A Pledge…

Memoir (noun)

  1. a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation.
  2. Usually, memoirs.
    a. an account of one’s personal life and experiences; autobiography.
    b. the published record of the proceedings of a group or organization, as of a learned society.
  3. a biography or biographical sketch.


Over the years, since I was actually quite young, I have been told that I should write a memoir. One immediately wonders if their life is that interesting and if they are actually pompous asses if they think it might be. Such a word – memoir – holds a great deal of weight, because I feel that only people who have lead extraordinary lives should really put pen to paper in such a manner. My father should have written one and my grandfather did; however, I fear that it is rather pretentious of me at thirty-six to feel like I have something worthwhile to say about life. What do I know?

I would be lying if I said I’ve never thought about it. I have momentarily touched upon my childhood in Moscow in 1991, as well as my life in Kuala Lumpur in the mid-80s in writing, but I struggle with how to write a truly full and colorful account of these experiences and a myriad of other stories. I only hope that I can do it justice.

Since leaving Los Angeles on June 3rd, 2011, I have kept a journal that I have written in almost daily. My intent over the next year (or so) is to go through these pages and find the stories and anecdotes that may help me pull together a book that would describe my move to Paris; my childhood in Malaysia, Russia, and the United States of America; and the people that are my family. I am the child of two amazing individuals with very different stories of their own.

My intention now is to use my blog to gather my thoughts in order to write this book. I must decide what to leave out and what to include. To find the correct words to describe memories that are both recent and over twenty-five years old, as well as family stories that have been handed down throughout the years. I guess the only way to forge such a path is to begin to write…


Where in the World does this race start? Or go? Or end?

Apparently time has flown by and March is now July. Spring has passed, though no one in Paris is really sure if it was ever here. Now we are enjoying the warmth of summer and being outside is a must! However, as a writer nearly finished with her script – the reason I moved here – my life has been spent at a table staring at a computer. (Said computer is now the newest Macbook Pro… which makes for a happier écrivain.)

While a lot of things have been changing in my life – for the (creative) good  – I have been stressed about the idea that I might never make my film. I am aware that it is a possibility that this script will never see the light of day – in an old Staples printer paper box on a dusty shelf  – and I know that I have to have faith. Blind faith. One might pause at those two words. They seem to say, “You will not be seeing where you are going.” Or “It’s without direction or purpose.” Or “You will not see the reality that is staring you right in the face, because you will not be looking with your eyes.

As I stress out, I remind myself that my initial move to France was made with blind faith. I knew I belonged in Paris and that my dreams were one hundred percent (100%) possible for me here. Why Paris? Let’s just say I felt it in my gut. I was being pulled across the Atlantic and I acted without a plan. Give my last months notice. Check. Sell belongings (i.e. car.) Check. Give things to Goodwill. Check. Give things to friends. Double Check. Put things in storage (and later ship to Mother.) Check. Pack suitcases, buy plane ticket, and fly to Paris on June 3rd, 2011? Check. Check. Check.

As of today – July 11, 2013 – blind faith has only been on “my side.” A guardian angel (of energy) that has guided me through the ups and downs: living in a foreign country; braving the bureaucracy that is the French government; the visa headaches; the no one talks to each other at the Préfècture or goes by the same rules twice; not speaking French when I moved; being a dyslexic trying to learn the language; believing that I’ll get EU citizenship once Latvia allows duality (which goes into law on October 1st.) And the big dream of being an American-Latvian filmmaker residing in Paris, France.

I still frequently question my creative talent, though. I need to have a strong belief in myself and cultivate patienceThe road ahead of me is filled with countless roadblocks… but I will hurdle them. Like a track runner in a marathon filled with 100mm hurdles, as well as the random military bootcamp training obstacle. There is a finish line, but I don’t know where it is, how to get there, or how long it will take to reach it. The race has no map. The destination is unmarked. Bravery is the only fuel. I may not reach the exact goal I have set out before me, but I will get very close. Perhaps I’ll even hit the bullseye, but to the right of center.

“While you long and aim for the destination, thrive on the journey; the battle; the adventure.” 

The View From Here Is Exquisite

There is so much going on in my life – mostly exquisitely good – that I am not sure how to express myself. How do I capture the full spectrum of how wonderful things are in words? Spring is only a few weeks away and the weather seems to be battling the future. While we’ve had beautiful spring days with a high of 61 degrees, there have also been days like today where it is 45 degrees; however, I have been spending a good portion of my time indoors. Not because I’m necessarily lazy, but because I have work to do. I’m a writer. I must finish my current project.

I do look outside and daydream about summer, which is only around the corner, and picnics in parks and sitting along the Quai de la Tournelle at night drinking wine and eating lovely cheeses with other expatriates or my Parisian friends. Long walks around Paris by myself or with a visiting friend – usually from Los Angeles or New York City – that last for hours and includes random stops at cafés for either a café allonger or un verre de vin. In the summers we seem to drink a lot of rosé.

When I have finished my current project, I will venture outside. That will be my reward for finishing. I have a lot on my plate! I am also applying for another visa: the Compétence et Talents Visa (or the Skills and Talent Visa.) I have two friends who already have the visa – a fellow filmmaker and a musician – and they are both helping me put together a 70-page proposal to give to the French Préfecture. My lovely Parisian girlfriends have also offered to help me translate, as well as be mental and emotional supports over a bottle of wine. (We like our wine here.)

While I have lived in Paris, there have been so many wonderful opportunities that have remained out of my grasp due to me being on the Visitors Visa. I am not allowed to legally work in France. I have had to actually turn down a few jobs. (Hence my applying for the S&T Visa, which would allow me to be paid for any job affiliated with my proposed project.) So I remain in my home office diligently working on my future in hopes for the chance and opportunity to make my dreams come true.

Actually, in all truth, I have been fortunate enough to already be living my dream life. My two year anniversary in Paris is quickly approaching and will be celebrated on June 4th. While things have been tough – as I watch my savings dwindle – I count myself to be so very fortunate. I live in a cute apartment in Nation, which is actually large in Paris standards. And I have a small room off my bedroom that acts as both a dressing area AND a cozy home office. What’s not to love about life?

~ My Home Office ~