Lesson 35: Speaking French takes… say what?

Bonjour mon amis.  This year, as with all other years, once you turn 35 it is chronic downhill and time takes on a new time force field of its own.And I passed 35 a few years ago!

muffin top in jeansSo much stuff is happening in my life right now – I have 7 weeks left of my current job and after that who knows what will be part of the plan. I am feeling a sense of sheer relief – like someone has taken the tightest pair of jeans off my buxom derriere and I can finally breathe without trying to hide the muffin top!

That should describe it quite perfectly! It has not been an awful job – don’t get me wrong, but it is not part of my future and often times it has been a must instead of a want to….Now that probably sounds like the rest of the global population but I am in the space where I am no wanting to take a leap…yes of faith so to speak and actually it is a leap of faith – no way around this one!

I have never been this reckless…I am the kind of person that always has it together – I like to trust God for all the other stuff but when it comes to work I have never taken the plunge anywhere else but in the “Permanent employee pool”. So this is new, uncharted territory for me – I am literally on that red bike, pedaling with no idea of north and just saying ” Okay Father God…you tell me, what’s next?”

I have to tell you it is so liberating and at the same time I feel like I am starring in my own horror movie…I can hear the music…it’s the end of the month…the bills are not paid…and I am lying in a pool of sweat…

But hold that thought – it is also fabulous because I now I get to discover what it truly is God has for me. You know it makes me laugh when we ask God to bring change and release us from what is holding us back while holding on to the very things we want to change. I think God must be sitting up there saying – ” I will do all those things but first…YOU HAVE TO LET GO!”

So all of this has led me to thinking about the next lesson in the said life of Michelle – madam working but only for the next 7 weeks – wishing to be free to roam the French countryside ( and that could be sooner than later now), buying fresh produce from the local market and learning her p’s and q’s of the French language. Le sigh – if I dream it, it will come. Well I am definitely going to be free now so baby here’s dreaming!

red letter cLast year I wrote a post on the 3 P’s of learning the French language – now in this state of mind I am leaning towards the C’s. I am still nowhere near where I want to be in my mastery of said French and when people hear I am learning the language and they know a little French – it completely freaks me out! I really am not anywhere near confident enough to speak the frighteningly beautiful language with flair and so I must look like a possum about to keel over and feign death just to get out of having to actually respond!

 So what in the words of the longing to be wise… are the key ingredients to getting over the hurdle of the fear of speaking French and living a life of faith and purpose?

Ingredient 1confidence is required.

How do I get this elusive confidence? Do I just jump in head first and make it happen come hell or the proverbial high water? Or is it something left to simmer away slowly over time until perfectly stewed and creamy?

I think it requires a bit of both – sometimes we do need to just jump in, head first immersion, which is not my most available option just yet. If I take a little moment each day to focus on perfecting just a small snippet of the dialect I would naturally gain confidence, so I choose to stew for now. Same with faith and purpose – just keep working at it and dammit LET GO when you want to see a change. Want change? Make some changes! Touché

french womanIngredient 2charisma.

The French are well-known for their flair, flamboyance and flavour (maybe the next blog should be the 3 F’s although that could be construed as adult content and we don’t want to go there…).

How can you speak the language without a little smattering of charisma? The word itself creates the picture of a  French mademoiselle smoking a cigarette at a small café staring into the distance with determined style.

Without confidence your charisma will be nothing more than deflated souffle so it seems we need to simmer these two together to achieve something worthwhile.

This is what wikipedia has to say about charisma:

The term charisma (/kəˈrɪzmə/; pl. charismata, adj. charismatic) has two senses: (1) compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others, (2) a divinely conferred power or talent.

I like the latter meaning…some divinely conferred talent would go down well right about now!

Ingredient 3 – courage of course. It is going to take a determined courage for me to actually open this English mouth of mine and speak ‘la langue’ (the language) without feeling like an absolute fool. And it’s going to take courage not to compromise what I believe is my road right now – taking the road most would advise me to avoid and trusting God instead of myself on this one.

In essence we need to operate with all three of these ingredients simmering at just the right temperature every day in order to attempt to do that which seems out of our reach, not within our grasp or way too challenging.

All this, not just about learning a foreign language – I am talking about doing those things you have always wanted to be but have never felt that you could meet the expected the criteria.

Maybe you have always wanted to study but never have and now you have a hundred and one reasons why you couldn’t do it, or you always wanted to dance but you think you are too old or too left footed, maybe it’s a business that needs to be registered or a relationship that requires the next step to commitment.

choice keyborad buttonThis is the time to take the 3 C’s and make it happen which leads me then to the next ingredient, the 4th C – choice. We need to choose to be confident in who we are.

