I hate this quotation. I hate even more that, on the one hand, there is truth to it. For example, my work contract ended – meaning, I no longer teach 3 days a week in Marseille. In addition to saying goodbye to 16 teachers and 416 students, a lot of the friends I made through the TAPIF program will be returning (or have already left) to their home country (that’s a lot of goodbyes). Also, my visa has ended, so now I’m a touriste. Don’t get me started on how going from a working citoyen to a touriste has me cringing (it’s as if the diable ripped out half of my soul).
On the other hand, why focus on the “good things” that have ended? Why not focus on how this experience changed my life in so many positive ways and how these positive aspects will add more good things to my future? In this sense, not “all” good things have ended. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
The positives that came from a year of living and teaching English in France:
- I gained overseas teaching experience, which I’ve already added to my C.V. (and I no longer have to take the bus ride to Marseille 3x a week! YAY!)
- I bring up examples of lesson plans that I used while teaching this year in English teaching and tutoring job interviews. This actually helped me nab a short job this month!
- I can communicate in Français! (I can discipline in Français, too.)
- I can speak using the Marseillais accent! (It’s not perfect; it’s in progress!)
- I know several Provençal word/expressions!
- I’ve accumulated several English children’s books that I’ll be able to use with Pitchoune.
- I’ve learned a variety of French children’s songs that I’ll be able to understand when mon chéri uses them with Pitchoune.
- I opened up a network of friends who enjoy French and France as much as me!
- I made a life with mon chéri and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂
- I’ve figured out the French bureaucratic system. (It still has its downsides, but at least I can be prepared for anything.)
So, although saying goodbye to so many people and experiences is depressing, my life is not defined by the sadness, non, not by any means. In fact, I look forward to more good things that lie ahead! ♦