connect!

live and let live.


Recently, I read a fantastic article about injustices in life that we can't help and will just have to accept. All of the items on the list were for the most part accurate, giving me a chuckle here and there. It was the final item that struck home for me. It read: "There is going to be someone who looks at your life, even when it has absolutely no bearing on their own, and feels personally affronted enough by your decision to be an asshole and make disdainful comments about it. This is only a poor reflection on them, and realizing they don’t matter as quickly as possible is the best course of action you can take."

I'm pretty sure I shouted "Amen!" when I read this last part. How many of you out there decided to do something off the beaten path, adventurous, glamorous, or even scary, and found that it seemed to piss someone off? But their disdain was so subtle where you almost felt like you were the crazy one? I felt tinges of this my first year here, and suspecting that my life abroad was making some people uncomfortable, I went out of my way to not talk about it. I was in no way special because I had uprooted my life, and wanted to make that clear, but at the same time was truncating my own needs by putting a lid on this huge part of my life.

To thank the writer for her excellent post, I left a comment saying that the final item rang true for me, and knowing that she lives in Paris (otherwise I would not have even brought it up), I had mentioned I had experienced this from some folks back home after I jumped the pond. Within seconds, I got a comment to my comment from an anonymous user (they always are, aren't they?) accusing me of bragging and that is probably why I pissed everyone off. It was such a quick assumption with absolutely no foundation that sadly was all too familiar. I immediately regretted dropping the "P" bomb because it automatically gave me that stigma, unfairly allowing that person to feel justified to criticize me. 

Why is it that we have to carefully curate how we present ourselves because we live in Paris, or for that matter, anywhere deemed interesting? There are so many rules that I find many of us delicately follow. We are careful not to demonstrate too much happiness because that would be showing off. What about excitement? Nope, that's out too. Don't you dare enjoy that grapefruit-hued sunset sparkling off the Seine! And if you do, you better enjoy it silently sans hashtags. But on the flipside, don't show any discontent because that would be deemed as complaining and not being grateful for what you have been "given". Okay, well what about being annoyed that a former French boyfriend bemoaned that the back of your thighs resemble the dimply skin of a moldy orange? Well you're in Paris, so being offended is just plain bratty. It's so frustrating. Why can't we just be? 

A common theme that keeps revisiting me in my 30s is understanding and accepting that you can't please everyone; a personal character default derived from my own Virgo perfectionism. Not everyone is going to like what you do, and more often than not, it is a reflection on them. When I find that I am fighting to defend myself, I take a deep breath and remember an AA saying that my dad would throw around in moments like these: Live and Let Live, Man (well, he added the 'man' part). I'll do my thing, you do yours, and when I have that occasional really awesome day (like pictured above), don't make me feel like asshole for it.

What about you?
Have you had any of these growing pains after 
making a big life change?

48 comments:

  1. now i'm saying AMEN out loud to this!

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    1. Thanks Marissa! I wasn't sure how this post was going to be received but I now see I am not the only one who has experienced this. I feel kind of relieved, I honestly thought I had some sort of problem! Thanks again!

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  2. Anyone who would post such a catty ridiculous comment is just jealous...and speaking for myself the reason I found your blog in the first place was exactly BECAUSE you live in Paris...we are Paris freaks...the fact that you are funny and a really great writer makes me stick around...and the fact that you (when you can) reply to your commentors makes you extra special.

    Time for a rant...you bloggers out there who invite comments but then NEVER EVER say hey thanks for stopping by or SFA..why are you even bothering?? don't ask for comments if you aren't going to even acknowledge the readers who have taken the time to say something ...rant over...and you know who you are out there.

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    1. I know exactly what and who you're talking about, Debs, and you know that I agree with you 100 %! If you're not gracious enough to acknowledge your commentators, then disable the comment function!

