It seems that seven weeks is a bit of a magic number for me. That is, in terms of settling into the routine of a new place.
It took me almost the full seven weeks I was there to truly feel at home in Paris – and then I left. We’re now firmly into my seventh week in Antibes and hey, guess what? I finally feel like it is home! I don’t know if it will always be true, but it makes sense really.
At first you are thrilled and excited with the new place.
Then you miss familiarity and spend lots of time on the telephone talking to those who you know love you unconditionally.
After that you’re not so homesick, but you’re frustrated because you are trying to accomplish things but you don’t quite know how.
Then (hopefully) you figure out how to get your errands done and join dance classes. There is a sense of accomplishment but also disruption as you add new activities to the schedule.
Now you are tired – the first month has taken an unbelievable amount of energy to simply exist.
You spend more time sleeping and cook a pot of chicken soup.
And then one morning you wake up. You participate in the french conversation during group work at school, you complete a to-do list with fifteen different tasks on it, and you spend time with totally cool people who you now call friends. You know your routine, the ladies at the bakery, and what kind of coat you should wear when you leave the house. Something has clicked.
Today I danced around my kitchen while baking granola bars. This is, without question, a sure sign I am happy. It feels good. And what does tomorrow bring?
Reading break! Avignon, Lyon, Strasbourg, Juno Beach, Vimy Ridge, and Paris! You won’t hear from me until I get back – but yes, I promise to take lots of pictures!