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J'arrive!

Monday, October 24, 2016

'Arriver' is one of those verbs that is used all the time. At first, I was wondering how so many people could be 'arriving' so much! I mean, it occurred constantly in conversation, and when I had initially just, well, arrived, and couldn't suss out very many words in a quickly-spoken sentence, I wondered why they were always announcing their arrival. After some research, and more familiarity, I realized that particular verb is used in many contexts: to physically arrive somewhere; to succeed (in life or at a particular task) as in 'I have finally arrived!' or 'Got it'; to occur or happen, as in an accident or event. Another well-used phrase is "J'arrive" to mean "I am coming" or "Be there shortly." And it is in this context that I can finally say "J'arrive!"

As I look back on this adventure, I consider what I have gained in this time. Obviously, there is a bit more French in my head now and slightly more confidence in my use of it. Not as much as I had hoped but my fifty-year-old brain wasn't quite as elastic as I thought. But I also learned (or was reminded of) other things along the way, and for that learning, I'm grateful:

  • If your mood isn't good, wait a while and it will change
  • Celebrate the small victories
  • You've got to get out -- a lot happens by serendipity
  • It's good to get away once in a while -- it makes you realize how good you have it back home
  • Often when others laugh at you, it's really quite funny and you should join in
  • If you try to learn French and aren't willing to speak, it's not going to work
  • Try as much of the local food as you can
  • Don't wait to get to know people; jump in with both feet
  • You've just got to roll with it
  • Living in a different culture with people speaking a foreign language, you miss most of the conversations, you live on the fringe and, in fact, you often feel as if you aren't even there. I expect it may likely be how a hard-of-hearing person feels in our world.
  • Having the courage to meet a fear head on makes you stronger
  • There is a limit to how often you can have zucchini in one week
  • Usually, if someone speaks to you in English, if you speak back to them in French, they will then use French
  • Teenagers are teenagers in any culture
  • Sometimes, even I need to be alone
  • Be open to friendships, even in the most unexpected places
  • My husband can still surprise me
  • French bread is really, REALLY good
  • Lice is not nice (and no, I didn't end up getting them)
  • Changing your expectations can do a lot to improve your outlook
  • Often a situation provides you with lessons you weren't expecting from it
  • The French are actually very polite
  • Don't refuse an opportunity
  • Sometimes it can be much lonelier being in a roomful of people than being alone
  • There's no place like home
  • Twelve weeks can be a very long time
  • Sometimes 'Type 2 fun' (experienced after the event) can be more important than 'Type 1 fun' (experienced during the event)
  • If something is happening you don't like, you need to be the one to take steps to change it
  • Things are rarely as difficult as you think
  • (Conversely) This was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be!

Thanks to those of you who followed along on my journey. While this blog was initially meant to be a journal for myself, some of my motivation at keeping it up came from knowing that others were mildly interested in the adventure as well.

Posted by mzemliak 08:43 Archived in France

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Comments

Welcome Home!!!

by Serena Samra

Thanks so much for sharing! I really love all your 'lessons-learned'! Welcome home, I'd love to meet up with you for coffee sometime and hear about your adventures in person.

by Christine

I wouldn't be me if I didn't point out that this post is for Tuesday, October 25th not Monday, October 24th.

Some words to live by.

by Jane1

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