      As for today's post... Like we discussed, most people are lazy dreamers who think that good things happen to a select few out of dumb luck. This way, it's easier than to acknowledge that if they worked as hard as the objects of their jealousy and made the same sacrifices, they would have the same things. It's easier to lash out at others' for having everything "effortlessly" (I had a guy tell me repeatedly that it was so unfair that some people have everything without working when HE had to work so hard at everything! Funny. I don't know anyone who gets it all without lifting a finger; I only know people who make it look effortless, but work their butts off!), than to acknowledge the work that others do in the background and that you're not doing yourself.

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    2. Eeee, I will be a tiny bit controversial here but the concept of always responding to comments is actually pretty recent. I had a conversation about this with someone who has been blogging for a very long time last year and she reminded me that before, often a blogger would respond via email or privately. To respond on the blog directly was not the norm, although that is changing...

      I know that for me, the comments are a big reason why I do my blog and I love the amazing group of people that comment often (just like here) but even so, there are times when life keeps me from responding like I would hope.
      *small curtsy, stepping back from the line of fire*

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    3. ahem...I did say.."when you can"..there are people out there that NEVER even do a group..hey guys, thanks for reading...just saying.

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    4. Ok - where to start on this one...I'll just go down the line.

      @Deb - Wow, thank you so much for this comment. I am always so honored to have you and Duchesse read and take the time to comment on my blog. I know you two are busy Canadiennes and have your pick of Paris blogs, so the fact that you read mine in the niche group of blogs that you do read, means a lot to me.

      As for responding to comments, I feel like it is a courtesy to acknowledge each comment that comes through, but I'm also a blabber mouth and like to keep the conversation going. What can I say, I'm a yenta. But yeah, not all bloggers do it, and I am not offended when my comments are not responded to, but I have wondered what non-blogger readers have thought about it. I guess now I know!

      As for my M.O: I give myself a few days to respond just to wait for all the comments to come in per post. If the post falls on a Thursday like this last one, I try to get my responses in before the weekend (like I'm doing now)!

      Thanks again Deb!

      @Duchesse - Lazy dreamers, I like that. There are so many out there, and that's okay. I tend to be lazy at times myself, but to disgruntle others who are making their own happiness happen. It's just mean! As for that guy, well yeah, it is so much easier to complain about people than to do something. The person who has been the topic of some of our emails these past few weeks is like that. A big complainer, a big shit talker who has a running list of everyone's defaults and one of the laziest people I know. I expect some more drama from that one...

      @Heather - Wow, back in the day, bloggers used to respond privately or via email? How archaic! I didn't know that! : ) I guess since Google enabled the "reply" button, it has encouraged the conversation to continue. I find that you on your blog respond to comments when it is applicable. I think what Deb and Duchesse are referring to are the bloggers who really say nothing. As readers they find that it comes across cold.

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  3. Oooh, baby, I hear ya! I've felt this in real life as much as online. When I studied abroad for a year, when I took a cross country road trip, when I moved to New York, when I moved to Paris. "I'm so lucky", sure, but I've also worked my ass off and I actually take the chances. I'm allowed to be excited, upset, lonely, proud, nervous before, during, and after--just as much as the next human being. I really can't wait to get to your wise state of being though! I can hardly stand when people frame me as bragging or being ungrateful when all I'm trying to do is express myself.

    By the way, would you be able to identify the original post you read? I'd love to take a look at it, too.

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    1. Hi Danielle!

      It's SO frustrating, isn't it? It's like you can't win. Everything will be offensive. And all you want you say is something snippy but we have this guilt on us that stops us, so we just take it. I have second guessed myself many times, thinking maybe I am doing something wrong?

      But no, like you said you are allowed to feel what you feel and to express yourself. Everyone else does, so why can't we?

      I linked the article into the post. Thanks for reminding me. I had forgotten!

      Have a lovely weekend!

