The email was there. Sitting in my inbox, the letters in bold, waiting for me to open it. I wasn't nervous as such, but I knew that if the email didn't contain those magic words then I would have to re-evaluate everything all over again. If I wasn't accepted, then I would have to find something else to do with my life, and that, having recently been proved, was not an easy feat.
My 6 month working contract at the Chateau de Versailles is finishing at the end of September and there seems to be no way they will be extending any of the contracts into the Autumn / Winter season. I gave up on trying to find a loophole a few months ago and realised it's about time I stop hopping from one short term contract to another. I want a title. I want to be like the other people who say 'I'm a nurse / firefighter / wedding planner / nun' rather than 'well, I worked as a waitress for 6 months and then I worked as a receptionist and now I'm a cashier'.
I'm ready to begin a career. I'm ready to become something.
When I read those words in the email: 'You have been accepted on our programme...' I literally climbed onto the sofa and jumped for joy. "What the hell are you doing?" FP asked as he saw me on the sofa, doing star jumps with a smile spread wide across my face. "I got in! I got in!" I called with glee, and he lifted me by the waist and spun me round and round. There was no doubt that he was as elated as I was. He didn't like the uncertainty of my life as a temp any more than I did.
It wasn't easy for me to work out what I wanted to do with my life. For some people it comes naturally. FP never understood how I could go to university when I was 17 to study Languages and Tourism when I had no idea what I wanted to do with my degree afterwards. He always wanted to be a software engineer, from the age of 8. But me, I had no idea, and even if I had known, I was a young and niave 17 year old and most probably would have made the wrong choice.
For the past couple of months I've been trying to work out what I was going to do this October when I find myself, once again, unemployed. I toyed with the idea of running my own business. A fashion shop online. A book store in Versailles. A travelling English book store for expats in Paris. But none of that came to fruition. There were the sensible ideas: Translator, Tour Operator, Tour guide. The less feasible : Events Planner, Air Hostess (FP vetoed that one out straight away due to his fear of planes crashing and whatnot), Writer*. And the downright daft : Private Detective, The Next Coco Chanel (after having watched Coco Avant Chanel and convincing myself 'I could do that'), Chocolate Taster.
But in the end I plumped for teaching.
And the TEFL (teaching English as a Foreign Language) training school has enrolled me in their November 09 class.
And even though I'm following so closely in my mother's footsteps (who lived in France and was an English assistant), I couldn't be happier about it.
*Just because making enough money by writing alone isn't going to come easy doesn't mean I will be giving up on it though. My ultimate goal is still to become a 'real' writer and I'm hoping if I work as a freelance English teacher then I'll be able to manage my time so that I can write too.