Thursday, April 7, 2011

The last one... in France

While I am typing this out all I can think about is the daunting task of getting all of my junk into two bags and not having to pay extra luggage fees. But I can’t shake the idea that this is coming to an end. And the fact that if I am packing “junk” then why don’t I just toss it and go. But memories are attached to each item. Each piece reminds me of something special of the time I have spent in France. A time that has shaped and change the person I have become.

While there were days in the beginning I could never imagine making it alive or happy out of the place I had landed. Two years later, I can’t imagine a life any different than the way it is exactly right now. It is fun, adventurous, fulfilling, life changing, and beautiful. I have friends that I love to be with and laugh amongst. I have a job that I understand and can be competent in. I can mostly understand the language, but who needs to communicate fully anyways… I have made myself a life and home in France.

There are so many things I am going to miss about this place. I am going to miss the crazy weather that I always complain about, the long summer days, but probably not the short winter ones. I am going to miss hoping into the city and taking strolls around the city of love. Wearing scarfs daily, having lots of visitors and playing local city tour guide, the small moments where everything comes perfectly together and you know you are exactly where you are supposed to be. And knowing that not everyone gets to live in the moment that I am living right now.

I am so incredibly blessed to have so many great friends and family members who have helped love, pray, and support me through my times of “oops I did it agains” times. When I couldn’t see anything but the mess I was living in. And they helped me get to the place where I see beauty in all things French and living life overseas. I can’t imagine what life would be like, not being here.

Above all else I am going to miss the people. All those who, I spent endless amounts of time with. My roommate, doing nothing but watching tv series on Netflix, dinners at special families homes, greeting hugs and smiles in the office, the new girls who became instant best friends when they arrived in September, and my two special friends who when we met, created our own mini “sex and the city” luncheons- (me being the conservative Charlotte of course;) ). All these people helped make my life and experiences what they were, each adding their own flavor and textures to make the perfect French palate of life.

I can’t pinpoint all the ways I know that I have changed while being here. But I know that it’s true. There is a different feeling deep within me, that I am not the same naive girl who arrived two years ago. But who has been transformed by this place, and that I will forever carry with me all of the lessons and experiences I was fortunate to learn.

Merci tout le monde!