Thursday, October 4, 2018

Floating through My Past

It might seem odd to start my series of posts about going to France and Belgium with coming home, but that is how I feel called to tell the story.

My story left off with starting a seven week temporary position with Firestone Library at Princeton University. After months of feeling as if I was floating, I finally felt grounded. That feeling lasted only a couple of weeks before my long-planned trip to Paris and Belgium was to leave from Newark Airport.

Back to floating, only this time while also speaking French, and carrying a suitcase that weighed less than the required 10 kg (22 pound) weight limit.

I floated through Paris. Other than the race on Sunday morning, I had no set plans from when I landed on Wednesday afternoon until Sunday morning. Floating. 

I took six walking tours in three days (each to be blogged about later), went to dinner and a tour of the American Church in Paris (where I spent time while I lived in Paris as an exchange student), saw a new art exhibit, changed rooms twice (the first one was too far from the start of the race), and floated along the side of the Seine. Better that than in the Seine.

After the race, I floated up to Liege, Belgium through three different trains -- the first from Marne la Vallee to Lille, the next to Brussels, and the third to Liege. Floating and dashing both.

I spent four days, five nights, with floating betwixt and between host families. I was wined and dined. I was shown how Liege has and has not changed. I was asked my views on politics. I was able to live as a family member again. I was able to shut one door on my past and open a new one to my future. It was what I needed.

Still, it felt like floating.

I've been home for nearly a week. Another busy week. One filled with a day trip to New York City to see a show and entertaining friends who live on the opposite side of the world (as well as mutual friends who live between us). Filled with working each day. Filled with trying to become organized again (and actually succeeding). Filled with becoming grounded once again.

Lessons learned along the way:
  • Everyone's spouse (family) annoys them. 
  • Communication is hard, even when you speak two (or more) languages). 
  • There is no place like home, and your own bed. 
  • My family is pretty awesome. 
  • Take advantage of the nice weather, especially this time of year.

While I tend to include pictures with my posts, I think I will leave this one as is -- with the imagery of my floating and feeling lost, to slowly landing and feeling grounded.

I have one more week at Princeton University. After that, I would like a week off to settle into this new reality, and to catch up on pictures, scrapbooking, and blogging, and sending out more resumes. I wonder where J&J Staffing will place me next.

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