I'm sitting alone in my room in the "Chateau" right now, listening to songs from my childhood and feeling pretty sorry for myself. The past three months have been absolutely amazing- I've made friends in Morteau, gotten closer to other assistants, been to Prague, Paris, Vienna and Bratislava... Is it any wonder that I don't want to leave? The group of friends that I've made in town and the assistants that I've met are a bunch of really great people and I'm afraid that once I leave, we'll lose touch. I know that I, for one, am terrible at keeping in touch with people, even with the wonder of Facebook helping me. The connections you make with people in other countries, when you're the newcomer and they reach out to you, are precious.
I've never been the newcomer by myself before. When I went off to university I was new, yeah, but there were a whole bunch of people who were having the same experience that I was, and it was easy to meet people. In small-town France it hasn't been the same at all, and it was pure chance that I even met the people that I now hang out with regularly. Without them I think I would have struggled to enjoy myself here, what with the solitude, lack of transportation and lack of things to do. I'm so glad that I've had the chance to meet young French people and learn about their lives and philosophies. I've discovered that the French and Canadians really aren't all that different, and I hope that I've managed to give a good impression of Canadians to everyone I've met here.
Living in Morteau has been very challenging at times, but also incredibly rewarding. There are many situations I wish had turned out differently. I wish that I'd been brave enough to ask for help when I needed it, and to share more of myself with people. But over all, I'm happy with how things turned out. I've learned a lot more about myself and matured enormously. There are so many things that used to bother me that I now consider unimportant after having this experience help me realize my real priorities in life. I'll need to think more about these things when I get home of course, because I could easily fall back into my old patterns of thinking if I'm not careful. I like who I've become here, mostly, and I want to keep that feeling and keep being that person once I'm home.
In one week, I will be on the train to London. There will be tears. But I've accepted that, at least. All that's left for me to do is to squeeze as much enjoyment as possible out of these last 6 days. I think that I can do it.