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Pourqoui Pas?

When you’ve had a lot of disappointments and almosts in your life, there’s a tendency to see Murphy’s Law as the rule rather than the exception. But what are dreams, where do they come from? What makes us think “why?” rather than, “why not?” And so what if Murphy’s Law became as commonplace as gravity, should one stop dreaming altogether?

I have always dreamed of living in France for at least 2 months. I’d daydream of having a wonderful string of sensible, beautiful, poetic French roll off my tongue with a local. I would politely ask someone I knew for a few weeks if I could use tu or if they preferred vous. They would comment that my French was indeed improving nicely and I was easy to understand. And perhaps, most of all, I would meet the real me.

What does that mean? Am I a French-speaker trapped in an English-speaker’s body? No. I simply mean that I’ve always known that the process of pursuing this dream would be a critical journey in my life. The problem with Murphy’s Law and gravity is that one sets a dream’s due date as “20 years from today” (“today” being any day you dare to skim through your hopes and wishes). The other causes you to sag. And both keep your feet planted firmly on the ground of reality, whatever that is, with clipped wings.

A month ago, I signed up for Beginner’s French class. 1A, where they assume you know nothing but probably love wine and cheese. See, I always thought I would do it when I was “older” and “settled in life.” I’m twice as old as the 13 years when I last studied French formally. I’m thoroughly settled on the fact that my life isn’t going to hand me anything on a platter. So the only question left was, “Why not?”

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