Looking back at 2010 posts, I realized that 2011 was not only the year I learned to adjust to the culture... but the year that I really found my balance and my language ability. When I first came to France I could barely put a proper sentence together, now I am completing a French business Master's degree, in French, with an average of 13/20 (basically a B). There have been bad times, good times, in between times... but I have more of a sense of nostalgia as I wave goodbye to 2011 because it marks the end of my séjour in Lyon and the beginning of my life in Paris.
I never had plans to pack up house for Paris, as I complain and groan I imagine the millions of Americans who dream to live in Paris... and yes it is exciting- but I love my life in Lyon. All the discoveries that I have made, the maps I have put together to survive, the 'favorites' I have found.
It marks also the beginning of my 'adult hood', my student life is wrapping up nicely and the next steps are to find a big girl job (put lovely by my good Brit friend Katie) and grow up.
So what happened memorable in 2011?
I believe the best way to remember is to break it down...
- Learned the French emergency number by heart... as Bri passed out face first at 3AM in the morning from a fever, and I freaked out. Sad to say I grabbed the phone and put it to his face crying, "What's the number!! I can't explain what happened to you!!" Which is when I promised myself to become fluent. I can't rely on Bri for everything.
- Got hired for an Internship!
- So uneventful I ended up writing about Instant Coffee and how horrible it is.
- Learned the appropriate way to write a Letter of Motivation
- Worked, another completely uneventful month
- Discovered the true difference between our 'respect the elder' culture and the 'dog eat dog' culture of France
- Went to my first concert in Lyon, even better in an ancient Roman amphithéâtre!
- First visit to a gynecologist- yikes
- First hair cut in France
- Vacation to Barcelona with the French Fam... in-laws will always be in-laws in any culture
- Celebrated my 24th birthday with my Mom at my side, unlimited frog legs and a beautiful Birthday cake
- Started my French international business management Master, learned that the education system is completely different than in America
- Went to my first French-French party by myself, got totally tipsy but made it back home in time for the last métro.
- Bri accepted for position at the Senate, realization I'll be moving in TWO months to Paris.
- +2 kilos
Now the question is.... did I complete my 2011 to do list? Let's see... here's from my list in the beginning of the year, things with the
cross out are complete.. of course I added some commentary.
Lose the 10 lbs I probably gained during French ChristmasDid this, but gained it back Christmas 2011
Start walking fast.. x Sort of necessary when living in France
- Start jogging.. Okay.. NO....
- Start running.. Definitely NO!
- Try to do some yoga videos a few times a week Haha, It's amazing what we aspire to do... NO
Learn a complicated French recipeTotally made Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon AND mastered pâte à choux!
Invite a group of 5 to the apartment for dinnerTotally made an awesome pork roast, in my 'microwave'!
Try to buy veggies at marché as much as possible.. Most every weekend we wandered out..
Going with #8, try to get up at normal hoursExcept during vacations...
Pay closer attention to my friendsMade some new onces, tended to the old ones.. SUCCESS!
Do a good job for my new jobDid fabulously, then got hired in another position.
Try to keep apartment in suitable condition for livingLaundry regularily, dinner every night..
- Go on a Beaujolais tour Ooops... eh... NO!
- Try to go for brisk evening walk after dinner with Brian each night No, but it's Bri's fault not my own!
Get into a Master's program and get visa renewedCHECK!
Take more picturesto share with family Take more pictures? Yes. Share with family? No.
- Replace the toilet paper when it runs out- I never do. Still don't.
Try to pay the basics and then.. pay off my credit cardsDon't use credit cards any more.. thanks for helping out mom!
Learn a new danceSure... the kitchen dance..!
- Get into one of those fancy French clubs Still to be done...
Plan something epic for our 2 year anniv'We ate frogs, that is epic.
Try some new French cheeseI regretted it.
Totally shop at the marchés, veggie market, boucheries, boulangeries and fromageries... no more American shopping! Although sometimes I am a bit lazy...
- Call my brother back in the States at least 4-5 times a week Eek.. eh....
Study my French more often and make an effort to speak 'en Français' with BriMoitié/Moitié!
Make more unique mealsI'd say!
- Write all the books that I've been keeping in my head Okay... so.. I am a procrastinator..
- Write more advice columns and
get back on board with thedaily bloggin'! Hmmm Daily????
Okay so 18/28 complete? Not too shabby.. tomorrow I'll bring out my 2012 list. It will be énorme.
Man 2012 is freakin' me out.. but I only see good things (minus the change from 700 sq ft to 350 sq ft for double the price...)