This week marks the 4-month anniversary of my pursuit of French proficiency and professional opportunities in Europe. I have one more application to submit by Friday, and then, I will be officially done with Part One of my plan. I can’t believe how much time, effort, and money I devoted to learning French and to perfecting my applications. I am so proud of myself. My fingers are crossed that one of the programs I applied to will work out (I’ve already been contacted for an interview!). But given the economy, I know the applicant pool is crowded and the programs are highly competitive.
Now that it’s almost 2011, I’ve started to think about how I will celebrate my 30th birthday. For sure, I will drink and dance with friends in DC, but I also want to do something just for myself. I’m leaning toward going to see Thomas Fersen at La Cigale in Paris at the end of April (during the spring recess!! But that may not matter if I don’t have a Hill job…). I have become obsessed with Thomas Fersen, along with a handful of other French singers (Camille, ZAZ, etc) thanks to Alliance Française. A-M is contemplating Spain this spring and another potential travel buddy is talking about Eastern Europe. So I would probably go alone (it is a bucket list goal...), and if I'm not selected for the programs I applied to, it will make sense to visit Lyon, Nantes, and Avignon – the locations of the French language schools I’m considering.
So, thankfully, I’m still on track to fulfill my dream of living/working/studying abroad starting next summer/fall.
My mother arrives in DC on Saturday and I look forward to her visit. I am anxious to share with her, in person, all of my hopes and dreams for the future. She needs to understand that I am very open to living in Europe for longer than a year—and what that means in terms of the sort of career, family, and lifestyle I hope to have. We need to talk about downsizing my possessions and about my finances. It should be an interesting conversation, and yes, I think that we’ll discuss it over a French meal.