I never felt I belonged, I felt it was a mistake. I was born in the wrong family or I was swapped at my birth with another child.
I never thought the same way they did, they were avid readers I wasn’t interested in books. My love for reading came later. We had a nice library at home. My sisters spent their time reading, I was in my head dreaming I had a perfect life finding ways to escape my life.
One person that made a huge difference in my life was my Uncle, “Tonton” Francois. He is my mother’s younger brother. He traveled around the world, he wasn’t present most of the time, but I always was drawn to him because he was like me. We were kinder Spirits. As I become a teenager we grew closer even though he was working for the Club Med. I remember he always sent me beautiful post cards, they always lifted my spirits. When he came back he always had some gifts and stories to tell.
He wasn’t aware of all the drama unfolding at home. Each time he came back it was always a treat for us.
In the early 80’s he left the Club Med to move to the US, he stayed there for several years. During that time, he had a plan to have the three of us come visit him. Unfortunately, this never happened he came back to Europe for health reason.
I was at that time going to school in Lyon, he was living in Lyon. We used to meet once a week for lunch. He always picked different restaurants, I became a foodie. Enjoying our conversation, he shared with me so many silly stories that happened to him. He was my mentor, I used to spend some weekends at his place. It was a nice escape from the life we had. He introduced me to the world of nascar, we had our favorite driver Mark Martin. It was great we didn’t have to speak, just sit next to each other, our spirits would communicate.
my relationship with my mother continued to disintegrate. We were so different, she never understood me the gap become wider. She became resentful of the relationship I had with my Uncle, to the point to rant about it.
I had an interesting conversation with my Uncle regarding the trip to the US he wanted my sisters and I to do. I always told him it was good we didn’t do it because I would have refused to come back home.
His biggest regret was not being able to be helped my sisters and I more. I told him he had no idea, since he was traveling it would have been difficult for him to help. After all it wasn’t his journey
Speaking with my Uncle gave me the inspiration to apply for a job at the Club Med. I went to Paris for an interview it was during the winter time. I remember there were four candidates in the same room, the person who did the interview brought only two chairs. I do not know if this was a test at that time, but I took one of the chair. The other candidates shared the other one. After the interview was done, I felt I flunked the interview, I stop by a McDo and grabbed a burger. I left depressed and went to the train station. I didn’t hear from them for a couple of months.
One day out of the blue I received a call from the Club Med. I thought at first it was a joke, but it wasn’t. Finally, I was in, I had my first assignment. I had to go to Opio to work. I was so excited, finally I got my way out of there.
I felt I was on the right track. I had no idea what was waiting for me. Neither do I know if I would be working there forever. But I knew I was finally living that life that wasn’t mine, moving toward into the unknown. It was scary, but I got the courage to do it. For someone who was shy it was a big leap of faith. This is what I was waiting for.