Une Rêveuse

I spent the past week attempting to immerse myself in the French language and culture. I am still optimistic that I will be close to achieving the B2 level (!!) by December given that I devote most of my free time to learning new words, studying grammar, translating sentences, listening to French music and news, watching French movies, and writing/speaking French in class. My French self-study and new immersion class are both a little overwhelming and tiring. But I am shockingly driven to achieve French proficiency within the next few months (for the teaching assistantship) and year (for school, work, etc in France).

One of the French movies I watched over the weekend was Amélie. Indeed, it is a beloved French movie, quite whimsical and fun. But it was a movie that made me worry about my own quirks—especially after hearing this line from Raymond Dufayel, the “Glassman”:

“You mean she would rather imagine herself relating to an absent person than build relationships with those around her?”

It is true that I live in a dreamworld. It is odd that I am that way given that I had an older sister to play with, but as my parents would attest, I was always reserved and tended to keep to myself. While I am much more social these days, I still relish and often, seek out solitude. It’s just my personality I guess, though one could also blame the fact that my favorite hobbies (reading and writing) tend to be independent activities.

And I am a dreamer. I live so much of my life in my imagination and in my mind—thinking about the present, the past, and the future. I’m sure that reading and writing so much fiction reinforces this.

My question is whether this has prevented me from living life. Without a doubt, I have an active, fulfilling internal life. But am I missing out on something else?

There are so many people out there who are unable to be alone. I pity them. I can entertain myself for hours with my imagination alone. Add in bright sunshine and puffy clouds (and snacks, of course), and I’m good for an entire day of solitude.

And yet, it probably is a fault to live too little in the world. Life is about relationships, learning, and love. And, although I can do all of those things alone, there is a greater chance for personal growth in doing them with others.

So, I must seek a better balance. That means, for example, I won’t prevent myself from imagining wonderfully romantic events starring me and my latest crush. But I will put myself out there more often so that I can have a chance to, in reality, experience all that I dream.


Heather said...

You should rent some Michel Ocelot films. They're animation (really good animation) - French, so you can turn on the English subtitles the first time through, then watch them again sans soustitres and just listen to the language. The voices are quite clear and I was able to understand a lot even with my super-rusty high school French. My faves are the Kirikou films, Princes et Princesses, and The Princes' Quest (that one is beautiful). They have a fairytale quality, with a darker undertone.

But that's not what you really wrote about in your post, so let me respond to that now. I think it's healthy to have an inner and an outer life. Especially if you are a striver outwardly and are trying to move up in your career, it's good to have a creative, childlike sense of fun that you can nourish the rest of the time. I think you should encourage that side of yourself, not worry that it's keeping you from really living. Maybe living through the little moments and seeing the quirky side of things is what life is for.

Hippo Q. said...

Merci, Heather! I will look for Michel Ocelot's films at the library this weekend.

O said...

I've been checking your blog way too often for a new post...