All my life, when I've had something "big" on my calendar to plan for, something to dread, as it gets closer and closer, I start to panic. The panicking will start (meaning I'm having some type of fit at least once a day) about two weeks to ten days before the event (the event would be the day I leave, in this case), it'll peak three or four days before the event, and it'll stop two days before the event happens.
Today marks my final "full week" in the country. Needless to say, my panicking is in full swing. I'm starting to say "I don't want to go anymore" out loud, my to-do list on my iPod Touch is getting longer, and the fact that I'm not checking things off is making me panic more... it's never a good thing. I'm not fun to be around right now. I have this uncanny, sickening ability to get homesick before I ever leave home. I can be sitting with my mom, or Noah, or my boyfriend (since he's home as of last night), and just burst into tears (though this hasn't happened quite yet) knowing that I won't get to see them as often as I get to now. I take that back, I won't get to see them PERIOD. The time difference will mean Skyping my mother (at least) will happen very rarely, and though I'll get to talk to the boyfriend more often over the computer, it just won't be the same...
There are some things that will send me into fits over my looming departure more than others will, namely things like the following:
Watching the news and having the broadcasters note an important upcoming date with a visual of a calendar, which then prompts me to come to the terrifying realization that "merde, I'm in France by then..."
Looking at my calendar on my iTouch, since it's full of things like "Family Goodbye Party" or "Call to get Vacation Override for Prescriptions."
Having my mother say "When you're on the plane..." Most recently, this was "wear your glasses instead of your contacts" since we had just switched out the lenses to my new prescription.
Watching an Olympic event where a French athlete competes and/or medals.
I know I'm going to eventually get over it. I remember when we hosted a foreign exchange student (Grace, if you're reading this, FIND US, WE MISS YOU), and we'd come up on her last week with us, I cried up until the day we actually took her to the airport. When we had our final goodbye, I was okay. Sad, but okay. No tears. I doubt this goodbye is going to be that smooth. I'm going to put forth my best effort, but I think I'm going to cry when I have to say goodbye to Noah...
I'm noticing that preparing to head off to France is making a whole bunch of different facets of my personality come out of the woodwork. I've managed to keep somethings about myself pretty hidden, haven't I, Dear Readers? If you haven't looked at the About Me page (and even if you have), here's your chance to find out "how I operate."
Revelation: This is my last week in America.
Francophone Claire: ...has magically forgotten how to speak French. This is moderately terrifying.
Fashionista Claire: LOVES all of the new cardigans in her closet. She looks so grown up and sleek when she looks in the mirror, especially with the grown-up neutral make up.
Californian Claire: Still hates the fact that she's been wearing JEANS all summer to practice for French weather to appease Fashionista Claire. Then there's the Parisian fall weather, hovering around 54 F in October... Considering the second choice college was in Wisconsin, and she passed that up...
Celiac Claire: Wants mussels and fries. All the time. Get in my belly. She's also a little worried that she's going to have trouble with breakfast, but hopefully the host family (or the program, if she ends up in a flat) will allow her to get yogurt or bananas. Perhaps being without sandwich bread for four months will be a good thing.
Perpetually-Ill Claire: Can't decide what OTC medications she uses "all the time," then can't find them in the drug stores, then can't figure out what piece of luggage to put them in.
Penny-Pincher Claire: Silently hates the fact that she'd bought a bunch of brightly-colored makeup, shorts, and tee shirts before coming to the realization that she shouldn't wear such stuff anymore. She's kind of worried about finding a job in Paris, but there's the option of working as an English tutor through Sweet Briar, and then there's this, and this.
Worst Case Scenario Claire: Already knows she's going to be living in a flat, won't be able to find gluten-free food, her mother is going to make Noah fat while she's gone, she's going to run out of her meds while abroad, flunk all of her classes, perpetually have her period which will make her cranky all the time, so everyone's going to think she's mean and she won't make any friends, so she has no idea why she's going because this is going to be a terrible experience.
Optimistic Claire: Knows where the strike-through button is and just used it, and won't let Worst Case Scenario Claire win. EVER.
"Noah's Mom" Claire:
Sadly, customs doesn't allow that with a student visa... otherwise that would actually be happening...
Le courage, c'est l'art d'avoir peur sans que cela paraisse. -Véron