I have had a love/hate relationship with France here lately. I miss my comfort zone, my house in Lakewood, my nights with friends, not missing out on a single birthday party or baby shower, our amazing church, and the ease and flow of simple things like going shopping or driving myself to the grocery store.
I was asked this week if I could see myself making a LIFE in France. It was such a difficult question to answer.
I LOVE our jobs and the flexibility that comes along with it. Especially with Stella, I know I am going to be so grateful for our set-up and close proximity. Logan and I will both have a schedule where we will not need to hire an extra caregiver and will be able to be very hands on with our little one.
I also love ASPECTS of our small town... the slower pace of life, the lack of stress, the relaxation that comes with meals instead of always rushing to get to the next thing, and the feeling of being sheltered and safe. (We don't lock our front doors and we keep the keys in our car... its THAT kind of town.)
The language barrier is a HUGE deterrent for me because it has caused me to be more codependent on Logan than I would like to be. I MISS my independence. I miss having easy conversations. I am hoping the French classes will do their job and as a result, I can function more and more independently in society.
Friends. I love my husband, but he is not enough. I need girlfriends. I need community. I need Cafe Brazil breakfasts on Friday mornings, and deep meaningful, share-your-life-together conversations. Could I find that in a bigger city like Paris? Perhaps... I am sure I would find more girls around my age and in my same phase of life and surely I could even find some Americans or at least English-speaking girls. In our tiny town, this is honestly just not in the cards.
With that being said... CAN I see myself building a LIFE here?
Without the above things changing, the answer right now is No. Can I live here temporarily, grow and stretch as a person, and become better and stronger from the whole experience? Absolutely. I think that is already happening. I am not the same girl who lived in Dallas a year ago. A part of her is still there and the other part of her is a bit repressed and isolated, looking for an outlet or way to connect. However, I've learned to value different things and truly enjoy slowing down and enjoying life rather than racing through it and ultimately missing it.
I don't know where I will end up, but what I do know is that I want to be somewhere where Logan and I can have a good balance of "us" time and plans. A life that is slower-paced and based more on relationships than things. Where we have a community to do life with. A church to raise our kids in. And jobs that we both love that don't swallow us up and spit us out. Jobs where we are happy, challenged, and fulfilled. A balance in between what we had in Dallas and what we have here in France. A happy medium in between the two extremes.
I'll let you know once we figure out what and where that is...