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Two years ago today, at about seven pm, I left America behind for my first long trip and job abroad. I went to the countryside to teach English to French high school students.  The pay was a pittance, the work wasn’t so hard, the loneliness was unbearable at times, but goodness, it was the opportunity of a lifetime.

From the cab driver who entrusted me carefully to a hostel when my travel plans went awry, to the awkward car ride to what would become my home for a few months, to the friends I made and left behind, and the memories and kindred spirits that stay with me, wow. That experience was rich. No regrets.

And it started me on a totally new way of living life, of seeing myself, of really unleashing the dragon.

This year, I’m also trying to do something I’ve never done before- get a full time job in the career field of my choosing. Along the way, I expect I will become a bit more of an adult and maybe even a bit less of a gypsy. Probably, in fact. I am scared down to my bones.

But just like Maria the nun on her way to meet the Van Trapp family, I had confidence in France, and I have confidence now. Like Anna in the King and I, I will find new ways to get to know you, day by day. I do feel a certain kinship to Maria von Trapp. Just stumbling into a new voacation and place in the world, so different than anything you anticipated. I also want to go back to school, again, so that I can get a PhD and teach at the university level. Not sure about what job I’m lookig for right now, to be honest with you, jus tthat I need to get one. For money and for love, and to have some real world perspective to offer my students someday.  It feels like a sidestep to what I feel is my vocation right now, but work experience is central, I think. And there’s a lot of other things in my life I hope to experience, like the joy s of being a young professional in Washington DC.

There’s another part of the story of my Franciversary.

Over the summer, I met someone who was awesome. He was ordinary and real though. I was going to France, he was going back to school, and because of the professional setting I met him it wasn’t appropriate for us to date. When the job ended, we did enjoy a brief moment together, and the feelings were indescribable. You could say it was the booze, or a young girl scared by her imminent departure and wanting a friend, a lover, a confidante, I don’t know, that made it so intense. So intense I kind of had to block it out over time, because it is a happy and sad memory. I told him how I felt, but he said long distance just couldn’t end well. We are friends now, though. He’s someone I have recounted some of my craziest misdeeds to, and I know he trusts me too. I felt pretty rejected for a long time, but at one point he seemed surprised I didn’t realize he was really feeling me too. He lives in DC now, and has a girlfriend, I’m pretty sure via Facebook. I hope someday he’ll be mine though.

Today is his birthday.

I’m sure Destiny knows what she’s doing.

As the Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Well, I’m just befudled, and I guess we all have to live in mystery, reverence, and awe of the forces beyond our understanding, planning, or control which shape our lives. And help us respond with grace.

Love,

Megan

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