5 times reunited and separated from Celine.
7 different planes.
29 different beds.
250+ official/bureaucratic emails.
28,000 miles (more than the circumference of the equator).
3. Asia Redux: South Korea
4. À Nouveau en France
For a long time I’ve been aware that life is about priorities, and somehow that’s always gotten me through. But I’ve known for many months now that I would have to face too many Number One Priorities during this chapter of life:
-Priority Number One: School. It is a master’s program, and it is serious. The program could be more intense, but I’ve been out of school for years and the readings and presentations already keep me in the library more than out of it. If I don’t make this my Number One Priority I’ll fall behind immediately.
-Priority Number One: Learn French. Celine speaks perfect English, but I’m never going to feel fully comfortable about our life together until I can actually speak with her parents and not feel like a baby when I’m in her country. I’m taking a French class and trying
(often failing) to spend an hour a day on it. If I don’t make this my Top Priority I’ll fail in the most important element of my future.
-Priority Number One: Part-Time Job. If I don’t find a job soon then all these other plans might not matter. Savings from Korea got me here and give me a buffer for a few months, but I always knew this was something of a leap of faith. I counted on getting a job on campus but didn’t realize that my program starts a month later than all other students at Jacobs… Not speaking a word of German makes other opportunities frighteningly limited. I’m applying to language schools and international bars. No luck so far and this is Priority Numero Uno.
-Should-Be Priority Number One: Study German. I can survive without speaking German here, but I hate the thought of spending two years here and not learning a good bit of the language. I can’t make myself give up entirely (nor find time to really start).
-Should-Be Priority Number One: Writing. The only career goal I really get excited about is writing. And however much it’s obvious to you that 6 months without practice leaves its mark, you can be sure it’s more obvious to me. I’m determined to post something here every week.
-Should-Be Priority Number One: Website. More and more people (many of them friends of friends) have asked me for advice about living abroad. I realized that the main ways most young Americas do it is by studying abroad, teaching English, being a missionary, volunteering, or long-term travel. I’ve done all of those in several countries. In fact, living abroad is the only thing I feel legitimately knowledgeable about. I’ve gotten the idea to create a website called “How To Go Abroad.” It would take a great deal of work, but it could be awesome. When? I’ve no idea.
-A Close-Second Priority (aka: Never Going To Happen): Exercise. I haven’t exercised for months, and I feel myself getting weaker. Must… move…. my….lazy…..
-A Close-Third Priority (aka shouldn’t give it time but will anyway): Socialization. My classmates and flat-mates are awesome people and I want to spent time with them. And let’s face it, I need a social life.