really, it's not a big deal...

It's only 2 months.

I've been away for much longer than that before, and everything's been fine.

Okay maybe not always, something always happens: relationships end, marriages happen, people have babies - but other than the usual life, why does anything else have to be different?

I think it's everyone else. I've done this my whole life, left. I'm always going somewhere. People handle leaving in a variety of ways. They handle ME leaving in a variety of ways. My friends like to start talking about starting up girls night again, the week before I leave, because we don't see enough of each other. It's true, we don't. But now we're really not going to - at least not me, and that's okay! I'll be right back. My cousin and I agreed we don't spend enough time in New Orleans or on the coast, they're so close and we rarely go. "Let's start going more!" Okay, when I get back.

I get all sorts of responses from people when I talk about where I'm going, what I'm going to do...I like to think that their reaction is a reflection of whatever subconscious issues they are dealing with themselves. That might not be the right way to put it, the word "issues" isn't right, but it's what I've got for now.

I get a lot of, "wow, that's awesome, you have the coolest job in the world!" And some of these people can't comprehend how it can also be quite daunting, yes -so cool, but everything has it's ups and downs and that's only me being a realist. What am I supposed to say, "yes, you are right, I have the coolest job in the world and am all the better for it."? I want to feel "normal" too, folks. I have challenges I work through and overcome, and yes, even in a foreign country! I like to think these people are just aching to escape their own reality. That they're tied down, or they feel like they are in one way or another, so all they can do is envy what I do and scoff at me for having anything but bunnies and butterfly feelings about my job.

A lot of women give me the whole, "gosh, that's cool but, that probably makes relationships impossible, right?" What's the right answer here? Yes? No? Who cares? Why is that the first thing that pops in to your head? Is that what I should be thinking/worrying about? Wtf? What these women are not saying out loud is, 'more power to you but thank God I don't have to do that, I'd never find anyone...'

There's a mixture of other reactions - it's like having the conversation about where and how I grew up all over again..."Do you like that? What's it like? Why? So you teach? Wait what do you do? So you go over there and party, oh I get it..."

Now I've lost track of my thought process and have little idea of where this ramble is supposed to be going.

But I think it's here: yes, I am leaving everyone. News flash: it's not my virgin voyage. I'm just going across the pond. Just for 8 short weeks. And I firmly believe they will fly faster for me, over there, than anywhere else - let's get real, I'll have 30+ college students to look after around the clock. That's what I do. And you know what else? There's internet in France too! Yaaaayyy!!! That means skype, facetime, emails, blogging - and let's not forget the good old fashioned phone call - or dare I mention snail mail? That's still my preference. I'm really good at being a long distance friend, I love to send long emails, I know they are read and appreciated and if all I get back is a short, "miss you, loved your update, keep them coming" that's fine - I'll take that about 3-4 times before I blow up your FB wall asking for an update of your own.

If you would like to reach me old school style, send a note to:

[my name]
The Abbey Program
1, place du college
41400 Pontlevoy

And don't fret, not that much will change in 2 months. And if it does, well that's L.I.F.E. I'm used to this part. That doesn't mean it's "easy" - clearly, I'm blogging about it. Why? Oh who knows... It's what's on my mind at the moment!

I fly in 13 hours. But I'll be right back. Keep in touch.

1 comment:

  1. Very thought provoking post, Jess. And you are right, I think. People project their own "issues" into their responses.

    Just so you know, I admire you and your ability to move from place to place while continuing incredible friendships. That takes effort and can be really tough. You do it with grace.

    I, for one, hope you have an incredible last two month tour in France and I hope this round of students are at least somewhat responsible! :)

    And when you get back, because it won't be too long, I do think we need to hang out more. Ha ha!