Posts Tagged ‘La Peste’

You might blame it on the mid-20th century existentialist literature that I’m reading — in French, no less. You might blame it on the perpetually grey skies or my generally bored self or maybe just the fact that its February, and I’m from Michigan, and being as such I therefore recognize that it is currently the worst month in the Gregorian calendar year.

I’m not too certain. In fact, I’m not even certain about my current state of mind. Reading the title of this post, you might think that I’m unhappy. But I’m really not. I’m enjoying myself immensely, I’m improving my language skills and I find my educational pursuits fascinating.

Perhaps I’m a little lonely, and maybe I could fill up my waking hours with more varied things than just eating, running and cooking elaborate meals for one — sometimes two or three or even four, mind you.

But I’m feeling like I’m in a good place right now. I’m reading “La Peste” (The Plague”) by Albert Camus, a book I’ve already read in English, and it’s making me feel both French and wholeheartedly inspired.

Dr. Bernard Rieux, the heroic main character, has a lovely statement near the beginning of the book, where he decides that, despite the descending chaos of the world around him, “L’essentiel est de bien faire son meiter”, or “What’s essential is to do your own job well.” The rest will follow.

So, even though I try to live my life like that usually, I am going to use Dr. Rieux’s sentiments and help me find a greater happiness here. If I do my job — go to school, enjoy the city, live my life simply — than nothing else should bother me. And it doesn’t. And it won’t.

The last two days were pretty similar. Monday was Monday, with the media in transition lecture, a lovely, but cold run and a gathering of the dinner party gang — at my apartment, this time — for some scrumptious balsamic butter penne pasta. It was a delicious meal and a most enjoyable evening.

Also, I discovered the joy of Carrefour, the massive French supermarket chain at which I should have already been doing all of my grocery shopping. It is cheap, it’s quality is superior to many other cheap local grocery chains and they have really, really good generic brand cereal. A rather large Carrefour isn’t too far from my house, and it better believe that I will be back soon. And how.

Today was also rather simple. French class, media and politics, a chilly run, tasty omelette and baguette for dinner, followed by an evening of homework — I actually have some now! Huzzah! — and silly jazz music on the radio.

I’ve also gotten into the habit of grabbing the free newspapers in the main campus building — there are quite a few, including Le Figaro, The Financial Times, Le Monde (if you are lucky and quick), The Wall Street Journal and others. So that’s nice.

But don’t worry. I’m not unhappy. I’m not happy. I just am. Leaning more towards the happy side, of course, but mostly just pushing on forward.

Happiness is coming soon, too, I’d wager.

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