My country of origin, Switzerland, is small. But do not underestimate the power of small. Small can be good. Small can mean quality.
On the other hand, small can be stifling. I left Switzerland because I needed more space and fewer rules. The world beckoned. At eighteen, I crossed the Channel and landed in England. At twenty-two, I left Germany, crossed the Atlantic and landed in Philadelphia with my first husband. Subsequently, I moved to Iceland, back to the States, then to Belgium, Switzerland, New York, London, and back to the US. Along the way, I acquired a second husband and two sons, all three my pride and joy.
My current profession? Marriage and family therapist. In previous lives, I was a cross-cultural trainer, a French teacher, a German translator, a magazine writer, a liner note editor for a classical music label. For a long time, I viewed my career trajectory as somewhat fragmented–defined, in part, by my status as a perpetual foreigner in transit between two countries. It turns out that I’m more linear than I thought. The common theme is communication. Which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise since I have a degree in media and communications.
I am, first and foremost, a writer. More precisely, a native French speaker who prefers to write in English. What can I say? I love languages and my Swiss roots demand that I speak several. I am partial to Romance languages, of course, and even capable of finding beauty in a well-crafted German sentence. But English always held special allure for me. From the moment it was taught at my school, I relished speaking it and never missed an opportunity to practice with native speakers–Brits and Yanks passing through my hometown. In contrast to the formal, flowery French of my youth, English was, and still is, refreshingly direct and succinct.
Besides writing, I paint, I play the piano, I practice yoga. I dream. I seize the day. I enjoy food: not so much the cooking–both my sons have become accomplished cooks as a result of my uninspired kitchen performance which, by the way, was the plan–as the tasting and the presentation! Serving a dish in a manner that pleases all the senses is my idea of haute cuisine. Personal quirks include a weakness for Skippy peanut butter (consumed straight out of the jar with a tiny spoon), low tolerance for whining, and a penchant for strong opinions.
I think that’s enough. Don’t you?