Looking Back on a Year

In the first week of living in France, I made a list in my journal of personal and professional goals. The list naïvely included mastering French and deciding whether teaching would be my career choice. Looking back on this year, I can confidently say that mastering a language as rich and complex as French will take a lifetime. I love that French words and expressions come to mind often before English ones and friends report that when I talk in my sleep, it’s most often in French. I look back fondly on my year in the classroom and feel utterly uncertain whether this is the profession for which I was made. While I can’t tie my list of goals up neatly in a bow, I still feel like it’s been a year of incredible growth and discovery.

And in a lot of ways, I got a lot more than my list of goals bargained for. Perhaps most notably would be falling in love. It would be accurate to say that I fell equally in love with a boy and a country. I also hadn’t anticipated enthusiastically searching for opportunities to stay in France beyond my one-year commitment.

I have been almost completely immersed in French. I learned to navigate bureaucratic formalities and awkward roommate conversations about doing the dishes.

I made a commitment to be consistently friendly in a country know for curtness. That decision led to countless encounters with warm, gracious people.

I felt deeply for a country that faced intense loss and fear and continues to grapple with dilemmas of identity and race.

It’s been a year of growth, discovery, encouragement, loss, and so much grace and I am enthusiastically ready to embark on year number two.

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7 thoughts on “Looking Back on a Year

  1. It has been so neat to follow your year,Kaitlin! Thank you so much for sharing what you have learned and experienced! I hope you will continue to post during your second year in France! Mrs. Timms

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your blog. Loved seeing you. Love that you are embarking on year number two and love that you are in love. God be with you as you continue to grow, learn and love. You are so special to us!
    Love,
    Donna

    Liked by 1 person

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