Torn between 2 Choices.

Women's Feet in moccasins wearing jeans with cuffed ankles

Nothing of note has happened to me in the last 3 year. Except for meeting Tony of course.

You know how they say when it rains it pours? Well, now I have to make a decision. I’m terrible at decisions and always wait until the very last minute to commit to anything, which just leads to long drawn out anticipation, anxiety, and dread and yet I am torn between 2 choices. 

1- TAPIF

I’ve been placed in a majestic looking school in the 17th Arrondissement of Paris for 8 months starting October 1st. My mother is going to join me because I’ve always dreamed of taking her traveling. Tony will only come for a portion of the trip but will hold down the fort in Vancouver since it’s only a short-term contract. He will likely join for 4 months.

2- Cartoon Work

OH, MY GOD. I got a part in a cartoon. A recurring part. I have been chasing the dream of a recurring part on a show for the better half of a decade. It would be ridiculous to walk away from it. That being said, I have no contract and it could end at any time. On the other hand, it could last for years.

Financially

The cartoon wins. I can ALMOST live off the earnings, but I believe that I would choose to save the money rather than spend it and continue waitressing. I have investment goals and hope to own property in the future. Also, the cartoon is only a 2-3 day commitment per month.

TAPIF is a 12 hour a week position and after tax only pays €780/month which would mean dipping into my savings or living on my line of credit.

Career

Tough. If I’m going to continue to pursue acting then the cartoon wins. It’s a recurring part in a series that will air on a very popular network.

I don’t plan on being a teacher, but my French would improve exponentially as a teaching assistant in Paris.

Lifestyle

I’ve lived in Vancouver about 9 years so not too much would change with the cartoon.

TAPIF wins!  All I want in life is to travel the world and learn different languages while trying to dive into the cultures that I’m visiting. Working in a school in Paris is a fabulous opportunity to do so.

So..

Here I am, torn between 2 choices.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

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What is TAPIF?

Red, white and blue apartment in Paris and blue skies

One of the reasons that I started this website was because, at the age of 30, I realized that I’d barely executed a fraction of what I had hoped to accomplish by now. In January 2017 took a 7 day trip to Paris and realized that I hadn’t even scratched the surface of what I wanted to see, learn, eat and drink and so after a couple glasses of wine one night, I sat down and did some research. I’d always assumed that I would live in Paris one day, but then it suddenly clicked that no one was going to make that happen for me. TAPIF was for me the answer of how I could break from the routine of my life in Vancouver and spend 8 months in Paris!

What is TAPIF?

Teaching Assistant Program In France is a program created by the French government to improve English speaking in school-aged students through consistent practice with a native English speaker.  The program also enables Canadians and Americans aged 20-35 to gain teaching experience while enjoying French culture. If you have ever considered becoming a French teaching assistant this is definitely the right program for you.

Duties

TAPIF Assistants work ONLY 12 hours a week at up to 3 schools in a single region. An assistant’s responsibilities vary greatly depending on the institution they are placed in. Depending on your interests contracts are available for both the elementary and secondary school levels. Some teachers might expect assistants to lead the class, while others will barely make use of their abilities. It is definitely luck of the draw but hey, it’s only 12 hours a week!

Salary

One of the important things to know about TAPIF is that you will not be earning a large amount of money. The monthly salary for French teaching assistants is €780.  For most applicants, their visa will make it impossible for them to work above the 12 hours a week that is provided by their institution(s). That being said, if you aren’t living in Paris, €780 should be enough to get by if you watch your budget. Applying to be an assistant in Paris? Budget for double to be safe.

So why apply to TAPIF?

Where to apply?

Check out the TAPIF website to learn more and begin your own application to become a teaching assistant in France!

 

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Eastwood Cycle is basically a Tribal Dance Party

Eastwood Cycle, spin class, Door and Sign

Guess what I did on Sunday morning? Was a total BOSS, and made my way to my first ever spin class at Eastwood Cycle in Gastown.

Now, you don’t know me but I hate exercise. Like honestly, I hate it. I’m proud of myself when I snooze my way through gentle yin accompanied by live Cello (yup that’s a thing). Part of this year though is all about becoming my best self so uncharacteristically, a friend convinced me to try out Classpass and that’s how I found myself strolling into Eastwood at 9 am on a Sunday.

Seeing as I live in Vancouver, and pretty much everyone looks like a fitness model, I’m often a wee bit reluctant to go to any classes that seem… competitive. I’m not going to lie, I was very scared to have a group of strangers judge my inability to sit stand and peddle for an hour– I attest my courage to the fact that I must have been half asleep after a late night of work. On the upside, the studio is a dream. So gorgeous.  Someone with a tasteful flair for adventure designed this space.

Spin Class Eastwood Cycle Lobby area. Blue Moroccan door and brick wall.
Photo by Montecristo Magazine

I was lulled into a false sense of comfort by the beauty of the lobby so I signed up and got into the biking shoes that appeared from over the desk. The cheap ass frugal girl in me was so stoked that the shoe rental was included with my pass! The instructor made an appearance at the desk and flippantly mentioned that she had to swap her leggings because she was dripping with sweat which was worrisome for my poor, muscleless legs. Also awe-inspiring as she was changing so she could lead another class RIGHT AWAY!!

 

Under the big beautiful Morrocan archway are big blue Morrocan doors which reveal the best part of this whole experience.

The studio was TOTALLY DARK.

The lights were off!

I mean, I didn’t even imagine this possibility and I definitely stumbled my way in to find my bike and then wandered around lost, trying to find weights, but it was worth it. My instructor was Monika Loustel who is tiny, blond and basically my new idol.  She led us through an intense spin class to upbeat and bizarre electronic music that kept us full of energy. I not only found myself grinning my way through the class I even pushed myself hard. I wanted to. It wasn’t torture! I’m shocked.

Spinners workout on bikes facing a large wall-to-wall mirror and Monika moved a few candles around the room throughout the class.  You can just see the other spinners glowing by candlelight in the mirror.  Tribal is the only way to describe it. Glowing figures, moving to the same rhythm in the dark. I honestly feel like after this class I have an inkling of how our ancestors might have felt dancing around a bonfire.

Gastown Eastwood Cycle Spin Class Studio
Photo by Montecristo Magazine

That big t-shirt I naively, wore to keep me warm (remember, I’m used to slothlike yin classes) hit the ground pretty fast. No, don’t be silly I didn’t go full sports bra during my first class. What am I, a 20-year-old Kitsilano girl? I wish. I OBVIOUSLY, had a nasty, tank on underneath that NO ONE SAW BECAUSE IT WAS DARK! Honestly, who knew that working out in the dark could be such a dream? Thank you, Eastwood Cycle.

The downstairs area has showers and bathrooms so spinners don’t need to leave looking like a sweaty mess, which is nice (I’m looking at you One Yoga). The seating area downstairs is basically a beautiful Moroccan sanctuary that I wish was my living room. It’s elegant, tasteful and positively welcoming. I went downstairs to pee and ended up redesigning my apartment in my head.

All this said I could barely move the next day…..or the day after.

Eastwood cycle is located at 154 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC. 
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