But can we choose to be confident?

Oh yes, of course!

When you choose to believe that you are able, when you choose to ignore the lies and negatives about who you think you are and choose to see your promise and possibility, then you can start working on your confidence.

I know it doesn’t happen overnight but once you choose to think confidently and to see yourself in victory, you will begin to grow in confidence, the right confidence, a true deep knowing that you are able, chosen and destined for more. When we choose this, we ultimately begin to believe that we are capable (wow another C…)  and then we can step out with more confidence, be it a little shaky to begin with.

Charisma in the making and courage, strong enough to learn and grow – to achieve the dreams and goals we once put aside out of fear or self-sabotage.

You can do this – it’s a significant choice granted – and maybe one that has been put off for one day too many. Haul out the dreams – dust off the vision and start cooking!

Let’s make a deal, I learn to speak French and you agree to chase down, yeah another C,  your dream and fervently pursue it – with all the gusto you can muster.

I don’t want to allow my excuses to determine my future I want to know that despite the number of times I fail that I am pursuing my dream, the only real failure in this would be shelving it because it seemed too hard or impossible.

In the words of Audrey Hepburn “Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE. The word itself says I’M POSSIBLE!”

Find your C’s  and make it happen. Much confidence, charisma and courage,




  1. Aha, the first like! Blogging victory is mine!

    A rather delightful post, Mich. It appears as if we face similar circumstances in terms of our future employment situations. Yes, a little faith is required, along with the Cs that you identify. (I suspect Don Charisma may have to pay you a visit.)

    As for the muffin top and related material, you did put a smile on my face with this.


    1. Thanks Nav – you are my gold star blogger today! I will say a prayer for you today as I relax in my loose fitting jeans hehe – glad to put a smile on your dial…thought of ol’ Don Charisma as I was writing this post…he at least has that C in the bag!

    2. I also took the employment leap as of January! It’s scary, but I know with each passing day that I made a decision in honor of myself and what is truly meant for me. Thank you for this inspiring post!

      1. Thank you for your encouragement Jami. I feel like when we do what is right for us and we stop compromising we open the doors for so much possibility. So I will be trusting for you too that the right doors open at just the right time. Be blessed and don’t settle!

  2. A leap of faith! Risky, but oh so exciting. I feel excited for you Mich and I love this post, beautifully written. Remember, better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all, right? Although of course, I’m sure you won’t fail. In fact I know you won’t because you will learn so much along the way and nothing is ever wasted. I can assure you of that!!!
    What I’m trying to say is this Mich…I’ve got your back mon amie 🙂 x

    1. Ah Sherri – thank you for those beautiful encouraging words and amen sister! I really feel that after years of asking Father for release and then just sitting and waiting making no move of my own, He has stepped in and said “Right, it’s time.” I am just totally trusting in Him to guide me and I know if I keep my eyes on Him I will learn ….even if Is tumble at times.
      God bless you!

      1. This is so exciting to read Mich. In Father’s arms and with His loving guidance you can’t go wrong 🙂
        God bless you dear sister, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend 🙂
        (PS So sorry I haven’t got my awards post out yet, but I haven’t forgotten, it will be out very soon, I promise! xx)

      2. So true! You take your time with those awards – I also have some awards I still haven’t got to yet xx

  3. “not anywhere near confident enough to speak the frighteningly beautiful language with flair and so I must look like a possum about to keel over and feign death just to get out of having to actually respond!”
    –> I know exactly how you feel! Unfortunately when lacking in confidence I choose to stay quiet about my somewhat limited knowledge of the French language for fear I will not do it justice. Sadly my hesitance doesn’t help me get any better though!

    1. So true – I think we need to be confident enough to make mistakes and sound a little foolish – and to be able to laugh at ourselves a little more. It would probably endear us to the French anyway! It is so silly how our fears limit us when they should actually be pushing us forward into that uncomfortable space of learning.
      How about this…I will if you will?
      Let me know how it goes…;)

  4. This post has not only earned you my respect and admiration, Mich, it’s kicking off your 5×5 post! (Which should run on Feb. 12, by the way.)

    I love your writing voice and I wish you nothing but the best.

    1. Hi Melanie

      I am teaching myself at this stage and I don’t have enough time right now to really get my head into it. I am so happy to have direction though – thank you for that short lesson – every bit makes the journey do-able! Gaining confidence every step of the way…but some days it feels near impossible to be able to get a sure grasp on this incredible language. One step forward at a time x
      merci 😉

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