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  4. Oh LAWD don't I know it! I've been called every name in the book. I've been told my brand I spent the past 5 years BLEEDING over was a "gimmick." I've been told I'm a horrible person. But I've also been told that I've changed people's lives by being genuine and real. We have to focus on believing the good and ignoring the bad. Easier said than done, but as the saying goes, "opinions are like...." :)

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    1. Hahahahha yes, I have been called a bad person as well. Give me a break. To hell with it, I say! And yeah, focus on the people who root for you like real friends, family and our husbands. Hey, we can't be that bad, these guys agreed to hang out with us for the rest of their lives, right?

      Yep, opinions are like...

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  5. When I saw the title of this post I immediately thought, that's what we say in AA! So when I got to the end and read about your dad learning it there, I just smiled. Such a great saying and outlook to have, I love it. There are some crummy people and attitudes out there, but there are a lot of people who live and let live, man :-) That's what I try to do everyday. Love this blog.

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    1. Hi Kelsey!

      Yep, I can't avoid those 12 step slogans, I was raised with them! My dad was in the program for over 20 years, as are many other people in my family, so the "language" is prevalent on my dad's side of the family.

      Live and let live is so simple and pretty much puts the cabosh on "stinkin' thinkin'"

      In Al-Anon (maybe in AA too?) we say detach with love and that's what I intend on doing, even if I'm not feelin' the love so much! ; )

      Thanks so much for commenting and appreciating my blog!

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  6. Oh Lisa...who cares what some frustrated people may think?

    Why feel jealous about other's accomplishments and experiences?
    How fantastic is it that you share your life in Paris and we can sort of experience being there through you?

    Being jealous shows a lack of confidence in one's abilities to achieve goals and dreams.

    Don't let anyone make you feel like you need to censorship what you really think and feel because it may make them envious,that is their shortcoming not yours.

    You live in Paris and you're still young and you've found love and how freaking great is that?

    This is YOUR life and YOUR experience.
    You OWN the bragging rights darling!

    Live and let live, absolutely!

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    1. Hi Sylvia!

      You are so right, who cares what some random person says? I know, I know... I think the response on the site just triggered something I had been feeling for years now and decided to just come out with it. I wanted to get input (like your wise words!) and also check with the other gals if they had experienced it too.

      It's nice to know that I'm not alone and it does happen, and it is also great to hear from readers like you who say "Tant pis, if they don't like it!" It's extremely encouraging and you just put a smile on my face.

      So I thank you for the words and the beam that I am wearing right now. : ) <-- it looks sort of like that.

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  7. This has been my motto since turning 30, really the last year. I have learned (even though it took 29 years to do so - better late than never, right?) that I am never going to please everyone with every decision I make and I cannot allow that to dictate what I do with my life. I spent too many years of my 20s doing things in fear of disappointing others. I never thought how terrible it was that I was actually disappointing myself because of that fear. There are ups and downs but I am finally content and happy with what I have and life I live rather than constantly looking for happiness everywhere else.

    Thanks for this post!

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    1. Hi Alyson! Perfectly put! No, you can't please everyone -- as much as we would like to -- it's just not possible. I think this is a huge lesson of our 30s because our 20s about being completely selfish but at the same time seeking approval. So now in our 30s, we have to balance it out and essentially do what is best for us. It's strange how it is easier said than done, isn't it? : )

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    2. Amen to that. I too have spent my 20s trying to please everyone except myself and that didn't turn out very well. I certainly won't be spending my 30s in the same way!

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  8. AA has a lot of good sayings, that come to mind from time to time "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change".. is another one. and as someone famous once said, " you can't please all of the people, all of the time"

    Says she who has been ruminating over a nasty remark made to me last week. LOL!

    Of course these jealous, disproving or just downright nasty remarks on an intellectual basis should slide off us like water off a ducks back, but we are also human and like to be liked and approved of, so on an emotional level, sometimes we say Ouch! and it takes a while to process them and decide that it really doesn't matter. ( and it sometimes helps to ask WHY do we crave love and approval so much)

    like number 14 "
    >>"14. Because they are from a generation that never lived with the kind of job market and debt that we currently face, the snide judgements and comments of older people in your family or community are something you’ll never really be able to get rid of.""<<

    Ouch!

