I’m Leaving on a Big White Jet Plane… I’ll Make Sure I Come Back Again…

I put off writing this post because I didn’t quite know how to start. There were so many feelings and emotions and memories and personal goals wrapped up in this adventure that it felt like an enormous undertaking to just begin to think about. I’ve known that I was going to live in Europe ever since I went on this People to People Ambassador trip in the 11th grade. It was one of those huge groups of high schoolers in France and England for 20 days that I’m sure all the real people of France dread. It was eye-opening, amazing, beautiful, and stimulating. Everyone kept saying how it was a trip of a lifetime, going on and on about how you had to take every moment because you probably wouldn’t experience this again. My response to that was, “What are you talking about?…I’m coming back.” And here I am.

Now it’s down to the deadline and I have to think about it or I’ll be letting down on my obligation to blog… so I write… because its simply just rude to not follow through with your commitments. And I hate rudeness of all sorts. So ISA asked me to write about my pre-departure feelings… I guess another thing I should mention is that I hate talking about my ewwie gooey emotions as well, so this didn’t quite hit the top of my Google Task bar list… but I digress. All summer I felt mostly stressed and nervous, then mortified that I might place into the Beginner Level and never get credit for all this crap I’m doing!… Then I became stressed again. Then I thought about the process of packing and my eyes went super wide with fear. What if I actually needed that light rain coat or this Forever 21 dress? How can I ever decide what shoes get chopped like the next new episode on Food Network for my alotted 51 lbs? I was nervous once more. You see the vicious cycle. And for those who might feel so inclined to think I obviously have a slight issue dealing with stress, I would like to note that I am fully aware of this little tidbit and am managing just fine, thank you. Rude.

So I should touch on what I’m really packing and working and striving for throughout this experience. My end goal is to be fluent in French and the other is to complete the requirements of my French Minor. It’s really important to me and my career goals that I  communicate well in another language. After I complete school I would like to work in a Non-Governmental or Governmental Organization to alleviate poverty and improve human rights, specifically for women, in developing countries. I chose to study French for my language requirement at Ohio State specifically because multiple parts of Africa are Francophone countries. My hope is that this experience will greatly expand my comprehension of French language plus give a more detailed understanding of what it really means to live in another country.

To tell you the truth, I can’t wait to get on this plane now. I’ll miss my family, friends, HGTV and Food Network, but they’ll all be there waiting for me when I get back. Finally, just as I’m getting on this avion there’s nothing left to stress about. Thank goodness. My sister and I like country music – I should specify- main stream country music. This morning, in true Shannon fashion, she posted on my Facebook wall how much she was going to miss me combined with Lady Antebellum lyrics:

“Steady as a preacher, Free as a weed, Couldn’t wait to get goin’, But wasn’t quite ready to leave…”

Somehow she always manages to hit the nail right on the head. Au revoir America, I can’t wait to get going to Paris.

Monique Malone
Paris, France
Fall 2011 

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