March Update

Another month is coming to a close. My slow march to La Belle France continues and I am thankful that I still haven’t encountered any curveballs along the way (knock on wood…).

I continue to have a few lingering doubts about my decision. I know that it is the right choice in my heart. But I worry that it isn’t the best or most rational choice for my overall, long-term wellbeing.

Going to live in Latin America to learn Spanish would be more practical career wise. Reapplying to Peace Corps would be less selfish. Choosing a country that is less expensive or living in France for only a month would make more financial sense. Using my savings as they were intended – to buy a home and officially settle down in DC after 11.5 years – would make me feel less transient and more like a responsible adult.

Yet, as I talk to more and more “established” people, I am getting the reassurance that I need. For example, my new mentor loves the idea of my “academic vacation” and has silenced many of my career worries (and even offered me a job for when I return). And my mother, after a 2-week educational tour of Ghana, is even more enthusiastic about my plan for France. I think she finally understands my desire to challenge myself and immerse myself in another country and culture. Amazingly, I think she is considering a similar experience for herself through the programs at her church.

I have worked hard and sacrificed a lot (but perhaps not enough in the grand scheme of things…) during my twenties to save and invest and plan for a future when I’d be able to follow my dreams. Now, it is almost time to cash in. There is anxiety for sure, but most of all, there is satisfaction and glee.

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