It's Monday, October 5th. Before you say slowly, concernedly, "Yes, Emily, we're aware," please do hear me out. I'm shocked that today is, in fact, today. The Farmer's Almanac and my iPhone calendar all confirm that yes, it is Monday, October 5th. And we're leaving France, flying from Paris to Charlotte. Even though I have two really good books to read on the plane, I'm totally not okay with this. How did we get here? IT WAS JUST APRIL.
I had thought for several months on what I might say today. I wanted something appropriately fitting, something that observed the gravity of the situation while still seeming hopeful for the future. I wrote one draft entitled "Home," all about how I'm not sure where exactly home is for me. High Point? Greenville? Chapel Hill? Seabrook Island? I still don't know - my thought is that the concept of home is a very fluid concept for me, but I 86ed that post because I didn't think I actually had a point (um...do I ever?).
If I was a more perceptive person, maybe the kind of person who ever made higher than a C+ in a philosophy class (I didn't, because I either slept and/or did the Daily Tar Heel crossword puzzle during phil class), it might have occurred to me that I wrote my "Hey, today we're leaving for France" post the actual day we left for France, after having cookie cake for breakfast to celebrate my dad and B's mom's birthdays, and holding my dog and sobbing in the front yard before B's parents took her to Pennsylvania, and that post seemed to turn out just fine. There was no advance planning for that (and God above knows, I'm a planner). But leaving here just seems so much more momentous than leaving America, and I couldn't think of anything adequate to say. And you people seem to think I'm good with the words. Bless your hearts, I obviously have you all fooled.
But there's a song in my head...a song I listened to over and over and over again while the idea of moving to France was just in its infancy and we only had a tiny shred of hope it would ever happen. I listened to it on repeat driving to work, hoping I would soon be out of that miserable and toxic environment. I drank my grande non-fat cappucino from Starbucks and listened and hoped. And then it happened.
Okay. Here is the point at which I need to stop and give a MAJOR PUBLIC THANKS to Brian. This husband of mine. I can't even begin to thank him for being willing to take this risk, for being willing to let his wife to quit her job (HALLELUJAH AMEN) and for the two of us to move to another country so he could work at a place and with a bunch of people whose language he doesn't even speak. While I wandered, thought, dreamed, photographed, ate, wrote, walked, yoga-ed, read, licked my wounds and sent you all blog posts, he went to an office every day with coworkers he doesn't even understand, just so we could have this adventure of a lifetime. So we could visit more countries together than we've been to U.S. states together (true fact - we counted). So we could taste wines, foods, atmospheres, and lifestyles that we otherwise would never be exposed to. He is my hero, not least of which for his selflessness and his willingness to be led into whatever insane adventure or trip I cook up. Text him. Email him. Facebook him. Throw pretty confetti at him - this almost-birthday boy of mine (he's hitting Dirty 30 a week from today!) deserves ALL THE PRAISE because I wouldn't have written any of this to you if it weren't for him. And I love him so. Have I made that clear throughout all this? I hope so. Because he is my (human/non-God) rock in this mess of crazy we call life.
It hasn't been perfect by any means. We've been frustrated, lost, confused, hungry, tired, dirty, broke, and generally discombobulated on a whole damn lot of occasions. But we survived. As his late grandmother said, "Who has more fun than people?" As my late grandmother said when things went wrong, "But we're making memories." (Side note: we come from a long line of incredible people, particularly strong and intelligent women). But we made it. And we had the time of our lives.
So here's what I'm leaving you: the song I listened to on repeat, ad nauseum, in hopes that one day I would live in France. And we did. We had six months. We had each other. We didn't know the language. But we danced, anyway.
E & B
P.S. Lyrics typed below for those of you who, like me, are visual learners and can't learn anything just by hearing it to save our lives.
P.P.S. - Thanks to ALL OF YOU for following along, for being encouraging, for demanding pictures, for being interested and for loving us so dearly. YOU ALL MEAN THE WORLD TO US. I can't say that enough. For those of you who subscribed - thank you. You raised my confidence more than you can even imagine. I love you all for following along - humanity in general needs a little more encouragement from each other, and you all have been incredible.
And much like a first-time Oscar or Emmy winner, we (I) have lots of people to thank: Massive thank-yous to both sets of parents for all they have done to help us in this endeavor, including keeping our dog for six months, our cars for six months and for coming to visit us and taking us on some trips of a lifetime. Thank you also to Wes and Megan for coming to visit us - I love you both more than you'll ever know and am so glad I can call you BOTH siblings. And thank you to Brooke who house-sat for us for six months and led the charge when our hot-water heater broke and leaked everywhere and dealt with the repairmen and insurance people. WE LOVE YOU ALL.
The summer air was heavy and sweet,