    Hmmph.....what on earth does this person know about what deprivations and difficulties people of a different generation have lived with. A bit like young people finding it inconceivable that old people know how it feels like to be so much in love that you aches for the other person or to be so sexually attracted that all you can think about it physically being joined to the other.!... or can this be looked upon as a snide comment and judgement.

    I would never see it as "bragging" to mention that you had moved to Paris. It is just a fact and . It was relevant.

    ... and like the others, I am so glad you live in Paris, because you share your life with us.

    Love Denise

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    1. Hi Denise,

      Oh the Serenity Prayer has pulled me out of some mind f*cks many times! If you are ruminating over something someone said last week, like you said, it means you are human. But it does come to a point where it's our job to control how much we let it control us, because Lord knows that beast can grow.

      I don't know why we seek approval like we do. I think the other part of it, in this particular instance is that we don't like to be accused of things we haven't done. Being told we think we are better than others because we moved abroad is just plain frustrating.

      I think this is why a lot of us got into blogging over here, we like to share our experiences with other Anglophones and feel encouraged not judged. Half of the stories on this blog, I would not have been able to share back home, I'd lose my audience within the first minute!

      Thank you so much Denise for this comment. I always know we can get "12 steppy" with each other! : )

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  9. Ahh, just wrote a long comment and it got swallowed by the commenting system (if it does show up w/my personal email, can u please delete?) Anyway, will try to rewrite:

    Hi there, I can relate to this. I was back in the US after a year and a half of being away for my brother's wedding last month and I found myself being almost embarrassed when people would ask if I lived locally or what (or if family members told others I lived in France). I found that half of the people were intrigued and wanted to know more and others seemed to think it was pretentious or something.

    I don't think I'm cooler/more cultured/better off/etc. because I live in France. Just that I married a French guy and it was better for our circumstances to live in France. Period.

    Now this was just my perception. But I feel it's valid. I would never want to come off like I am "bragging." But a simple "Oh nope, I actually live in France" seemed to elicit weird responses.

    People seem to idealize life in France but really, once it's no longer a vacation, France has its own share of problems -- yet people assume it's some glamorous life without a care in the world. No clue why that is. So I found myself saying I live in France but minimizing my life here. And I felt bad about that because why should I minimize my life here when I'm proud of the choices I made?

    Would people have the same response if I lived in, say, Nicaragua? I don't know. Is it jealousy? I don't know. But it is weird.

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    1. Hi Diane, yes I received somewhat of a duplicate of this comment and it has been destroyed forever. Not to worry.
      : )

      Oh yeah, I have been handed the pretentious card within seconds. You can just tell or they follow up with a snide comment like "well it's not as glamorous as France but..." Yes because we are all running around in Dior, sipping champagne and being fed grapes by French men wearing berets...actually that SHOULD be happening here. If that was maybe we wouldn't worry so much about what folks back home say...what do you think? ; )

      I too have often wondered if it would be different if I moved abroad to a less seemingly glamorous country. I always use Peru as an example. I suspect I would be seen more as a "free spirit" if I moved to Peru, not some of the names I have received since moving here.

      It's not fair, but as the article I read that incited this post, there's nothing we can do, so we might as well get over it, right?

      Thank you again for insightful comment! Have a lovely weekend, Diane!

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  10. AnonymousJuly 12, 2013

    Yes, yes and yes. I'm pushing 50 and still have dealt with this issue since I've moved abroad. Some of my old friends have completely dropped contact. My own dad even gives me a hard time if I complain about anything. "Oh, poor you, living in London." I feel embarrassed and guilty when I'm loving my life and ungrateful and bitchy when I'm having a bad day.

    Shrug. I'll continue to try to be gracious and not spend too much time worrying about it. But, I can certainly relate to this post. You articulated it very well.

