Crate o’ Sadness

I’ve been fixing the blog recently, filling in photos that disappeared during the domain/host transfer due to their being in subdirectories, and I ran across this post from February of 2008, which was about this cartoon:

At the time it was hard for me to admit but I was still very much trying to come back from my disappointing return to France and the break-up. I related very much to the Pearls before Swine‘s “crate o’ sadness.” I felt a bit like I was stalled on it. It felt like a lot of other people were succeeding in France in ways that I had hoped to and wasn’t. Part of the problem was what you could call “expat loneliness”—the uphill battle to make lasting friends, to not give in to boredom or the frustration of spending all your time on the internet talking to people who are now far away.

Even leaving France at the end of that year I was still very much afraid that the things I wanted were out of my reach—1) a permanent job here, 2) a circle of friends, 3) someone to share life with.

I think #2 will always be more difficult in France than it would have been in the States, but it’s certainly coming along. And as for #1, and #3, well, that’s why I thought I’d write this post. I thought I should acknowledge how far I’ve come and how grateful I am that things somehow managed to work out this way, through a lot of angst, determination, and faith, not to mention patient listeners.

At the end of my year in Reims someone asked a group of friends at a party what our dreams were.

“C’est quoi ton rêve?”

My immediate answer at the time was, “Rester en France.”

Et le-voilà devant moi ce rêve. Je dois remercier la vie, mes amis, ma famille, pour m’avoir emmenée jusqu’ici.

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