The Sunrise

I have experienced a number of pivotal moments in my life; many different life-affirming and life-changing points. There have been events and different experiences that have caused pause for thought, that have forced me to reflect on and question and muse over a spectrum of different things. So much of my younger life I spent focused on negatives, on repeating and retelling old stories of woe and upset, without really taking account of my blessings. But recent years have changed my perspective markedly. However, there still are times when I focus on what has been taken from me or what has been lost, rather than what I can do to change that.

Specifically, I am referring to France. Anyone who knows me knows: this is where my soul belongs, where my heart has been left. I spent only a very brief time living there in the grand scheme of things—just 6 months—but it changed me, and all of my hopes and dreams, in that very short period. Maybe it’s the shortest times—the fleeting moments—that can impact us the most, much like how someone we’ve known for days can change us far more profoundly than someone we’ve known for years.

The past 3.5 years, I have yearned to be back in France. Circumstances at the time meant I didn’t fight to stay when I should have done, and now I find myself here, in the UK, wanting more for myself and my children, but unable to have it. Thoughts such as these, and focused around this heartache, have governed so many of my moods and my general mindset. I have grieved for my life there. I have felt desperation at wanting to be back. I have done all in my power to be back, but the fact is, I can’t—at least not for 12 years, until my youngest is 16.

But surely a half-dream is better than nothing. And it is this that has kept me moving forward in recent months. There is a compromise—and I welcome the half-measure of what I desperately want rather than the full serving of what I do not entirely want.

So the halfway measure (or, more specifically, the quarter-measure) is this: to buy a property in France where the girls and I can spend school holidays. Essentially, this amounts to 13 weeks a year. I could definitely cope with living in France for at least a week every 6 weeks, and spending the 6 weeks’ Summer Holidays there each year. That amounts to 25% of the year—my quarter-measure—and that definitely works for me.

But then there is the problem of finances. How to afford it. How to save up the money needed in order to purchase the house and secure our lives over there. But I am determined if nothing else, and I cannot allow something like that to stand in my way.

  • Editing is my day-to-day work, and, whilst it suffices in paying the everyday bills and allowing the odd extravagance for my girls, it wouldn’t facilitate the ‘home in France’ kind of expenses.
  • Publishing, my secondary baby. I believe, if I direct my attention in the right way, I could make my second business, a publishing house, take off and earn what I would need. This is where I will invest most of my efforts.
  • Writing. Time-consuming without much hope of huge revenue, but there is always the possibility. I also have considered writing for a well-known blog, and need to find time to submit an application.
  • GoFundMe. I have just signed up. There is so much strength in these avenues. As much as it is a portal I never thought I’d consider, I’ve been asked already by so many people whether they can donate to my dream in France. So maybe it’s not such a bad idea.
  • Udemy. I need to refocus some of my attention towards this online teaching platform. Changes in their pricing structure have shaken a lot of the original confidence in the idea, but essentially, I need to just take stock and embrace the face it provides a huge opportunity.

I’m a firm believer that anything is achievable. Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zones. We need to push boundaries. We have to do unimaginable things if we want to achieve unimaginable things.

I have the biggest incentive; it’s all I want. It’s what I need in order to feel happiest with my current circumstances. It is this determination, with my sights set firmly on that distant dream, that will allow me to do what I need in order to reclaim my heart, left behind in France.

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