous serons plus forts. Que les gens sont bons et qu’ils sont genereux et que la bonte vaincra, parce que je veux y croire, parce que les vies que le monde entier a perdu ces dernieres annees, ca ne peut pas etre pour rien!
Je suis Charlie. Aujourd’hui encore plus qu’hier!
It is not that often that I write in French on my blog, but today a force from deep within is telling to proudly write in French, to honour my roots.
One of the most precious principles of France, my France has been attacked: its freedom of speech. Precious lives have been taken away from their loved ones, men and women have been sacrificed.
France is the country that gave birth to me, made me who I am.
Ok France sometimes annoys me, I find her spoilt rotten, temperamental, always complaining. But Today I want to tell her that even if at times I am exasperated I still love her and I am here to support here, even from across a huge ocean. I want to hug her tight and tell her that love and kindness will always win because I want to believe more today than I did yesterday!
There is no denying it, this season really brings home the fact that we have separated our lives from our family, friends, traditions and what feels like home. It is tough on many levels but we knew it was going to be the case. However there is a difference between knowing it is going to happen and actually going through the emotional ride (pass on the tissues please…). We miss so many things, but this said, we do feel so blessed and lucky to have the opportunity to discover a country like the USA living in it.
So after a few viewings of Love Actually and a few boxes of tissues, we are focussing on bringing home here, since we can’t be there.
And to soak in some American traditions, yesterday night, our friends took us to see what it is really like when you really decorate your home! It turns out that my neighbours decorations are so understated, even the one with the music light show. Too bad, I was really admiring the effort but you have been trumped a thousand times by the guys who have the full stuff and even have their own radio frequency for you to tune in from the comfort of your car and admire the view…
So here you go, admire and I am sorry you are missing out on the music, but imagine “Let it go!” over and over and you are pretty much there…
Continue reading Want to see some crazy awesome Christmas lights?
This week I sent this to the various people who have subscribed to my newsletter over the years and I wanted to share this with you too…
You might have not heard from me in a while and the reason for it is that on the 31st December 2013, I took 2 hours to myself and sat in a corner of my bedroom with a notebook and colorful pens and mapped out my desires for 2014.
My life was in a weird place at the time. Everything was well BUT something was terribly missing from it. I was enjoying my family life (and still am) and I was moving along nicely with my business attracting enough interest to keep me going, but I had no vision.
I began a quest. I wanted to answer my biggest question at the time “What now?”.
This “What now?” had been torturing me for months. Never in my life before I had felt like I had no exciting plans to look forward to and yet back then that’s how I felt…
So on that day I took my journal and wrote what I wanted to feel, inspired by the Desire Map by Danielle Laporte, I loved this exercise because I wasn’t sure what I physically wanted but I knew how I wanted to feel.
I wanted Adventure, Fun and Growth. I left the message open and felt truly relieved.
On the 19th of February 2014, my husband came home to say that he was offered an opportunity to consider and that would mean moving to Chicago!
That’s where our family landed 6 months later and our lives have changed.
This was the perfect opportunity to take stock of where I was in my business and I made the decision to invest in myself and work with a mentor who helped me define what I loved about my business, what I was great at and what I wanted to do. REALLY do.
I started in business in 2008 as a Coach for mothers and worked with new mothers who were struggling to define who they were and what they wanted to be now that their life had changed so drastically with becoming a mum. I loved it!
But I was also a mum with two children under 2 myself and I needed to be kind to myself. So I slowed down and invested time and energy in the blogging world, which I loved too.
Following this, I moved my coaching and mentoring skills in training and teaching women entrepreneurs how to use social media for business, how to blog, monetize it and grow their audience. I also taught them how to use WordPress and design their own blogs to make them stand out and look professional while staying in charge and not needing a designer.
These years were amazing and I learnt so much about successfully running a profitable business. I also learnt very important lessons about myself and what I loved the most out of everything I had done.
The common thread in all of these is and has always been my passion for helping and supporting other women in achieving their dreams. I am a believer in dreams and making them happen. I know that the only thing that stops anyone from achieving their dreams is not taking consistent steps towards them and not believing enough that they can make them happen.
I want to help you achieve big results with your business and help you up your game so that you dare to dream big, believe that it is achievable and take all the right actions for you to make it real.
