April has been a good month. Here are a few details of what’s on my plate these days:
I continue to gear up for my birthday trip to France in May and my “career break” in France this fall. At the beginning of the month, I received the disappointing news that I was not selected for TAPIF (the embassy program to teach English in France). So, I’ve moved on to what feels like “plan z” – applying to study French at the University of Poitiers.
I am happy that I can now focus my energy into researching one program and one city. And I am even a bit relieved that I will be going as an independent student. I will have so much freedom in terms of housing, extracurricular activities, and my length of my stay—that I would not have had with a structured program. And yet, I am envious of university study abroad students and the folks who were selected for TAPIF who will have the ready-made safety net and social circle provided by going through a program. So, I’ve started to activate my network and seek connections with people in Poitiers to get advice and tips to make my transition as smooth as possible.
I have become a little obsessed with spending every bit of my free time studying French and researching all the things I need to do before I depart, like obtain a visa and securing housing. Even though a stack of paperwork and chores await me this summer, I must commit myself to taking time out to enjoy another summer in DC with my friends--because if I get what my heart truly desires, I won't be back next year.
My journey to chase my dreams is definitely tinged with anxiety about the unknowns (and the red tape!) that await me in France. And yet, I know that it will be all worthwhile once I am settled in Poitiers, celebrating the minutiae of life. I am feeling anxiety, for sure; but also, an abundance of glee.
As a side note, PAUL is opening up a location in DC (http://www.paulusa.com/) . I fell in love with PAUL’s sandwich chaud saucisse last August. My two travel partners can attest that it is simply heaven… I actually went by on Monday to ask about a part time job – though I’ve been stalking the location ever since I heard about it last fall. I didn’t know it at the time, but I met the PAUL USA CEO (former President of Starbucks France…). He was super-nice and helpful, and encouraged me to come back and chat with the manager. Even if they don’t hire me, you better believe that I’ll be there on opening day to sample everything in sight.
One week until my 30th birthday. I feel ready for 30. My twenties were awesome, crazy, fulfilling, annoying, and at times, a little intense. Given that I’ve chosen to kick off my 30s following my dreams in France, I am certain that my 30s will truly rock.