Friday, July 1, 2011

"Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty we are free at last"

So my last day of working with French children.  Ever.  I even stuck around for an extra couple hours to help fix dinner (hey, it was one last free meal).  And the girl whined and didn't want to eat.  And I smiled to myself and thought, "well, there's one more thing I won't miss."

Although there were more smiles than tears at our last goodbye (on both ends, I think), it was a little sad.  I shouldn't say sad, maybe I was mildly bummed.  Very mildly.  Not because I'm particularly going to miss these people, but because this is it.  The beginning of the end.

From here on out there are less than 3 weeks before I leave.  3 weeks to hang out with friends, to make the bar rounds, to picnic by the Eiffel Tower or jog by the Seine, to do all the Parisy things that maybe I've been putting off or neglecting because I kept telling myself that I have plenty of time.  And now I don't.

I'm really not terribly sad about leaving, I feel like I'm ready, I just have some mixed feelings.  Mostly I know that when I get back I'll be back to school, back to working, back to grad school apps, back to all the normal life things, back to everything that is NOT living in Paris.  This may be the most exciting and adventuresome year of my life and it's almost over.  Is it bad that there's a tiny part of me that's glad it's over?  I do miss doing things for a purpose...taking classes to get a degree, to get into grad school, working to make money for school, interning, etc. etc.  Now I'm in Paris...just to be in Paris.  It was a nice break, but I have other more important things I need to get to.

Still, I can't help feel like, no matter how many walks or deep breaths or pictures I'll take in these last few weeks, I still won't appreciate it like I should, like I'll wish that I had when I get back to the states.  How does it feel to "fully appreciate" something, to take advantage of each moment?  I don't know if I'd even recognize that feeling if I felt it.  Right now I just feel like I'm not taking advantage of my last opportunities to eat croissants and eclairs and pain au chocolat...but that will come.  Oh yes, that will come.  I guess I need to make one last "bucket list" and cross something off each day.  Any suggestions from readers would be helpful.

On another note though, 4th of July is coming up and I realllllyyyyy really really want to make this cake.  It's amazing.  It's beautiful.  And it's not even all that difficult.  Diet be damned, I might just do it.  I just need to round up cake mix, food coloring, a couple 8 inch baking pans, and a 4 inch cookie cutter...oh, and an oven...

Oh well, at least I'm free.  This weekend will be celebrating freedom from a tyrannous King over 200 years ago, and celebrating freedom from a tyrannous French family 2 hours ago.  Independence Day has a double meaning this year.

EDIT: I also just realized this is my 100th blog post.  I know a lot of people do "100 things about me" or something for this occasion, but 1) I forgot, and 2) I don't know if I'm that interesting and if people will sit through 100 things about me.  But maybe tomorrow I'll come up with "101 things about me" just to keep the blog juju going.  Maybe it'll even relate to being and American Au Pair in Paris.  Bonus.

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