There are moments that define you- milestones that made a momentous difference in directing your mindset or the trajectory of your life. Sometimes they are moments you want to share and other times they are personal, but they are moments that you can think back on and connect to get to where you are today.
It’s taken me days to write this blog post- it wasn’t coming together as I would have liked in the midst of my overwhelming excitement about this: I am moving to France next year!!!
Anyone who knows me knows that this has been a dream of mine ever since I first started studying French in middle school. It didn’t take long to get me hooked on the language and culture of France. A trip to Montreal the summer before I started high school sealed the deal on the language bit for me after I picked up my first book in French (a kid’s book about Clifford the Big Red Dog). Then, I was lucky enough to visit Paris on vacation in high school and again in college before spending a summer study abroad in Cluny. But for as much as I love everything French, I’ve always felt like a tourist over there, because I’ve never been in the country for more than 3 weeks. It’s surreal that now, as one of my best friends reminded me, I’ll actually become a “local” since I will be living in Paris for 6 months! How crazy!
I don’t feel old enough to have had dreams for 15 years, but that’s actually how long I have been waiting for this opportunity. I was 11 years old when I first started to study French, and I’ll be 26 when I move there. This is about as close to a life-long dream as I can imagine having.
I still don’t quite know how to make sense of the news. It came as a complete shock, in a way, because I’ve felt as if I’ve put together strong applications for funding opportunities to work abroad before, and I’ve never had success. I refused to get my hopes up too much for this, either, so as not to be devastated if it also did not pan out. Actually getting the acceptance email- seeing the message preview of “I am pleased to inform you that you have…”- got my heart racing and my hands shaking. (Somewhat unfortunately, I checked my email while sitting in a talk at a conference I was attending. I hope I didn’t seem too excited about IL-7 receptor signaling!)
It’s been a week now since I got the news, and each day it sinks in a bit more that yes, this is really my life and this is really going to happen after so many years. It brings a smile to my face every time I think about it 😀
Yes, this is certainly a moment that is definitive in my life and I can’t wait for the adventure!