year abroad :: pace

It’s a lonely, breezy Tuesday and I’m lay on what me friends call the “platans” area of the quay on Bordeaux. I can’t lie, it’s pretty ‘chill’ and the two gigantic cruise liners are fantastically majestic.

After last week, which was a lot of fun I must admit, I’m knackered – and a moment to myself is truly welcomed.

I’m counting down the days now till I return and I’m of freaking out. I’ve cried buckets already – in my boyfriend’s arms, in secret, on friends’ shoulders, on the (super comfy) sofa.

I kind of feel, however, like my time here has come to an end. Things have blown up recently and “j’en ai marre” of all of it.

I will be returning here for sure, but for now, it’s time to move back to the fast-paced, ever-stressful life that is university and enjoy time with all the friends and family that I’ve not seen in so long.

However, I’m not sure if I’m quite up to hardcore studying again, but time will tell I guess. I’m hoping to manage my time much better next year, get focused and stay focused, and concentrate on what really matters: the degree.

I’m currently in Chartrons Quartier of Bordeaux, taking a moment to pray and reflect in the most beautiful of churches. It’s a peaceful, hidden place and the lack of people makes it a great space to hideout from the world, take 5 and be with God.

I’m struggling to come to terms with what I’m leaving behind, and the feeling is mutual when people express they don’t want me to leave just yet. Unfortunately, this phase of life was always only temporary; I just can’t believe the incredible life I’ve built in just short of a year. It was hard enough leaving Libourne, let alone Bordeaux, and France completely.

I’m happy to say I’ve grown up here. I feel like adult life has begun, and my decisions are no longer selfish, but much more well-thought-out. There is no doubt I will look back on this year as the greatest year of life, all round. Bien sûr, it hasn’t always been perfect and I’m nowhere near fluent, but I feel like a woman blossoming in her early twenties – et franchement, that’s how I should feel.

My goals are set, my dreams fixed and my prayers prayed. My future looks bright and even though I’m sad to be returning to England, I genuinely have mille opportunités qui m’attend.

The pace of life in France has changed dramatically from month to month, altering and disfiguring my perception of French culture continuously – even more so now that I’m reaching the end.

I’ve experienced all I could in 12 months, and I’m sure the return to the “norm” will do be a world of good.

Love,

Anna

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