Being & Becoming

Cultivating Inspiration, Creativity, and a Life on Purpose


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Le Café des Chats

Today, I visited “Le Café des Chats”, a cafe filled with cats.

The outside of the café.

The outside of the café.

The concept of a coffee house and kitty petting zoo originated in Japan, and has only recently opened in Paris.  I had heard of it long before I moved abroad, which proved important, as reservations must be made weeks in advance.  The café has a food menu, as well as a biography for each of the twelve cats that live there.

Some of the kitty bios.

Some of the kitty bios.

Initially, the cats presented as very Parisian, uninterested in our (literal) catcalls, and appeared to be trained to turn away whenever one attempted to take a picture.

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However, as time went on and the cats noticed I was wearing a beret, they began to hang out with us and let us hold them in our laps.  I was struck by how light they felt in comparison to my bowling ball of a cat at home, but also saddened that I didn’t have have his big warm body to hug.

Even though it’s not my cat, I’m clearly still pretty happy about holding it.

 

All in all, it was a great experience, I will absolutely return to “Le Café des Chats“.


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Expat Life; Day Une

Yesterday was my first day living in France!  Years ago, I might have imagined getting off of my plane, dropping my luggage at my hotel, rushing to a pâtisserie to have a café & macaroons, followed by intense exploration of boutiques and cobbled streets, and maybe even stumbling upon a small gallery and admiring art for hours.  Basically, the big, sexy, bohemian life I’ve always wanted. In actuality, I ended up sleeping the day away in a corporate hotel, and ate a tuna sandwich (from a vending machine) in bed.   And it was exactly what I needed. 

This is my "bed".

This is my “bed”.

Later in the evening, I attended a wine tasting party in the cafe of our hotel, which made it painfully clear that smiling, nodding, and uttering one or two words in French whilst gesturing wildly will be my primary means of communicating with others until I figure out why my Rosetta Stone disc stopped working.

At least this guy was able to understand me.

At least this guy was able to understand me.

Today, we venture out to find our new home.  After that, the bohemian life is sure to follow.


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On Leaving

Today is the day that I begin my journey abroad, and I am feeling a lot of ways.  Exited? Check.  Terrified? Absolutely.  Like I’m going to throw up? Every other minute.

But there’s also a persistent undercurrent of sadness in leaving the people (and pets) that I love.  Many times in my life, I’ve dreamed of picking up and starting anew to escape something. But here’s the thing; things are great, I’m feeling accomplished in my work, and I’ve cultivated a community of friends who make my life full and enriching.  To step away from the known and the good in my life feels like a gamble, and my heart aches when I realize today will be the last time I hold my cat and dog for a very long time.

photo copy 15 photo (Seriously, look at these faces)

But in leaving, I’m trusting the part of me that feels wonder, that feels purpose, that is ready to explore the world (and myself!) and become different.  In “The Sheltering Sky”, Paul Bowles writes of a character,

“Whenever he was en route from one place to another, he was able to look at his life with a little more objectivity than usual. It was often on trips that he thought more clearly, and made the decisions he could not reach when he was stationary”.

I’m looking for new views, but also new eyes.  I think moving thousands of miles away might be a good start.

So, with a few tears in my eyes, and a lot of hope in my heart, I embark on a journey through the world, and through myself.

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