13 September 2009

Eight days away

This week will be my undoing.  Emotions are running high, as is to be expected.  I blame lack of sleep and stress.  

It's my last week in the United States, and I don't know how it happened so fast. Suddenly, my job in France is no longer this abstract idea in the distant future.  So far this week I've succeeded in shortening my to-do list by booking my airport transfer from Charles de Gaulle to my hotel in Paris, booking my train from Paris to Metz, notifying my bank that I will be making charges overseas, and compiling printouts of all essential documents.  

I've been toiling away at freelance and pro bono design projects that need to be completed before I leave.  

I've been training my replacement at work, who is interestingly a former college acquaintance. She's very talented, and I'm positive she'll be fine, but the stress of teaching her everything I've learned in three years has been weighing heavily upon me.  I have only three days of work left before I leave, and I don't know how I'll manage to get through everything in that amount of time.  

I've also elected to take a grad level course in French literature as an independent study through Wayne State.  I am nearly finished with the French degree and wanted to exploit my time in France by studying there. After months of effort, I finally found a professor willing to take me on as an independent study.  This class covers 20th century French literature like Camus, Sartre, Apollinaire, and Proust.  I've got heaps of reading and writing to do, and and I'm honestly beginning to doubt my ability to handle this heavy class while establishing myself in France.  At the same time, I know that there is no better place on earth to read 20th French literature than in France itself, and that my French would improve drastically by studying there.  However, I fear that the stress of the class will inhibit my enjoyment of living and working in France... I have to make a final decision by September 17th... Clarity? Any time now!

I've made some progress packing, but still have some issues to sort through. The mass of belongings that was taking over my bedroom last week has been subdued into either my suitcase or one of several manageable piles on my floor. I'm trying to weed as much unnecessary belongings as possible out of my suitcases so that I don't exceed the weight limit on the plane.  I've conceded the fact that I'll have to cough up the $50 fee for the extra suitcase on the flight, and quite possibly another $50 for having overweight luggage.

There are so many relatives and friends who I haven't had a chance to say goodbye to, and I realize it may not happen before I leave.  I'm kicking myself for not addressing this issue earlier, giving myself more time to say goodbye to aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends I don't see as often.  I may need to resort to phone calls. This pains me greatly.

Mom and I chatted about my leaving tonight... When she became teary-eyed, I realized how missed I will be at home, and how difficult parting will be.

When I envisioned this move to France, all I saw was happiness, baguettes, and Eiffel Towers... I failed to anticipate the difficulties and heartache that accompany such an undertaking. 

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