Today’s ‘living in France’ post doesn’t have much to do with French culture. Yesterday I said ‘goodbye’ to my only American ex-pat friend.
She was my go-to American friend here in France. We actually met through Babycenter.com six years ago. and started getting together for Thanksgiving and Halloween every year, celebrated birthdays with our kids and had green beer on St. Patricks Day- stuff the French don’t really understand.
So as you can imagine, I was a little sad when I heard the news she was moving ‘back’- don’t know who I’m going to celebrate all that stuff with anymore. But I was also excited for her and her family, a little envious that things worked out so well for them going back to the U.S. after living nine years in France.
But as the time for ‘goodbye’ drew closer, I couldn’t ignore the strange heavy weight in my chest I’d had for the last two days. Or the lump in my throat as I was heading towards our final ‘lunch’. And finally, yes, the tears - lots and lots and lots of tears. In fact I was pretty much an incoherent sniveling mess the entire time. The 'cry monster' totally took over- which is so unlike me. I’m not usually an overly-emotional person. Plus I look absolutely ridiculous when I cry (squeaks, strange noises, snot, red blotchy face...you name it) so I try not to do it too often in public.
She was just as upset- after all she was the one leaving her whole life behind. But anyone walking by would have thought she’d just told me someone died. I felt like a total freak. After some serious introspection I still couldn’t tell you why her departure is hitting me so hard.
I think it’s an accumulation of things. Living in a foreign country is a choice. That doesn’t mean it’s an easy choice or that it’s easy to live with all the time. Even though I love it here, there are times I wish I was closer to some of the people I love.
But after awhile you get used to missing people – Family, friends, everyone who saw you grow into adulthood. And I think the hardest part is knowing my friend is now one more person ‘on the other side’. Another person I have to miss. We’ll connect through facebook and skype like I do all my other family. But it’s not the same. She was really here. And now she’s not.
Sorry to poo on you all this Friday with my melancholy. Guess homesickness is just another part of 'living in France' and it comes in many weird shapes and forms.
Hope you all have a good weekend!