    Thanks for expressing something that I have a hard time talking about!!

    xoxo
    Selena

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    1. Hi Selena! So it's all moves, not just moving to France or Italy, you get slack for moving to the UK as well? Geez! I guess we can't win so like you said be gracious and enjoy life the best we can, because what more can we do? : )

      Thank you for dropping a note and your kind words in regard to the post! Have a nice weekend!

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  11. AMEN, Sister! Shout it out from the mountain tops!!! Every. Single. Word. of this rang true for me like the freakin' bells of Notre Dame--actually just that big one that they clang for special occasions? That one.

    It was very surprising the friends that I lost when I moved to Paris to be with Remi and it HURT. I needed them badly, we were completely broke, I was depressed for lots of reasons over the transition (feeling like an idiot for not speaking French, like a loser for not having a job, lonely for exactly those catty NYC girlfriends). It was a really hard time. Nope, dropped like a hot rock because of the city I was living in. Would it have been the same if I had left for say Mason, Michigan? I don't think so. Can you hear the vitriol in my voice? I am still sad about the loss of some of those friendships but Live and Let Live.

    People still make so many assumptions about who I am and what my life is but I have learned to just either smile and nod politely when people are happy for me or just let it go when they aren't. On my blog, I choose what I present carefully and I admit that I make an effort to put it out there that our life is not all roses on purpose.

    Did I mention to you that Al-Anon concept of whether something is "inside" or "outside" of your hula hoop? Right? Imagine you have a hula hoop around you and that is what concerns you, that is your business. So don't go poking around in other people's hula hoops and don't let anybody get in yours either. :)
    Bisous,
    H

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    1. WOW! What a response! With this post, I really didn't know which direction it was going to be received. This one was a bit of a gamble and I have to say, I am relieved that I'm not alone and NOT CRAZY!!! I have been feeling like something was majorly wrong with me in regard to the people that shunned me as soon as I moved here.

      Like you wrote, it HURT! It was so unfair to not be able to defend yourself based on their warped perceptions of what you have "become". I suspect you like me where honest about your struggles and sacrifices but it fell on deaf ears, and you were in no way allowed to have a verbal "OMG! I live in Paris!" moment with said people, or even acknowledge life here? It's suffocating.

      But it is moments like these that eliminate the bad seeds because if it wasn't an "exotic" move abroad than it would be something else. Let go and let God. I'm full of 12 step sayings this week!

      It still hurts though...

      Whoa! I have been in Al-Anon for about ten years now, how come I don't know about this awesome hula hoop metaphor?? I thought I heard all of the little sayings and "tools", I guess not! Thank you so much for this! I intend on using it.

      And thank you so much for this comment. Like I said before, I'm relieved that I'm not alone.

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    2. Ooh, I thought that was Al-Anon!! My Sister told it to me and I find it soooo helpful but perhaps I am wrong. I'll ask. And yes, this post was amazing and clearly rang true for a LOT of us. Folks can't really know the truth of a situation unless they have experienced it themselves. And even then we all have our wack filters that are skewing things one way or the other!

      But yep, you are completely right, those cries for help (because they really were that, like I said it was a really tough time) fell on deaf ears. Actually, one of my oldest friendships ended in part because of this. So I hear ya, Sista and thanks for being brave!
      Bisous,
      H

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    3. To both Lisa & Heather:
      I think you didn't "lose" any friendships, I'm sorry to say so but those were not true friends, so don't lament not having them in your lives anymore.
      For everything a reason.



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  12. Although I can't relate to being an expat in Paris, ( although I spend so much time there I might as well be!) I find some of your friends perceptions very interesting and amusing......Paris (or London) would never be viewed here in the UK as glamorous or "exotic."....now Peru?. .....hey that IS an exotic place to move to!

    Love the "dropping" of AA and Al-Anon slogans. I have never heard of the hula hoop thing either but it is a good concept.

