This past week has been jam-packed with adjustment and activity. We went to IKEA in Bordeaux to get a few things to make our little apartment more homey. We’ve made a few anglophone friends here — some very kind and welcoming British expats, as well as the Scottish English language assistant for another high school in Cognac. It’s been great to spend time with them and share wine and meals in our old language in this new place. My husband and I also finally got to go out for a meal in Cognac, at the local Indian restaurant, which was a very fun, interesting, and tasty experience.
But to be honest, for me, being in a new place has been exhausting and I don’t have the energy to write about all that right now, so this is going to be an uncharacteristically short post for me. Between going back to my ESL teaching job this week and taking up a new freelance project and immersing myself in French all the time, I’m truly worn out.
Today, I just wanted to write a short blog post to let everyone know something — moving to a new country is just as difficult and draining as it is fun and glamorous. I am tired, homesick, and not used to having to put so much effort in to go about my daily life. But I have to remember each day how rewarding this will be once I figure out the ropes. My husband looked at me the other day and told me something very wise. “Amanda,” he said, “You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” I think that’s true, but as someone who has spent her whole life very close to home, it’s been an quite an adjustment.
So even though I’m homesick for the comforts of the place where I spent 21 years before this one, I feel rather grateful on this drizzly Sunday. Grateful for weather that reminds me of home, a cool rain to clean off the streets of my new little town. And I feel gratitude for something new I get to experience here: the laidback French attitude towards Sundays, the lack of expectation of productivity that allows me to hang out in the house all day curled in a blanket. Everything is closed on Sundays. I have no choice but to give myself a much needed break.
I’m looking forward to an afternoon that will allow me to recharge with some comforts of home — a home cooked Sunday dinner, a Meet the Fockers marathon with my husband, my blanket, and lots of snuggles. Tomorrow, I hope that I will feel more rested and ready to keep trying to make this new place my home. I love and miss all of you back in Oregon.