Introducing myself to my new town…

I’ve done something which is very “me”. My family and I have moved to the little city down the hill from our village and as I’ve decided to be more active in my local community from here on out, I made a little video to introduce myself. Yes, I could have written a post in French but I still make so many errors that it’s just that much easier to prepare notes and speak to the camera.

The video is in French, but I’ve gone through and created the English subtitles so that you English speaking readers can also understand what I’m saying.

Here’s the transcript in case you can’t watch the video:

Hello, I would like to introduce myself. My family and I are going to be moving to Huy in the coming week and, well, I decided that I’d like to present myself so that you know who I am.

We’re a very loud family who adore their animals, who value living with the seasons, living with less waste, and we like to support the small business owners and the artisans of the region whenever it’s possible to do so.

As for me, I’m an American, immigrant, 37 years old, I’m creative, compassionate, I enjoy medieval reenactment (bah, sorry for the stutter, for a moment I forgot the word in French )reading, local tourism, and everything related to DIY. My sense of humor is a bit silly but I find beauty and humor in
absolutely everything.

My husband is a very geeky introvert. He’s Belgian and enjoys cooking, playing billiards, petanque and badminton. We have two teenage boys who keep to themselves for the most part, but who would secretly love to be invited by other children in the neighborhood to play football, or video games, they’re at our home on Wednesday afternoons and every other weekend. They enjoy being out in nature, technology, the world cup, and above all, the “Top 50” from the 1980’s
We also have a two year old daughter who is bilingual (English and French)and in March she will start preschool at a local elementary school. She already knows some of the children from the neighborhood thanks to the Bébés et Compagnie group in Wanze.

I’ve been an English teacher for seven years. I’ve taught Business English,
and for young learners but principally, at the moment, I teach at Kids&Us; in Hannut where we offer English classes for children as young as one year old
it’s magnificent, very effective, and I love it. I also offer some English conversation classes through the Centre Culturel of Marchin and…um…so for the most part I work weekday afternoons and Saturdays.

We’re taking advantage of our move to restart some things in our lives. First of all, I’m going to revive my blog in order to push myself in several directions. I want to create pretty things, beautiful and homemade for myself
and for my family. I would like to meet as many people in the new neighborhood as possible. I would love to have people stop by our home to say hello and join me for a cup of coffee any weekday morning. I dream of having neighbors who
will spontaneously come say hello when they happen to be in the neighborhood and have a moment to spare no need to call me ahead of time, I always have fresh coffee ready to serve.

I would like to meet people who’ve lived here in Huy, and the surrounding areas for a long time to learn all about everything there is to find, to see, to live, to do, I would like to meet some families who would like to build
strong, neighborly relationships. I would like to meet all sorts of creative people; all the creative people in the world, come meet me! I would like to meet entrepreneurs, artisans, people who would like to join me to walk our dogs together in the mornings; people who have children who could be potential new friends for our kids; people who adore gardening, organizing, interior decorating; and who would like to help us to make our new house feel like a real home. I would like to meet people who organize gatherings or events in the area where I could lend a hand some morning after taking my daughter to daycare or school; I would like to meet people who would like to taste some American egg nog or some American cookies, for Christmas or whatever other occasion
and who would like to welcome us to the neighborhood; I would also like to meet local producers of food, drinks, hay for our rabbit, presents that we can offer to the people we love, everyone, basically.

Um… my blog:
It’s called “Château de Brouillon” (castle of rough drafts),so, why “brouillon” (rough draft)? Because one of my philosophies is that life is NEVER the final, polished version that we dream of having. That’s nothing but a fantasy. It’s but a rough draft.You always have to revise it, you must always try to improve it.

I have the feeling that waiting for perfection does nothing but save for later all of the little improvements that we COULD make in our daily lives.
I feel that our society is really missing creativity and the ability to see creativity as an important quality in and of itself and not just a means to add extra lines to one’s resumé. It’s not always possible and it’s not always preferable to earn a living by making beautiful things and by creating magnificent things, sometimes we need to create them in order to create, you know?

I believe that there are many people in the world who,like me, whose soul feels that there’s something more which they could be doing with their lives,
who could be more creative, and who need somebody to give them that push.

Anyway, that’s the kind of person I am. I believe that one must work constantly towards building the world and the community in which we dream of living. My ideal world is one where people can be creative, emotional, sensitive,and a bit silly without fear of being judged. Where you don’t need to carry a collection of masks everywhere with you just to present this
side here or that side there for someone; where people are free to simply stop,
randomly, at a neighbor’s house to ask if they have any eggs or to offer them
a few extra biscuits that you’ve baked, where people of all generations, of all careers,all languages, all religions, all social classes,can see beyond their differences, can appreciate their differences, and treat everyone in the world like potential friends.

No, I’m not an invading American who is going to come into your home and try to change the whole neighborhood I’m just trying to make my world a little bit prettier, a bit more welcoming, and a bit more creative.

