When do people stop dreaming? When did I?
Somewhere along the way, life happens, and we start confusing short- or mid-term plans with dreams. Worse, we adopt other people's dreams as our own, convincing ourselves that if they are good enough for someone we love, they are good enough for us. Somewhere along the way, we forget who we are.
Les renoncements. We settle.
Dreams are harder to achieve than plans. Dreams require a good dose of imagination. Enthusiasm. Some craziness. Ambition. Patience. And a little bit of selfishness too. But folks, making a dream come true is the ultimate reward, one that will be appreciated only if it took a lot of hard work and sacrifices to get there.
I just turned a big birthday this spring, and as I looked back at the person I used to be, in my 20s or 30s, I realized somewhere along the way, I stopped dreaming.
This year has been a challenging one for our family. In more ways than one. Curve balls have been thrown at us, as life has a tendency to do, and in our attempts to catch them, there has been no time to dream - or even to think about dreaming.
No matter. This ends now. Oh, I know there will be more rough months ahead, more trials; and I will look at them squarely in the face. But this does not mean life has to stop just now.
I want to keep on dreaming. I want to feel inspired, and excited, once again.
This week, the funniest thing happened. And all because of a little car I met at a local museum. If you are French, or even European, you will know why I had to have my photo taken in front of that particular car... It was not the fastest, the most beautiful, the most famous car there... but it is the only one I remember from my visit.
|Le May American Car Museum, Tacoma, WA|
Two French girls meet...
La Deux-Chevaux. La Deuche, or, as it is known in the United States, the 2CV.
If you want to understand why this little car occupies such as an important place in the French psyche, you may want to pause and read the story I wrote about it last year. Then come back here and find out how this French Girl started dreaming again...
When I posted this innocent photo on the Facebook page for the French Girl in Seattle blog, a funny thing happened. A French man named Sylvain, another blogger and expat, enjoyed my 2CV story so much, he immediately shared it with the readers of his popular blog, My French Neighbor (merci Sylvain!) Within two hours, the numbers of subscribers to my page had increased by 75%, and visitors left enthusiastic comments about the 2CV, and the page in general. This tickled me pink (no, I will not attempt a translation here.)
It was clear La Deuche still has many fans around the world, and if my story was good enough for Sylvain and other French people (a notorious tough crowd,) then I had reasons to be happy and proud.
|La Deux Chevaux: More French than la baguette or le béret!|
|Still a beloved sight in the French countryside...|
|An iconic French car on an iconic French road|
Just looking at la Deuche makes me smile. That is the truth. I see one go by in France (not a very common occurrence anymore,) and I smile. I can't help it.
As I was researching old photos and stories about the 2CV online, I found a company offering sightseeing tours of Paris in refurbished 2CVs, Quatre Roues sous un Parapluie (Four wheels under an umbrella, one of the 2CV's old nicknames...)
I immediately decided to book a short tour for Junior (the car enthusiast) and me, while we visit relatives in Paris this summer. A 30-mn ride along les Champs-Elysées and around l'Arc de Triomphe in crazy Parisian trafic is a [good] start.. This was a plan, not quite a dream yet... but a fun plan all the same!
Then I looked at the website some more, and I found information about a rally, organized every spring by Quatre Roues sous un Parapluie and the Most Beautiful French Villages of France Association. Imagine that: Seven days. From Paris to Cannes (French Riviera.) Driving your own 2CV with your crew; experiencing some of my homeland's most scenic roads and villages, surrounded by other 2CV and France enthusiasts; all the while competing in a rally; sleeping in comfortable country hotels and interacting with locals every evening; discovering why La Deuche always was so much more than a car... a true lifestyle...
|"I like the good life..."|
|Lucky buggers. I like them all already...|
I had found it. My dream. A dream that would take some time to finalize (and a lot of saving up...) but that would be so satisfying, so fun, so... perfect.
Of course, I will have to start working on it soon. First I will need a dedicated crew. Three people max. 2CV enthusiasts and francophiles need apply. What do you say? Are you interested?
What car will we get? We don't need to own one. Quatre Roues sous un Parapluie will find one for us for the duration of the rally...
|A rugged Sahara model?|
|A convertible Charleston model (my favorite?!)|
|Never mind. This ain't the Pacific Northwest!|
Finally. Some sun on the horizon. Something to look forward to.
Ahhhh... The freedom to dream. It can be mine. It can be yours, once again.
Life can be good, people, for the Dreamers, the Motivated, the Brave!
What about you? Do you have a dream?
- Interested in the 2 CV Rally? More info here.
- Interested in the incredible story of La Deuche? Read more here.
- More Deux Chevaux (2CV) photos, just because... These are a bit of a private joke for French readers. Do you get it? :-)
Merci, chère Deuche, for reminding me of the intoxicating power of dreams...