COMFORT ZONES

Between you and me, I don’t think I have any comfort zones anymore. Steve and I had created a comfort zone together, and were very happy, writing, working, and eating “comfort food” – pasta, Steve’s gravy, and his special homemade meatballs along with olives, baguettes, salami, and fresh ground parmesan cheese or Romano. We did not socialize very much and both of us liked that. We just stayed home except when we ate out an early supper at a favorite place (The Lido, Sol y Luna, Emlio’s, Brent’s Deli) or had somewhere we wanted to go. But, most of the time, we stayed home and loved it. He watched a lot of Sports Center – like ALL the time. I worked on my cases. I loved my law and helping clients. I represented people I liked – whether they had a good case or not. So, working was fun. That is where I socialized. We seldom entertained, if ever. Maybe family every once and a while, but family had their own busy lives, so that was also seldom, if ever. Fine. We were OK with the life we had created together. Moved to Nice, France, on a whim to “do something else” and work on our health.  Then POW!! He got sick and died. At the age of 66. Two years ago, August 31, 2016. This August 11, he would have been 68. A young vibrant man.

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So, now, I am struggling to find a comfort zone. So far.  NOT.  I have tried to “fit in” with expats. NOT.  I don’t want to socialize. Yet, I don’t think I should stay home so much. I miss pasta and homemade meat balls. But, not enough to order them or learn how to make them. (fattening) I don’t have the money to travel. I miss the law. I miss working and clients and helping people I like. I don’t want to go back to LA or the U.S. AND, Donald Trump DEFINITELY takes me out of my comfort zone. Yet, I am not sure I want to stay here in this apartment.  I like Nice, but I NEED to see the Sea. I love nature. Right now, I am surrounded by buildings, and can see the sky only IF I look up…. unless I go for a walk through the Port and along the Sea. Or to the Park by the Monastery de Cimiez. All of which is doable. And, moving is expensive. 

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Daddy made me read Dale Carnegie’s “HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PROPLE” in order to go to summer camp when I was little. I definitely wanted to go to Camp Dixie with my sisters, so I “tried” to read that dreary book. Ugh. It told me what I had to do to get people to “like” me. Ugh. I didn’t care if they liked me or not. Mother did. And Daddy did. I needed to always have first and foremost in my mind “what would the neighbors think”!! Well, the neighbors were Juanese Martin and the First Baptist Church preacher. So, I knew what they thought about me!!  Ugh. I like to go barefooted and climb trees and get dirty. But, noooooo. I had to wear clean clothes, curl my hair, be sure my hem was just right, keep my shoes polished, do well in school. Behave.  Ugh.

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Well, I read enough of the book to know that I did NOT want to meet Dale Carnegie any time soon. I wondered if he were able to do all of the things he was telling us to do.  All of it made me sick to my stomach. So, after that, I went through half of my life, trying to make people like me. But, they didn’t. Not even my kids. Most of the time, I didn’t like me. So, what was I to do.

That is when I decided to “withdraw”. Stop going to things. Stop trying to please. Stop “behaving”. And, when I met Steve, that was his thinking. He was active and involved in producing his ball games, but his thinking was as a “loner”. He liked his own company. So did I. I liked my own company and I like his company. He liked mine, too. We ‘spoke” the same language. Basically, we hated trying to please people. And, we did NOT try to please each other, ….at first. There were many times we told each other OFF. Stopped seeing each other. Until, we both realized we loved each other. I don’t think he could believe he was asking me to marry him. And, I wasn’t sure either one of us would go through the marriage ceremony without backing out. A hasty job in Las Vegas. Well, you know the rest of this story. If you don’t, go back and read more of these posts on this blog.   

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Now, I have tried, I have really tried to snap out of it, get involved and meet people.  I am reaching the end of my third year in Nice.  I don’t like going to coffee, talking about who I am and how I got to Nice. My social skills are the pits. Ugh. I KNOW what to do; I just don’t want to do it.

So, once again, I plan to withdraw. Do my own thing. Write more. Maybe look for international law courses to take. I still enjoy my own company. Always busy with a “project” here and there. I still need to get my French Driving License. And, have my knee replacement surgery (September 27). Get better at speaking another language – French. I have “reactivated” my California law license and am currently trying to find somewhere in the South of France to get my “fingerprints” for the new requirement of the California Bar. Most things like that are in Paris. Find a way to stay involved in the law, from here. Maybe join an LA law firm to create an online “presence” from here.  Practice law from here. I know how to do all of that. Build a new foundation. Figure it out. A lot of it is already in place.

None of this feels “comfortable”. Maybe “comfort zones” don’t exist. Maybe that is just a useful expression to help me realized I am doing something I don’t want to do. Which is most things right now. More than you ever wanted to know about what is on my mind this morning, as we prepare to enter August 2018.

Best, Jay

 

Published by jjaywmac

Jay W. MacIntosh (born Janet Tallulah Jewell) is a retired attorney, actress, and writer from the United States, living in Paris, France. She is a member of the California Bar and selected to the 2018, 2019, 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers list. She holds a Master’s Degree in Drama from the University of Georgia and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Zodiac Scholastic Society. As an actress, she is a member of The Actors Studio, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS), SAG-AFTRA, and ASCAP, performing in film and television in the United States and France. Her published works include Journal of Janet Tallulah, Volume 1, Journal of Janet Tallulah, Volume 2, The Origins of George Bernard Shaw’s Life Force Philosophy, Moments in Time, Capturing Beauty, JAYSPEAK on the Côte d’Azur, and Janet Tallulah.

5 thoughts on “COMFORT ZONES

    1. Thanks, Marie, does finding peace and happiness exist? I don’t think so. I know what you mean, however and thanks. Same to you !!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think it’s great that you want to do your own thing. I wish I had had the wherewithal to do that a long time ago. Always worrying about what others thought of me. (We’re fruit from the same tree, you and me. I grew up hearing the same thing you did and from the same person, too.) The older I get the less I care about what people think. I enjoy my own company, too, and I have a list of projects to keep me busy. Life is too short not to do what makes us feel content!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I will respond more tomorrow when I am more awake. Stay tuned…. ok, it is now morning here while you are sound asleep (hopefully)! Yes, we were both subject to the same scrutiny. Ugh. I tried not to do that to my kids, but probably did. All three are very interesting and independent and good people. I am glad and proud of them for that. I, on the other hand, continue to struggle with my internal voices that drive me to everlasting conflict with myself and what the “neighbors “ might think!!

      Liked by 2 people

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