Christmas Season + Processing My Year

It is officially Christmas season! Yes, Thanksgiving has come and gone. It is time to pull out the Christmas tree and decorations. Smells that will always be associated with Christmas fill the air. Christmas music floats through the house (much to the annoyance of some).

Or not.

Thanksgiving did come and go. I spent the day in class. Thankfully, I had the wonderful experience of another Friendsgiving with all of the international students and quite a few of the French students the evening before Thanksgiving. We had traditional Thanksgiving food - macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, pecan pie, and of course a turkey! We also had food from all over the world. It was amazing. On Thanksgiving day, I spent the evening with my fellow FMU students. I also got to Skype my family!

I definitely missed my family, but it was not as strange as I thought it would be. Since the rest of France was not celebrating, it didn't feel like I was missing out on the holiday itself.

The day after Thanksgiving, while America (and England) were rushing to get Black Friday deals, I was giving a presentation and taking a test. The subject: retail. Oh, the irony.

Now, however, I am not putting up trees or decorations; there is not baking in my flat. I am listening to Christmas music though. On Wednesday I will be on my way to one of France's most popular Christmas markets!

I am doing December differently this year. This month is going to be packed full of classes, moving out, and trying to enjoy France for my last three weeks.

Can I be honest? Right now is emotionally difficult.

I have always considered myself a post-griever. That means that I don't get upset about an event that I know is happening until after the event. As I prepare to leave France though, I am trying to give myself permission to be a pre-griever. I'm not totally positive I like how I am feeling right now. One minute I find myself mad at the crazy customs of this country, and I can't wait to leave; the next minute, I remember all of the things and the people I will miss, and I want to slow time down. I do not do emotions well, so dealing with this is, like I said, difficult. It is difficult to process a year's worth of my life and saying goodbye to it. But I am trying.

That being said, I would like to share some of the thoughts and emotion that I am processing:

  • I do not have the words to express how thankful I am that God chose this year/path for me
  • I am going to miss this place; more than that though I'll miss the friends I have made
  • I cannot wait to see my family; three weeks and a flight across the Atlantic to go
  • I am excited to experience all things America; but I am terrified too because it has been a while
  • This year has changed me forever; God has challenged me and grown me

There you go. Conflicting emotions, travel plans, a crazy schedule, and three weeks left. That is where I am.

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