    Love Denise

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    1. I agree, Denise. Paris and London are too close to be 'exotic'. It's like here in New Zealand a holiday in Fiji or Samoa isn't considered particularly exotic and yet in the Northern Hemisphere they would be.

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  13. AnonymousJuly 13, 2013

    Awesome post. Amazing comments. I think we had a super short conversation about this at The Club the other night but someone sent me a comment about the magazine that said: "Bloggers are not celebrities....This is obviously just a group of American bloggers who think they're so cool that they live in France so they created a stupid fake magazine." Well HELLLOOOO A$$ HOLE! Ha!

    I laughed it off because it was so ridiculous for way too many reasons. To start with, most of the featured bloggers aren't even American. I wanted to go find him and smack him on the back of the head. Instead, I sipped my morning coffee and chuckled to myself. Some people just don't get it.

    I agree with Denise that this is mostly an American issue. For whatever reason, most of the haters seem to be from the U.S. That makes it even more frustrating for me.

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    1. Hi Mary!

      What a silly comment that anonymous commenter sent in to you. We "think" we are so cool. N'importe quoi.

      One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone tells me what I'm thinking. There is no way that person could possibly know what a host of bloggers who come from different backgrounds, are in different situations and all have different reasons for coming to Paris would collectively think.

      I've felt like an idiot most of my years here, like what am I doing with my life. It's only recent that I know I was meant to stay here but those first two years, damn. I wouldn't wish those on anyone!

      Thanks for your comment! See you soon, I hope!

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  14. When I first moved to France I was having a horrible time... it was winter, Gregory was traveling a lot for work, I was lonely and completely isolated on top of the Luberon covered in snow. I was majorly depressed. Well I made the mistake of saying to a friend back in Dublin how much of a hard time I was having and she ripped me a new one because moving here was my choice and I was so lucky... I was living in Provence, what could possibly be so bad?! Suffice to say I've pretty much kept my mouth shut since then.
    Certain people choose to paint a picture of us and our lives overseas, I think part of it is jealousy (they've seen 'Under the Tuscan Sun' one too many times) and part of it is ignorance.

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    1. It's that first year that seems to be the roughest on all of us. The time where we need our friends back home more than anything, to share the good and the bad.

      I can't believe your "friend" reamed you out like that! I can only imagine how that made you feel.

      Like you, I've kept quiet, and save any comments for mom or my former landlady out in L.A. It's easier that way...unfortunately.


      Hahahaha Under the Tuscan Sun...so need to see that again. Good call!

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  15. Oh and about the comments... I'm one of those that responds via email (which I can't if you're a no-reply blogger... Lisa I'm looking at you!) but I'll respond on the blog if the commenter has asked a question that I think all of the readers would like an answer to.

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    1. I'm a no-reply blogger? I'm confused. Have I not been replying to your comments? If so, sorry! : / I try to reply to all comments, I just get to them a few days later.

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  16. A 'no-reply' blogger is when you can't reply to the comment via email. For example, all of the comments people leave on my blog are sent to my email and then I can reply to them, unless someone is a no-reply blogger, then you'll see that there is no email to reply to.
    Did that make sense? It probably didn't.
    Since I am ridiculously bad at explaining things like this, check this post out: http://morefromyourblog.com/no-reply-blogger-how-to-fix-this/

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    1. Ah okay! Got it! I had no idea this existed, but what is weird that my blog is connected to an email address and all of my comments filter through my inbox, so I wonder why it doesn't work when I comment on other blogs....hmmmm. I'll have to look into it. Thanks for the info!

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  17. Hmm, let's see, they're jealous because they're sat on their fat behinds dreaming rather than doing and attacking anyone that's 'got out'.

    I got to spend 6 months living in South Africa a few years ago, complete fluke, it happened that my job sent me there, but good grief, mention that there are a few things that you would give your eye teeth for that are at home (like a usable cheese grater) and watch all your Facebook friends rip you apart for complaining about your lot in life...