I make my dreams happen, it is not always easy but they generally do. That’s what I am good at and that’s what I want to help you with, if you want me to.
It is a huge challenge, but this is the answer to my “what now?” question.
So here is the bit where I tell you what I offer now.
I have decided to work one on one with a limited number of women entrepreneur in the next 4 months, to help them take their business to the next level. I have years of experience in self development, NLP, coaching, online marketing, sales and business, so I have put it all together in a 6 weeks program to allow you:
- Get the right mindset for success
- Spring clean your current business: what works, what doesn’t, what is beneficial and what isn’t.
- Take mindful actions to find and attract the right clients to your business. The ones you will love working with and who will love you in return.
- Step up your game
- Design a map for success, focussed on action and results
- Develop coping strategies to stay in the game for when the boat rocks
This program is specifically designed for you if you are a coach, consultant, an expert or a blogger wanting to expand into teaching social media.
If you feel ready to take action and make changes I want to reward you with a free Kickstart Your Success call which is 45 min we spend together and workout where you want to be, what are your major blocks and how you can start taking action right now to move forward.
If you want to book a call please visit this page to fill in the request form.
And just before you go don’t forget to go and claim your 5 Tips to start attracting more clients now! by clicking on the link.
Once again, thank you for your support throughout the years and I hope to work with you soon to allow you to live your dream life while running your dream business.
Here’s to our success and changing our world before we change the world!
As we are just entering our 3rd month here in the US I thought I should really take some time to report on the latest…
My last entry was near the end of September and that seems so long ago.
Since then, the weather has changed, the trees have lost their leaves and the squirrels have gone HUGE! No kidding, some of them could roll.
In a funny kind of way I have never felt so close to nature and to season changes than since we have moved here. Being able to watch animals prepare to hibernate and catch the glimpse of a bird of prey flying away with a “prey” still alive and squeaking, makes me feel like I could be living in the heart of the country.
I feel connected.
But then maybe it is because I am connected?
In the last few weeks I have meditated everyday. I have reviewed my plans. I have reconnected with who I am, what I want and why I want it.
I have worked with a great mentor who has managed to bring out the best out of me and who has made me make decisions which I feel will impact me for years to come.
I have spent hours in silence planning, dreaming and simply de-cluttering that part of my brain and emotions that needed it the most.
We have all been feeling a little homesick in the last few weeks. I am not sure if it is really homesick that I have been feeling personally, I think it is more nostalgic. I miss London and a bunch of rather awesome people there, but thank goodness for whatsapp and skype!
E and V are doing amazingly well at school. They seemed to be a lot more challenged here than they were in the UK and even if I started being quite worried with the amount of homework (every night for at least 20 min) they have adapted so well, I am amazed by it.
Halloween, as expected, was quite fun. They really know how to fully embrace it. Included the grumpy school bus driver was dressed up and looked even grumpier and scarier than in normal circumstances. Hats off to her!
Food has been a big issue in the last few weeks if I am being totally honest. Years of French food has spoiled me and never prepared me for what I am having to face here… I am spending hours in food aisles trying to find stuff without MSG, antibiotics, which is grass fed, not saturated in corn syrup, you name it. I have turned into an organic-meditating-hippy. Not yet a yogi but who knows…
I still love their avocados though. Avocado rule my world at the moment. Thank God for avocados!
C finally purchased the bread maker he has been pinning for for weeks. Hallelujah! He has fresh bread not made with milk or egg and I have peace.
I know I am crazy and will regret saying this at some point but I am looking forward to snow! We had our first big snow flakes on Halloween morning and it was very exciting. I will hate having said this in the heart of the Winter but let me indulge in it for now.
Thanksgiving is round the corner and giant inflatable turkeys have started to sprout in gardens, replacing pumpkins and evil clowns. I guess that the minute the turkeys deflate the giant Santas will appear and everything will turn glittery, red, gold and green.
Last but not least for now: we are finally going to have our stuff delivered on Monday! Saying that I cannot wait is an understatement.
What better way to end a week than with a pool party and watching my boy play his first
football soccer game? Great company, great food, totally amazing surroundings, delicious blueberry mojitos, getting to know new people…
I LOVE this song, oh my god I love it! It is on every radio and TV at the moment and I can’t help bouncing and shaking in tune!
This is my new get-in-the-mood-to-kick-some-ass-ninja-style song.
Thank you Taylor Swift!