Sunday, March 22, 2009

French Milk, Lucy Knisley

I want to be in Paris! Over the past 15 years (how is it possible that I am this old?) I have schemed various plans to get there, all of which have resulted in nothing. 15 years ago I was a 6th grader in Madame Costa's Beginning French course happily memorizing verbs and sure that I would be landing at Charles de Gaulle some upcoming summer or at the very latest on a study abroad program during college. When that didn't happen I planned to just go on a vacation like normal adults with jobs do... but it always seemed like so much money to spend when I might be quitting my job in aggravation, going to grad school, getting a pink slip, or running away to join the circus to escape an army of small germy children....

I've spent the last few years imagining the possibilties of teaching English in the French school system or teaching at an American school in France... I'm still not sure what to do. The longer this goes on the more France, and Paris in particular, becomes this mythical place where everything is beautiful, delicious, and somehow could infuse my whole life with its perfection. As long as I don't actually travel to Paris I can keep up this fantasy.

With this background I am always drawn to books about Americans in Paris. Lucy Knisley's graphic travelogue, French Milk, made me so, so jealous. It's a journal of 6 week trip to Paris taken with her mother full of art, food, and touristing. As I was reading I couldn't stop wanting to know the details of this trip- how on earth did she swing this? .... money, jobs, school, etc
What I really want to know is how can I make this happen in my life?

I love Lucy Knisley's illustrations! This interview has images from the book. I especially like the one with Lucy being comforted by her mother, "This is just what happens in your 20's. Sometimes it's just like this." Since I'm still in my 20's (just the opposite end from Lucy) I'll take that advice as well. I don't know what I'm going to do but someday I'll get to Paris. At the moment I'm stuck with my indecision about life but sometimes it is just like that.

Lucy Knisley's livejournal

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