Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cancer makes you do crazy things...

...so I got a summer job in Paris. I'll be teaching Fashion & Design to exchange students and the twins will come over there with me for 6 weeks or so.

Cancer is a funny beast. I have known it intimately. And for those who know me well, they are accustomed to my flights of folly. I have, since I was a teenager, or my parents could probably argue earlier than that, have figured out something I've wanted and gone about getting it. There was drawing a picture and getting it published on the cover of a book for the United Nations when I was 12, going to France for the first time when I was 15, spending every summer of my life in the mountains in a canoe, on a trail or hanging off cliffs until I was 24, deciding to become a teacher, going to grad school on a full scholarship, selling everything to move back to Paris for design school, making TV shows & movies, writing, public speaking, riding motorcycles, getting married to a not so good "was-bund" and marrying a much better one, having twins at 47, raising little kids in my 50's (one who is blind), returning to full-time designing...the list goes on and there are oh, so many things I CAN'T or won't mention (for now)...

But it's that doggone cancer that pricks you like a pin and says "Wake the fuck up and do more!" "What haven't you done in your life that you've wanted to do?" I have heard people say that they wake up after fighting cancer - they smell the flowers, they love harder, they acknowledge life and are more patient with others. I have even heard people thank cancer for opening their eyes and giving them a new lease on life. One woman once said something like she wished everyone she knew could have the mental and emotional effect of having cancer to experience how it changes you. Personally, I think that's a crock of shit and wouldn't wish cancer - even for its life-changing values - on anyone!

But I must admit, cancer - even in the tiniest ways - makes me do some things differently. Ever since I lived for all of those years in France, I've always said I would like to go back and spend a month there every year - especially now that Creed & Zelda are around. But, did I ever attempt a plan? Look into it? Do any research? Well, no - I would visit, attend shows, visit museums, have parties and delight in old friends... And then the other day I saw the post and with my "life's too short, eat dessert first attitude", I applied for the job: each day imagining a summer where I could teach what I love and spend time with my dear friends, introducing my kids to the city that is such a part of me, soaking up "ma dose" of inspiration, work on my book (oh! you didn't know that I was writing one?), and make new connections for my one-of-a-kind slow fashion movement.

So, here we go...do I have the money for the plane tickets yet? Well, no. Have I secured us an apartment yet? Well, no. What will happen at my shop while we're there? Haven't decided yet. And there's Evan...my husband: watching, wondering, silently shaking his head, waiting for the plan to unfold...and it will.

Less then 90 days and counting...on arrive!

6 comments:

ruby said...

You inspire me so much Gail.

Beth Ann said...

I love your passion! Way to go, girl!
and Evan...isn't it a great ride? Enjoy!

Jill bisinger said...

Oh I just love this Gail! Adventures like these are what life is all about (= Try homeexchange.com for a place to stay ... people write me to exchange from Paris all the time. Can't wait to follow your summer journey. xo

Karen sherwood gould said...

We plan our life, but God places our footsteps. All will happen in due course.

Roseana Auten said...

Gail,

I wish we knew each other. I find you daring. I was treated myself for breast cancer three years ago. I think there's a tendency when you're ill to just want everything to be the same again, only it can't be.

Anonymous said...

You are my idol! and the C&Z are more beautiful by the day. I had the joy to live in paris at 19 and have not been back. The other day Caits said to me "i know a great place to shop mommy by the eiffel tower~!" Could it be my old soul twin was once a Parisian? There has been lots of talk around my house about reinvention, hmmmm with love your old cyber friend mb (and caits and georgia)