A while ago, my step-father looked at my husband and I with an envious eye and pronounced the words that still resonate in my mind:
“Guys, I like you, but let’s be honest; you have nothing. Literally nothing. Always broke, always starving, always on the verge of bankruptcy. Yet, you are happy. Profoundly content with your lot. How did you achieve happiness?”
I’m going to be frank; my step-father and I often had words and reaching that point in life where we can actually enjoy each other company is on the verge on the miraculous.
But that one, I didn’t expect.
I tried to stay on the right track; I graduated from a great University, landed my first jobs, started earning my own money, and… Gosh. I was a wreck.
Not one minute to myself to sat in front of a piano or write a word on my computer.
Resenting everything and everyone in my existence.
So miserable I used to cry in the shower.
That was how I started my life as an adult.
Then, I met my husband.
It was 8 years ago, and I still remember the sparkle in his eyes when we shared our first kiss.
Morgan was never a free spirit; He was used to be tamed. He grew up in very hostile and toxic environment and I still don’t understand by what miracle he became the most tender, thoughtful, open-minded and caring being in the universe.
I, on the other end, have been a handful to my parents. I never disobeyed per se, I just didn’t fit in anyone’s mold, and in this day and age, my free spirit has often been reproached to my mother.
To set the context, you have to know that my mom is an artist.
She is a pianist, and a pretty good one for that matter. She raised me in a supercharged artistic environment.
When I look back, my childhood, for the most part, is this: my mom and I, jumping from one theater seat to another, meeting great artists and musicians, enjoying parties.
I remember mostly the parties.
Beautiful gowns and amazing appetizers.
And yes, as predicted: we ended up broke.
My grandfather, on the other end, my mom’s dad, was a practical man. He married a free spirited woman, and knew the struggle firsthand; my grandmother worked as a piano teacher (piano is a common thread in our family), was the cathedral’s organist, wrote and composed plays and musicals… annnd spent her life penniless.
As long as I can remember, my grandfather, the person I treasured the most and saw as my leading light, always told me “Please, don’t be a professional artist, Titou; You can’t become a musician, writer, dancer, whatever, because if you do, you’ll starve. Keep a steady job. Put food on your table, a roof over your head and the rest, you’ll have plenty of time for it.”
And that’s a great advice.
That’s probably the most loving advice someone like me can get.
Yet, he saw how my mom was raising me; and now, in retrospect, I think that in his heart he already knew that I would only be half happy if I kept on that path of life.
I mean, I tried.
For over a decade, I really tried, but once I heeded the siren song of freedom, there was no coming back.
That’s when I chose to embrace my life as a fiction writer.
Morgan, on his part, always dreamt to become a professional musician, but it took me years and years to finally make him accept his own truth; he’s not meant for a traditional path of life either, and once we both embraced being a loving married couple dedicated to music and art, our everyday life improved drastically.
No more nightmares, no more tears, no more need to cling to the past.
We are now enjoying every moment, one note, one word, one laugh at a time.
And sure, we are broke. We survive on one tiny income and try our best to financially stay afloat, but that’s part of the deal we made, right?
Vivre d’amour et d’eau fraîche.
Isn’t it romantique?
Looking forward to reading you,
Cover picture by OC Gonzalez via Unsplash