I would like to organize, via one of the local Centres Culturel, (so if someone has an idea please tell me!) some creative workshops where everyone from all generations can get together, work together, share their knowledge and skills.

I would like to organize some retreats and events to network with other creative people.

I would also launch myself in the field of creative coaching for people who feel the need to express themselves in life. So, what it means, is that someone who needs a coach like me would be someone who is a little bit “too much” who has always had people tell them “You’re too imaginative” “You’re too weird” “You’re too much of this” “You’re too sensitive” “You’re too much of that”
and they’re fed up with always having to roll themselves up into a tiny little ball in order to be palatable (is that the right word?) well, so that people can appreciate them. They want to work with someone who knows what it’s like to feel things too strongly, to be too loud, to be too sensitive, to be too open, to be too friendly, maybe they’re retired, maybe you’re a professional, maybe you’re a housewife (or househusband), maybe you’re just getting started in life, and one thing that you sense is that you feel a need to do something creative. Even if you don’t know what it is.

During my life, I’ve done just about every type of crafting that you can imagine. I know the basics of, easily, hundreds of different arts and crafts techniques. Either I have the supplies needed to learn the basics or I have the knowledge needed, or I can easily find everything needed to get started.

I love helping people determine why they want to be creative, how much they want to invest (whether we’re talking about time or money), the frequency of which they want to work on their arts or crafts, and which methods they are most likely to feel fulfilled by.

I can also help you if you have a large creative project in your mind and you don’t know how to get started. Together, we could break down your project into a list of tasks to be done which are realistic and achievable. I would be right there alongside you to help you bring your project to fruition and even to lend a hand in person if there is a step which you don’t know how to do.

Now, I’m not yet declared as an independent, all of this remains a dream, it’s the career of my dreams. So, I’m offering you a somewhat rare opportunity.
In order to build my business, my company, I offer three places. I will need some testimonials. I must collect some statements from satisfied clients in order to help me build my business plan. Normally, if I were already established as a Creativity Coach, this service which I’m offering you would have a value of approximately 400 euros per month. Yes, I know that’s expensive. Believe me, I know it sounds expensive, but here is what is included:

First, an initial meeting during which we will determine your needs, your desires, and how much time and effort you are capable of devoting towards expressing yourself. I will help you to complete a brainstorming session to find everything which you would like to create and we will work to break that brainstorm session down into achievable goals.

I will offer you one hour per week. Either in person or via Skype to see if you are making progress, where you are blocked, and to help you remove the hurdles which prevent you from continuing your project.

I offer you fully customized help. I can help you create your master project list, and break it down into a step-by-step plan. I can accompany you to buy the supplies which you need. I can sometimes simply provide the pressure which you need in order to actually push yourself to actually create the thing which you dream of making and to verify that you’re making the progress which we’d agreed at the initial meeting that you wanted to make.

Once a month, we will have a reevaluation session where we examine everything which you’ve done up to that moment in time and we reevaluate the plan for everything which remains of your coaching subscription.

As an extra bonus, do not forget that my professional training has been as
a teacher of English as a Foreign Language. This means that, if you so desire,
all of your sessions can be done entirely in English ! Either to improve your language level, or simply to practice using the language.

I can easily provide you with a level test, Grammar worksheets, vocabulary lists, everything which you need in order to support you.

So all of this would last for three months. Now, if you are interested, don’t hesitate to contact me!

First, yes, I am fully aware that it’s very strange for me to do an video
like this in order to introduce myself. The principal reason why I have chosen to do it like this is because even if I am able to speak French almost entirely correct (with small errors)but I’m nearly bilingual; I detest writing it! I’m sorry but I much prefer to write in English and if I have something to say in French, I prefer to do so verbally.

I completely understand if my oddities make you uncomfortable. I understand if this video only makes you want to avoid me at all costs. That’s your choice.
However, well, this is who I am. I’m bizarre, I’m sensitive, I’m compassionate, I’m creative, I’m informal with everyone simply because for me, it’s impossible to NOT treat everyone as equals and potential friends. I’m too noisy, too chatty, and a bit too THERE.

However, there are people for whom someone like me who is “too”, is too rare. Who have been looking for someone like that, and if this sounds like you, don’t hesitate to come by our new home (once we’ve finished moving this week!)Chemin d’Antheit 64, to introduce yourself, to drink a cup of coffee, and to see how we might be able to help one another in life.

We are very, very impatient to meet you all.

See you soon!

By Misty Rae

I'm a 37 year old American who lives in Belgium. I spend the majority of my time being a wife, mother and homemaker. During the Belgian school year I teach a immersion English classes to children through the school Kids&Us in Hannut and I also volunteer as a teacher for the Marchin Cultural Center's weekly English Conversation Classes.

My hobbies include medieval reenactment, bobbin lace-making, creating delicious treats in the kitchen as well as creating various beautiful objects to fill my home.

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