Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The financial future..

It's one we all worry about and after reading this article just now: http://graphics.latimes.com/retirement-nomads/ I think it's important to write about my realities with finances and my future.

I worked long term at jobs until I went full-time to the university to get my B.F.A. in art. It was in school that I decided to focus on becoming an artist and image-maker but without having any business sense. I knew it was something that would not make much money but it was what made me happy, fulfilled and alive.

Becoming an artists' model was a wonderful extension of that goal and it was a bonus that I was able to make this an almost full-time job. Some schools even took taxes out of my salary so I could have some Social Security when/if I retire. To supplement that, I worked for 8 years in an art supply store further adding to my Social Security....That was when I was in the U.S.

Now I am in France and I had to start from the ground-up with working. I have started to finally re-gain a little bit of my modeling career,  slowly building contacts and regular jobs and gaining more as I persevere. I don't know what my future will hold in terms of me getting an actual supplemental, regular weekly job unless I somehow become fluent in French. That may happen, and it may not so I need to model.

I am 47 years old. It's not old but many people my age at least begin to think about retirement or at least what they can do to plan for. My job is a physical one and there are times that pain in my muscles and bones lasts for weeks. I have to take public transportation for work and I bring with me a rolling suitcase with all my modeling-related gear. I am going up and down flights of stairs while dragging this thing with me and sometimes the commute is over an hour to get to one of the ateliers. Sometimes I am tired before I even begin work. But it has to be done. And I think about how long I can go on doing this.

My husband has a very good job but that might be in trouble soon, due to downsizing/integrating employees after a company merge. Even if he stays on, we do not have savings or anything that would make us safe in the "golden years."

Economic crises have hit across the Atlantic Ocean. The US is not the only country affected by this. I chose this path in life, I know. However, I do have many worries. Bills, groceries and being able to handle going out once in awhile to enjoy life has become a creative balance. At times, it's become very difficult to stretch the euro and I know I am not the only one this is affecting. Many people that have chosen this unconventional life of multiple part-time jobs, freelancing and living week by week financially. Retirement is a thing of the past and I believe most of us unconventional folk will have to work until we die.

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Today is the first day of school, or rentrée you would call it, here in France. Apparently it's made a  big deal here, more than I knew it to be in New York anyway. It's not just the start for the schools, but all of society seems to finally get back to work after 2 month vacations.

I personally see January being the start of a year. I suppose as I think about it, I am not sure why aside from it being the new calendar year but I always say it's time for the slate to be cleaned and to see what the year will bring.

The last 2 years here has been taken month by month in terms of planning anything aside from living here permanently. The financial struggle has been enormous so slowly building up work, slowly learning a new language and being at the mercy of many things have led me to have to take it all in increments. If I didn't, I would have fallen apart and into a deep depression with all of the frustrations at hand. Perhaps that's not entirely true because my husband, my partner, has been my strong, loving support system through this and I know he would have never let that happen to me. He has proven that time and time again.

Now, things are looking up a little in terms of being able to make a couple of future plans. We are planning to renovate our bedroom after Christmas and in the late Spring of next year, we are planning a visit to New York, finally. I feel like it's something we need to do sooner than later for various personal reasons, one of which is that I need to truly focus on solely grounding myself here. I am doing it now, yes, and maybe it sounds strange but I feel until I see New York with Gilles soon, I can make a full closure and get on with my life here.

To end this entry, I'd like to post a photo of our new baby, just in time for rentrée -France's new year. In another post, I will perhaps write about the loss of my pets through my divorce but for now, I want to focus on and cherish this boy. He's a 2 year old Maine Coon mix that we adopted from a cat rescue association. He was apparently abandoned, though the head of the association didn't know the story of how. And I never understand people that do those things and with him, even more so. He is gentle, affectionate, calm and sweet. We named him Finwë (pronounced feen-way) after a high elven king from Tolkien's The Silmarillion. (Thanks to my wonderful geeky husband). Isn't he beautiful?