I decided to start this blog because I want to share something original with the world, take the time and trouble to find my own voice, and increase my courage by putting myself out there. If you know me, you’d probably say I don’t need too much help with the last, but the truth is it is just as hard for me as it is for everyone else, except I have decided I am worth the fear of rejection, alienation, and being ignored; what I can’t and won’t stand for is wondering what if I had been my real self, all the time, how my life would have been different. I think that when you start being true to yourself, you think it’s one simple action, like dying your hair blue, changing your facebook likes to reflect your supposedly embarrassing secret preferences, or possibly the most fearsome thing, declaring your love to someone who may not be feeling it.
Now, a bit of explanation about this blog. The name, Unlost in Translation is a bit of a nod to a favorite blog, the Unlost, which defines unlost as finding oneself as opposed to being found by an external source. Since I’m a francophone (though far from a perfect French speaker and understand just how much language can distort meaning, I’m hoping you find here more than just words on a page. The goal is that the human being resides in between the lines; that life, including mine, is a work of art open to interpretation but beautiful in itself.
I picked the castle theme (actually it’s chateau in case you want to copy me) partially because it piggybacks off one of the greatest moments I’ve experienced, the early morning walk up to Carcassonne’s medieval heart on the cobblestone path taken for so many centuries before I ambled up that way. I’ve had a picture of the castle as my cover picture on Facebook (forced to get timeline, had to make the most of it) since it was such a great moment, and in hopes it will attract more such experiences and the people who will enjoy them into my world.
The reason for this blog is to share, because in a way I think that’s the meaning of life, at least for me. I thought about being a college professor for a long time and had the time of my life as a substitute teacher in America and English teacher in France. I thought about teaching as a career but decided that under the constraints educators face and given the subject matter of most interest to me, better hold off for a while. I’ve also realized that I don’t need a classroom to be a teacher, and try to share things I love all the time. This happens pretty often through my Facebook (apparently I’m a bit addicted) where I post random links. If nothing else, it provides a log of my intellectual ADD and proves exactly why I didn’t get a PhD (too many not so deep interests). I guess this blog will be a bit more of the same. Of course, it is always a bit about self discovery. As I’ve learned so far in business school, self awareness is the key to being a good leader and citizen, and I’m pretty sure all the deep old philosopher kings like Marcus Aurelius could attest to that.
I’m trying to make the intention behind this blog, and everything in my life, LOVE. That is what I believe we are called to do on this earth, especially if we profess to be Christian of any stripe, not that the same doesn’t apply to Buddhists, Hindus, etc. From an epistemological point of view(what do we actually know and how do we know it aka are we just like the Hoos in Hooville living on a flower), I think that’s one of the few things that we can be sure of. I tend to go a bit Kantian on this question and think that “the moral law within me” is the best proof of God (however it has been refuted by later philosophers) and for me, something of an extravert, that divine impulse is to share what I have, and what do I have but these thoughts of mine, really?
Along these same lines, the goal is to figure out what is truly intimate and what is sharable. Hopefully it will be an exercise in figuring out the difference between agape and erotic love. It’s been about four years since I was in a significant, serious relationship before which I was in one for about the same length of time; I’ve had to find other ways to give my love away. Sometimes I have so much to say that is intellectual and theoretical, and I want to focus my relationships more on the people I am speaking to than the theories that interest me. I don’t think I’ve really made this the case, but I do think it can’t hurt to get out the ideas in a public forum. Also, a good friend suggested that since I have some moments I would prefer to share with someone I love, it could be better to keep record of those kinds of things in a separate notebook or something until that person finds me, rather than sharing everything with the world. You see, I’m a bit of an open book, or so you might think. If I trust you, and helas random internet readers, I don’t trust everyone, I probably am, to a large extent. I try to represent myself accurately. Recently a friend told me I shouldn’t put my insecurities so much in the forefront, and so since then I’ve been trying to be less self deprecating. I do think there’s a happy balance between being confident and arrogant, though. In this blog and in life, I try to let who I am speak for itself, and there’s a huge difference between that and where I’ve been, what I’ve accomplished, what my job or lack thereof is, etc.
One thing that has become evident to me, especially in my time as a teacher, is how much of our lives revolves around the quest for love. We look for something, and someone to love- We get pets, have children, try to find our passion, buy stuff, travel, learn languages etc. We also look for love from others. I can’t tell you how evident this became to me as a substitute teacher. Though economic rationality would suggest the kindergartners should have cooperated to tie me to my chair to get infinite playtime, instead they just wanted my love and approval as individuals. This is how we are. And I am no different, of course. A blog, perhaps among the greatest exercises in self love, as in enjoying hearing your own rehashed thoughts, is also a bid for the love and acknowledgement of others. Dear readers, I need you or at least the thought of you as yet unfound beings perhaps more than you need me. I could opine about the human drive for expression, but I think that’s enough for now. To show off another fancy Greek word for love, I hope to get some koinonia, community, from this blog. As I’m working on having both roots and wings (more to come on that), it can’t hurt to maybe have a follower or two enjoying my escapades electronically. Till then, think of this blog as the late night conversations I often could wish for, but when I realize I can blog about them makes me satisfied but still yearning for something more.
On the name fillefrancofun: It is also my Twitter handle and aim screen name (not that I use it often). Feel free to stalk me and find me on twitter, if you don’t already know me please drop a line. It is a play on fille francophone (French speaking girl) I’ve changed it to francofun to insinuate I’m fun loving as well (which I am, not that you would know from this rambly blog- oo self deprecation again).
La Belle France has been a big part of my inner and outer lives so I’ll be making frequent references to my time in France and I will definitely be posting some more about that. In a way, my heart speaks in French because there is less filter there and less ability to hide behind the words than English.
PS The style of this blog will probably remain fairly rough and unedited, at least for the foreseeable future. I am a grad student after all and have other things to do. I can’t promise and don’t really want to make this a very structured exercise, it has already evolved from the mini think tank I envisioned since the main goal was to furnish some original thoughts rather than just second hand or third hand analytical insight.