So, now that my contract is officially over, I’ve been out of the lycée for two weeks, my more than a month-long job search is turning around nothing but let-downs and unknowns, and time is dwindling away until the end of my visa, it’s finally starting to sink in that I’m going to have to leave France. Unless one of my billion job applications here magically turns into a yes…
I’m starting to accept the difficulty of the situation and the fact that, ok, it’s not impossible to get a job here, it’s just highly unlikely unless I try for something like working in a café or teaching English again… or if I had a masters or some form of higher expertise/more experience. Granted I was not even hired in hotels where they need English-speakers. So, as my many attempts at getting hired in France seem to be proving quite futile, I must come to terms with going back stateside.
I’m sure I’ll be fine and eventually I’ll find a job – it’s just complicated because I really do not want to go back to working in retail/food service. Of course, I will if I really have to, but it just does not seem like I should need to, as I have two degrees and professional experience. Yet with the lack of positive responses, even in the States, for jobs I’ve applied to, it seems like I should maybe start applying again at places like Starbucks (where I’ve already worked, by the way). Though I doubt whether a job as like that will really pay the bills and the 5 digits of student loans I now owe because our country does not have real public education.
I suppose I shouldn’t really complain since there are so many people that have been out of work longer than me, have families to support, struggle to make ends meet with multiple retail jobs, and so on. Yet, this fact, while slightly grounding, does not take away my right to complain or feel very discouraged with the state of things or report on my lack of a job or desire to go backwards in my career. Especially since jobs I feel qualified for have not even yielded interviews.
Anyway, I was talking about the challenge of leaving. It’s not the first time I’ve had to leave a place, specifically France. Yet it’s always quite bittersweet. This time I feel like I’m being forced out because I’ll become an illegal immigrant if I stay past the expiration of my visa. (It’s a sad and strange feeling to not be allowed to stay somewhere where I feel so right. I’m not exaggerating either, because if I stay after my visa and am caught as an illegal immigrant, I am not allowed to come back to France for, I think the limit is at least 5 years. I can’t change this system, it just feels really exclusive and uninviting. I guess it is the same way for the US which is probably why there is a huge problem with illegal immigration. The difference is that I would rather not hide all the time. Or worry about getting caught.) Since I don’t feel like dealing with that nightmare, I’m going to leave. It’s pretty stressful too – figuring out what the heck I’m going to do with all my stuff that I’ve acquired, saying goodbye, buying a plane ticket (which I have yet to do, by the way, as I’m still slightly under the impression, perhaps it’s wishful thinking or false hopes, that I would be able to find work here), tying up the other loose ends like canceling my cell phone, etc.
But mostly it’s the goodbyes that I dislike. Not just the goodbyes to friends but saying farewell to France and everything it stands for in my life.