Browsing "Lacoste"
May 23, 2010 - Lacoste    3 Comments

Things to Carry Onward

I am leaving this place on Tuesday morning. The four of us only have today together – Susanna is leaving tomorrow. I honestly cannot believe my time here is over. It feels like I just arrived here yesterday, and it also feels like I’ve been here a year.

This week has been filled with last-minute moments – staking my claim on this landscape, this village, this culture, these people. Trying to grasp what it will be like to go back to life without them. Such a task is neither easy nor pleasant.

But being here has changed me. My three awesome friends have shown me things about myself I didn’t fully realize affected other people – or that they noticed. My stubborn conformity to my plans. My love of deep conversation. They say the way I dress puts them at ease. They tell me my eyes are huge and beautiful. We keep assuring each other of our beauty. I think girls need that, and I’ve never had such a wonderful support group before. I think we are starting to believe each other. I think we are starting to peel away the lies and begin to see how we really are for the first time.

I love these girls and I love the time we have spent here in Lacoste. We’ve changed each other, and it’s crazy to think that this doesn’t have to end – that we all go to the same college back in the States, that I will see them in the fall, and we will have to find new ways to be together when we aren’t living in such close proximity. (Susanna and Marissa are moving their beds in with me and Carolyn tonight! We’re going to have a sleepover before we part ways.) It’s crazy to think that I want these girls at my wedding (if I marry). They have to be there. It’s so strange to see this new part of my life unfold.

During my time here, I think I have become more independent and also more dependent. My time spent without the luxury of efficient and easily accessible communication technologies (and limited time when I do have access) has allowed me to truly have my own adventures – away from home, from everything I’ve ever known, and my family. In that sense this time has been my own, and I feel truly independent for the first time. However, I could not have done so without my girls. I am realizing how much I need other people. And how much I want to live in community with friends – people who love me and care about me. I’m so used to doing everything by myself – working, eating, studying, walking to and from class. Always alone! While I certainly have not been transformed into any sort of extrovert, I think I definitely have changed. God has used my time here to show me so much. And He has given me some of the best friends I could make in life to share these crazy France adventures with me. And it’s not just for here. I’ll take them to go.

I sit here in the top floor of the library (the side with the Internet) listening to the bell tower chime late for 2:30. I can hear a man softly strumming his guitar and singing in the distance. It is hot here today. All the books have been reshelved in the library and people are starting to stuff their suitcases. I need to figure out how to pack the books I’ve made so they won’t be damaged. We’ll be off to explore the quarry this afternoon. There are so many things yet to discover in Lacoste, France, and I am leaving in two days! At least I take my people with me. I take Lacoste with me, in a way. It’s a part of me now, a part of my history and my identity. From the grand Luberon mountains we hiked to the miscellaneous punctuation stickers I found on the side of a house in Paris; from our afternoons spent listening to the tales of Finn (the gardener) to our late nights lying on the rock wall outside the Mac Lab, staring at all the stars and marveling at the enormity of our God and the blessing of being brought to a place like Lacoste to study, to live, and to grow; all of it goes with me. It is mine. Forever.