Well, I’ve been a bit of a lazy blogger recently, but that is because I’ve been keeping a secret: Lionel and I are moving to the US. We’ve been talking about it since the end of April, and we finally made the decision (more like, I finally made my decision) at the end of May.
So, why has it taken me so long to say something about it? I guess it’s because I’m still not sure how I feel about the move. And that shocks me. After all this time being unhappy and complaining about France, I should be thrilled about moving to the US, but instead, I’m still not sure how I feel.
When we first talked about this at the end of April, Lionel was completely ready to go and excited about it (a big surprise for me because before this he has never really wanted to ever move to the US), but I hesitated, and hesitated, and hesitated. I spent nearly a month weighing the pros and cons, torturing myself with “what ifs”, and trying to understand why I wasn’t as excited as I always thought I would be at the chance to move back to the States.
Obviously, I did finally make the decision to move back because I realized that my reasons for wanting to stay in France were silly. I mainly wanted to stay for the travel opportunities (not to mention the vacation time!), but also because I felt kind of like this was my identity. Clearly I know that wanting to travel is not a good reason to decide to live somewhere (especially when you aren’t even happy there), so I ultimately choose the US for the career opportunities, the quality of life, the chance to be near friends and family again and in the hopes of being happy again.
But since deciding to move back, I have come to realize that there is another reason why I can’t seem to be 100% happy about this idea…because I feel like I have failed. After studying abroad for the first time, all I wanted was to live abroad, preferably in France. Of course, I always thought I would get there by working for an international company, not by meeting a guy, but Lionel was just icing on the cake, and I’m so happy to have him in my life. And then it happened and I moved to France, not just to study, but “permanently” to be with Lionel. I was so happy and so excited about spending our lives together and about doing it in France. But now, here I am, only 4 years after really moving here, and I am going back. I feel defeated and I feel like maybe I should have tried harder, kept working at it, stuck it out for another few years to see if I could find a way to be happy here. But instead, I am giving up and going back to the States. I have failed. I truly feel like I have failed and it’s humiliating. I should have done more to try to find a better job or we should have moved somewhere else in France to see if we would be happier there or I should have made more of an effort to meet people and network. But I didn’t. Instead I sank deeper and deeper into unhappiness and (dare I say it?) depression. And now I feel like I am going back to the US, having failed at something for the first time in my life, with my tail between my legs, admitting defeat. I think this is what bothers me the most about this move.
So, I am moving back to the US and I should be really excited about it. I should be jumping up and down for joy, but instead I am still uncertain. I’m sure things will be fine once I get there and settle back in, but for now the only thing I am really excited about is ending my job at the end of this month!
More to come later about details of the move and our last few months in France.
***Mom and Dad, if you are reading this, NO, this does not mean that I am not looking forward to seeing you, and NO, I am not going to change my mind now.