Monday, February 11, 2013

February Ramblings

February is proving to be a challenging month in some ways. As some of you may know, I’m a freelance translator (working my way to having my own translation company). I love my job, I do, but it is not an easy one. It requires continuous education, specialization and a little bit of courage to take the risk of being independent or freelance in an emerging country where my profession is still rather unknown commercially. 

Sometimes it gets harder than usual and I feel that maybe I don’t have the strength to do this. Fortunately, there are some people in my life that remind me why this is worthwhile. I just have to keep pushing until I get the results I want. I really hate uncertainty and that is what is killing me right now, the feeling that not everything is under my control. I don't like this part of my job. Maybe it will get better with time as I become more experienced, who knows. I try not to bring myself down and look forward to the future with enthusiasm.  Every day I wake up with the sun shining through my window and it makes me feel more optimistic, at first. Unfortunately, I start hating the sun and my optimism goes a little to hell around 11 am, when the heat gets impossible. That's the other reason of why I'm not liking February that much.

It’s really difficult to work, concentrate or read with this heat. I feel like I’m surviving rather than enjoying this summer. The other day I heard someone mocking people who complain about the cold during the winter and the heat during the summer. I’m not one of those people, I’m a winter girl. I love wearing layers of clothes, drinking lots of hot coffee and wearing nice, warm boots. It’s true that winters in Lima are gray, foggy and gloomy, but for some reason I feel much more comfortable with the cold weather. Lima doesn't really have cold winters, they are rather mild compared to, well, anywhere in the northern hemisphere, but I loved the winter I spent in Europe, so yes, I’m a winter girl. When the summer started I said to myself I would try to enjoy it and I have tried, but this heat wave defeated me.

Despite of all this (or maybe because of all this since reading is my way of escaping what is troubling me), I’ve managed to read considerably these days. I miraculously finished the first part of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, even though for a moment there I thought I wouldn’t finish it on time. I’m enjoying this book for many reasons. Number one, I’m reading it in French. It’s the first book that I’m reading completely in French since college and I’ve decided to do that more often. Number two, I do love good intrigues in a book. Valmont and Merteuil are so Machiavellian and amusing, what a couple of liars! They are such hypocrites but so much fun to read. I can’t wait to see what happens next. 

I also finished the four Sherlock Holmes novels. My favorite by far was The Hound of The Baskervilles. I had read a couple of the novels during my teens and a lot of the short stories but I had forgotten a little about Sherlock Holmes until the BBC series came along and made me want to read them again. I will write my review of the four books in a later post. (And for those who haven’t seen the BBC series yet, please do. It’s so smart, fun and classy. Even though it is a modernization of the stories, it is still pretty faithful to the essence of the books, I think.)

Right now I’m also reading La Mujer Justa (Portraits of a Marriage) by Sandor Marai, a Hungarian writer, and just started The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë. I’m still not sure how I feel about Portraits of a Marriage, I’m not enjoying it that much yet, but I haven’t even read half the book so I should wait and see. On the other hand, Anne Brontë just rocks. My love for the Brontës in general has no boundaries, but Anne is something really special.

Anyway, I’m sorry if this post is all over the place, I guess it is a reflection of my present state of mind. I’m just looking forward to more reading and better (colder) days.


Teresa said...

Good luck with your job as a freelance translator, it must be on your own, I hope you'll manage to overcome the heat! I've tried to read les liaisons dangereuses -also in French- but couldn't finish it, I guess I'm not fitted for the epistolary genre! I read The tenant of Wildfell Hall a couple of months ago and I thought it was a nice book, quite critic with women's conditions of the time, but definitely not my favourite by the Brontës'.

Melissa Vizcarra said...

Thank you so much Teresa! I guess everyone gets to have their "I'm not sure I'm made for this" days. The heat is my enemy right now haha, although the heat wave that made it worse is over, thank God.
I do love epistolary novels, The Sorrows of Young Werther is one of my favorite novels ever, but I understand how they are not interesting for everyone.
I am obsessed with the Brontes and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is becoming a favorite :).

Caro said...

I hear ya. It's so infuriatingly hot in here this summer that I scarcely feel the inclination to do anything - and when I force myself to work anyway, which is often, I end up unbearable. Here's to hoping it cools a little so you can work in a decent environment.
Congratulations on being up to date with the readalong! And I'm so happy you're enjoy The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. It's one of my favorite books.

Melissa Vizcarra said...

Caro, I've heard the heat in Argentina is even worse than here! Let´s hope the summer goes by quickly :).
I'm really enjoying The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Why people thought Anne was the less talented of the three sisters, I have no idea.