Lost Girl of the Week: Lindsey TramutaLost Girl of the Week — By Lost Girls on September 22, 2010 at 6:00 am
Lindsey Tramuta is an expat in Paris from Philadelphia and the creator of the blog Lost In Cheeseland – a collection of musings on food, life, love and obstacles in France. A graduate of Temple University, Lindsey wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life but she knew it involved living abroad. Little did she know before her first trip to Cheeseland that it would also involve falling for a tall, dark and handsome Frenchman! Four years and a master’s degree from the American University of Paris later, she’s enjoying her rive droite life and trying to figure out her next move.
We all envision great things for ourselves and usually this begins during childhood. Albeit derisory looking back, my childhood fantasy for future greatness involved driving a school bus, becoming a famed painter and teaching high school English. My career aspirations changed about as often as my hair scrunchies but I always thought this was normal, that no one really knows what they want to make of themselves aside from knowing it will be significant.
Yet somehow my older sister always knew she wanted to be a veterinarian and I’m pretty sure my father always knew he would be a doctor but I didn’t know even know WHERE I wanted to be, let alone what I wanted to do, until my feet touched French soil for the first time. And that was pretty much it – I fell in love with the lifestyle and resolved to construct a life around the country and language.
Fast forward to college, where I studied French and Communications. Everyone around me had a plan, foresaw a corporate future and accepted that they would be giving their lives to long hours until they could prove themselves and either move up or move out. I was loath to believe this was the only option. No one ever pressured me to choose an academic direction that would set me on a clear professional path but I, nonetheless, felt inadequate for sticking with passion rather than practicality. I was intimidated by everyone else’s clarity and afraid of failure.
After a 7 week French language and fashion seminar in Paris, I knew the future was getting clearer. Yes, that is partially a result of meeting the man I now proudly call my husband, but I never would have attempted that trip had it not been for an insatiable need to discover what else was out there. What opportunities and experiences would present themselves, I wondered, beyond the City of Brotherly Love? My life would be completely different had I not been mustered up the courage to conquer my fear and break free from my comfort zone. I did whatever necessary to return to Paris (i.e. studied abroad to complete my undergraduate degree and graduate school) and it’s been four years of struggle, frustration, excitement and personal growth.
Whereas before I felt like I was without a crystal clear professional trajectory, now I feel lost metaphorically. The nostalgia for my former home comes and goes in waves but I’m truly not sure if I could live in the States again; at least not anytime soon. There is still so much left I want to discover about myself here but if all of the friends I’ve made start to return to their homelands, where does that leave me? With a husband anticipating an itch to move in a few years and my growing desire to evolve our life in Paris, the future remains unclear. But if I have to be lost, there’s no place else I’d rather be.