10 months, people! It’s been 10 months already since I’ve stepped into my new pair of shoes. Whoa! Even I can’t believe it sometimes, and I’m the one actually living the experience!
If I close my eyes I can still see (even if a little foggy) the piles of 13 boxes waiting to be sent to France, the detachment with which I have parted from a big amount of my belongings (and with them a part of my past to which I was still holding), the coffees with my dear friends, the tarts we’ve cooked for the fair-well party and my parents’ sadness when saying good-bye in the airport (attached to his arm).
For few months before leaving Bucharest and few more after arriving in Toulouse I’ve been lost in-between. I was no longer in Romania but not really in France, neither. I was between two worlds, one from which I’ve willingly parted and one which was not yet accepting me. But most of all, I was feeling very lonely. Except him, there was nobody else in this new place willing to really listen to my worries and comfort me; and this was a new idea for me, as I’ve always been a people person.
For few months I had an almost constant feeling that I am doing everything wrong (when I was actually learning) and that I will never manage to understand and apply the French “laws” into my life. Of course I was far from guessing how wonderful everything will be in the end, but I was about to find out soon (and I am still discovering).
Last night, while holding me in his arms he finally admitted: sometimes he is actually scared of the speed with which I progress; “alien like”, as he put it. In 10 months I have learned the French language to a level where I can read complex books in different domains, I can watch French movies without subtitles and still get the main ideas, I can have (and really enjoy) philosophical conversations or history related, or political; and the one I am really proud of, recently I am able to have business conversations with business owners, about business collaboration proposals (you get the idea!), either face to face, by phone or by mail.
I am still far from feeling like home in the real meaning of the word, but I am getting closer every day. The city, the people, the life style, the French!….how can anyone not love them?
What I know for sure is that I am learning. Yes, I am doing mistakes from time to time and breaking the French rules now and then, but I know I am not perfect. In exchange, I am better and better every day. I look in the mirror and I don’t recognize myself anymore. The Octavia I knew back in Bucharest is no longer there. Her place has been taken by a better, healthier, smarter, more relaxed, happier, more confident, loved and in love Octavia. And you know what? I absolutely like this new version of me! In the same time, I can’t help from wanting to be better. A better person, a kinder babysitter, a more patient wife, a more curious child, a more dedicated learner, a more appreciative human, a more sophisticated woman…
For sure I miss my old life sometimes, when I have difficult moments and I think of how easy things were before, with a steady job, a nice income, my little house, my blue car, my sweet friends and dear family. But then I remember why I left and how beautiful the present is, even if imperfect.
May is a full month, with birthdays and name’s days, with summer signs and warm wind, with blossomed trees and birds’ songs. But June is even better, as it is the anniversary of our first “Hello” – the beginning of this wonderful story we live.
Thank you, my darling, for shaking my entire existence and helping me rebuild everything more beautiful and stronger than before.