Saturday, 11 May 2013

Paying it forward

16 years. Or maybe 17, depending on how you count. That's how long I've lived in France. I've been married to a Frenchman for 10 years and been a French citizen for 6 years. And I'm still paying forward all the people and contacts that helped me get to this life I'm living.

I still give credit to the friend of the friend who let me sleep on his couch for 5 months, the family from back home who let me be their "family appendage"' for a few years, the friend of the friend who told me how to get working papers and of course the friend of the friend of the friend who eventually introduced me to my husband.

As another school year comes to a close, I once again brought my American babysitters to my favorite place around Lille- Mosaic-  for a goodbye outing. And as we talked about what happens next, I did something I usually don't do : I gave them a piece of advice. When you get back to school for your senior year, don't freak out even if everyone around you knows what's they're doing and where they're headed. Because things always have a way of working out.

As I went on to tell them that if they ever want to come back to France, the door was always open, I realized that even after all this time, I'm still paying it forward. Without the help of others - and of course my own perseverance - I'd be somewhere else, doing something else, living some other life. But who wants to think about that!

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