Oh, France.

“It’s not what France gave you, but what it did not take from you that was important.”
-Gertrude Stein


I haven’t written in 4 months for a few reasons. I’ve been busy, but also mildly depressed. It’s hard to be here. I’ve made some great friends, but I’ve also come across some of the meanest people I’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter. People are cruel, everywhere. It’s hard not to let that break your spirit, and that’s what I’ve spent the past couple months doing. Trying not to let it break me.

Needless to say, I’ve won.

If any of you have ever read The Paris Wife, you will understand a little of what I mean. Maybe it’s something about this country that does it, but it changes people. For better, or for worse. It’s the “for worse” part that you don’t expect.

I came here to find something. I was searching for a reason to keep going, something to validate my life’s work of learning French and learning to teach. I’ve found bits of things. I found things I was not expecting to. I found things that I would never have wanted to. I’ve learned a lot about teaching, about life, about love. It’s been wonderful, beautiful, and also excruciating.

I came to the realization the other day that maybe writing about this would help. So I got out my pen and paper and let my notebook have it. All the things I’ve been feeling for weeks. In order to ride it out, turns out you have to write it out.

I plan on writing more. I just wanted to let you all know that I’m still here.

“Travel is the great equalizer. The world will rip your heart out of your chest, and you’ll realize it belonged to her all along.”

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