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    1. Hey Katy,

      Oh geez! Really!! I guess it just stems from ignorance because it would take their experience to understand that moving abroad comes with random and unforeseen sacrifices like in your case, looking for a proper cheese grater!

      It is a good filter to see who is there for you, and who is not. Another one is to see how they act if they ever come to visit you. I have heard so many horror stories and have experienced some strange incidents myself.

      I just don't get it though...guess I never will!

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  18. AnonymousJuly 16, 2013

    There's one good thing about all this!...

    When you move abroad,
    When you live in a place people tend to envy,
    Some people get jealous. They project their own bitterness and personal discontent onto others.

    The good thing is: you can properly sift out your real friends from your fake friends.
    Your real friends will be sympathetic to the hardships of moving abroad, proud, excited for you, will try their best to visit you...some will keep sending you postcards...

    The other ones don't deserve a minute of your time. Some of them may be family, or people you thought were your bffs...do the French "pff" and re-focus your attention on the positive, caring people. :)

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  19. AnonymousJuly 16, 2013

    You've gotta' stay away from the poisonous ones: http://loganlo.com/2013/07/why-are-poison-dart-frogs-posionous-in-the-first-place.html

    Encountered a few within my 1st year here (I agree; toughest year..). No more..
    xo

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    1. What is it about the first year here?? I guess we're just super vulnerable and reach out to n'importe qui here and want to share the excitement, good, and ugly with friends back home. What a shock it was when the responses were not at all what we expected!

      Thanks for this blog post! I love what they wrote; comparing negativity to what we consume. So true, so, so true.

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  20. Hey there!
    I started following your blog when we decided to move to France last year. I was eager to soak up any information/insight into what it is like to live in France. I have now been living in Montpellier for 4.5 months. Overall, so far, the experience has been positive. This post reminds me of so many emotions I have felt since moving here. I have found it very difficult to be able to share with friends my experiences here. I always get the impression that they think I am bragging. And maybe there are some moments when I feel like – hell yes, this is my life and it is pretty awesome. And dang-nabbit I worked hard to get where I am. But I also have many moments (probably more of these) where I feel like I am completely overwhelmed and out of my element, for example, dealing with French bureaucracy, finding a social life, being at a party where everyone is speaking French and you just don’t have the energy anymore to attempt to keep up with the conversation and you just want to go home and cry, finding someone to really laugh with. Trying to explain these situations to friends is just as difficult, they don’t try to understand the situations. The most I usually get is a question of the niceness level of the people which generally isn’t the issue it is more just the sense of feeling lost in a situation. Other times I feel like they get satisfaction knowing that it isn't easy. It’s very frustrating. I am making my first trip home next month since we left so I will be curious to see how everyone’s responses will be. So thank you again for such a great post –it helps to know that my experiences aren’t unique and I truly love your attitude about the whole thing.

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    1. Hi Amanda!

      Thank you so much for your comment and am sorry that you have dealt with such a rainbow of emotions after making such a huge life change. Just know that you are not at all alone. You have experienced pretty much what ALL of us went through and like you said, it can be extremely frustrating when everything you say (both good and bad) fall on deaf ears.

      My advice to you, after having gone through it for years, is to just be yourself and own your experience! Make no apologies. You did this on your own and don't do what I used to do, don't let people rob you of this special time in your life!

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  21. Love this blog post and all the comments. I have felt this way just having the opportunity to travel to some fun countries, France included, over the last few years. Some friends are truly thrilled for me, others are jealous. I'm about to travel to France again and didn't even want to tell anyone about it or post pictures online. But, I'm just going to live my life and enjoy the opportunities I have and if people are jealous that is their issue.

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    1. Hi Raynigirl!

      Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to drop a note!

      You said it perfectly: "I'm just going to live my life and enjoy the opportunities I have and if people are jealous that is their issue." That's a healthy way to approach it. When people place their negativity onto others, it's usually their issue and is never rational.

      Enjoy your travels and be proud of your strength to do it!

      Thank you again for reading. : )

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