If you haven't already noticed... My english is deteriorating! I just want to say I'm sorry. I am trying to deliver the best content possible but I can't seem to get the words to flow. It's not like I write better in French, mind you. Here I am, in France, less than fluent in both English and French, and unsure of what to do with myself.
About a week ago, some one came to my school to make a presentation on how to maximize my year abroad. He told all the things that we were doing that would minimize our experience. I wish I had taken notes. However, what I did do was go back home, excited with anticipation, and made a list of "More Than Sixteen Things I Have To Do By October ** When I Turn 16". Here are the little adventures:
1. Make at least one French friend or have a conversation with a French teen.
2. Dance or go dancing.
3. Join the ******-******** and volunteer or attend at least once.
4. Have at least two close American friends.
5. Join an after-school activity (Zumba, circus, cool exercise class)
7. Blog about all the these things after I do it.
8. Get a job (depends).
9. Speak better French (specifically speak).
11. Hang out with at least three other kids from my school that I've never talked to before, outside of school.
12. Submit an article online.
13. Get as much sleep as possible.
I'm excited. Let's see how this goes!
I'm still trying to grasp this idea of studying abroad. I'm in a different place. I've never been to France before. I know nothing about the food, clothes, traditions, language, or the fromage. But for some reason, I feel is OK. I hate it. I didn't come to France to have an OK year. In a way, I came to France to scare myself. The old me was too comfortable. I was one of the only girls of color at my rich, preparatory boarding school. I spent last summer camping and climbing mountains at more than 11,000 vertical feet. I always strived to challenge myself, but somehow I always ended up the same...comfortable. I don't how it happens and if it was my own doing. I never tried to fit in, in fact I always tried to stand out. This year, however, I will be doing the opposite. I am trying to fit in to a new world and new culture. It's actually really hard to do this. I'm not used to it. To fit-in means to observe the culture of the majority and to seamlessly imitate them. I could stick to what I know and stand out as the American. But I won't be doing that anymore. Say hello to a new A!
I have officially become a closeted introvert. I don't know how but for some reason I've pushed myself out of my comfort zone and I'm talking, a lot. Across the room, hiding in the corner, I see the old me. Keeping to herself, waiting for someone to talk to her. I'm glad to leave that girl behind. Now I'm that girl who makes people laugh but who knows when to shut up. I like it. I no longer want to be that girl who waits for the fun, extroverted people to show up in order to enjoy myself. Now I can do so all by myself.
I feel like this is the real me. I don't know how long this will last for. Maybe a month, a year, peut-être even a week. But I'm willing to make the most of it. I think the difference between France and boarding school is that I go home afterwards and I'm by myself. At school, I always have to be around people and I can't handle it all the time.
1. Spend money wisely
2. Get to know my host family well
3. Maintain my weight
4. Go thrift shopping in Rennes
5. Explore + get lost
6. Be more outgoing
7. Get a job
8. Learn french (bien sûr...)
9. Be good friends with one teacher
10. Take cooking classes
11. Get out of my comfort zone as much as possible
12. Be who I want to be
So I have five more days left until I begin my junior year in France and to be honest, I'm freaking out. I don't really know if this is supposed to happen before or after I arrive in France, but a big part of me is screaming "what the hell are you doing?" I spent countless weeks thinking that I was finally going to get to go on an adventure and that after two years living in my boarding school's bubble, I was finally going to be part of the real world again. But what wasn't going through my head during any of the past couple of months was the fact that my French is no where near fluent. I have yet to fully comprehend how I will survive my five out of my seven classes in French or better yet deal with daily French immersion. The upside is that I can barely speak English so I have a jumpstart on not knowing what the heck I'm saying 100% of the time. I'm not kidding. I have lived in New York all my life and I am convinced that my verbal English is well below par. Something about not knowing what your going to say one moment and then somehow formulating a quick, articulate, beautifully crafted answer, really messes me up sometimes.
Never the less, I am excited for France. One thing I definitely cannot wait for is the food. I've deliberately lost weight this summer (five pounds, I know I'm awesome) as to prepare my self for the French junior 50,000,000 that I will quickly acquire. Extremely cheap bread and cheese? Yes, please.
But on another note, I want to set my expectations for this blog. I don't want to be one of those people who thinks that they are actually going to blog everyday. First of all, my life (which is plenty interesting), is not interesting enough that everyday I'll have some amazing, 100% authentic story to tell. I will blog as needed, and if I no longer feel the need to blog because I am out living life, don't call me lazy, call me living. Second, I don't expect this blog to become some world-famous blog, or famous at all. Mostly this blog is for me to talk about my life with the off chance that someone one will click on my blog and give a shit. If you are a reader, don't be a ghost reader, give me feedback. Third, I am not usually as pessimistic as I am being right now (haha) don't worry, this is not a blog where I will rant about my sad, loner life. That was middle school, and I'm so over it. Fourth, I am not going to pretend to be anyone I'm not in this blog. I'm not going to pretend to be super funny, cool, glamorous and unique, I'm just hoping that you will recognize that I actually am (I'm just kidding). The more and more I write you'll understand that I am pretty sarcastic and also pretty dramatic.
So now that you know about France and how I want this blog to turn out, and I've just realized how much I've wrote, see next time. Maybe, I will be in France. Maybe, not.