Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mental Breakdown, Emotional Wreck

It's been a while...

Quick update, I'm living in the north of France as an Au Pair for 11 months to practice my French so my minor can be of more use when I look for a real job.

I've been here almost 3 months and I have 8 more months to go.

and I. Miss. Home.

I felt a bit homesick here and there over the past 3 months, but nothing hit me so hard as last night when I had a full fledged breakdown. in front of my family that I live with here. embarrassing. 

This past weekend I went to Paris to visit my mom since she was working a flight from Chicago to Paris. So I think visiting with her and other flight attendants that are essentially second moms to me really put in perspective the differences between here and home and just how far out of my comfort zone I ended up going.

You know when you're climbing up a ladder and you just don't notice how high you are until someone says "don't look down", and then the reality of how high up you actually are sets in? That's exactly what this experience has been like. One massive ladder I've been climbing until the weekend with my mom made me "look down".

Everything I do here, everyday, is uncomfortable and new. For me, just meeting new people has always been uncomfortable and hard. Hell even just going away to college was hard for me, but now I would give anything to have that feeling of comfort and security as I did back in the U.S.

People are constantly underestimating the time it takes to learn a language, and due to that I am constantly frustrated with myself for not being able to fully communicate or even be myself because I am so focused on making sure my point comes across clearly in French. I believe the word "fluent" should be erased from everyone's vocabulary because no one can be truly fluent in any language. Everyday I learn new words in English! It's impossible to be fluent in anything I think.

I've been a mess these past few days and even few weeks. I haven't been eating much, all I want to do is sleep and hide out in my room. Even watching TV is exhausting just trying to understand everything.

Emotionally, it would just be so much easier to pack up and move home. But I know there are so many people I would disappoint, there is nothing waiting for me back home, most my friends have moved away, I would be jobless and broke, and I know I would regret that decision for the rest of my life. It's just so hard to get up every morning.

My eyes are literally swollen from lack of sleep and constant tears.
I just wish more people would come out and say "Hey! I felt like that too, let me tell you my story and how I dealt with it. It gets better..."

But all everyone tells me is how lucky I am to be doing this, which I totally understand. I just want people to say "it's ok to break down. You need to break down every once in a while"
is there anyone out there....

I'm lost again


  1. “Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing.” - Mr. Wilde

    Hang in there kiddo

  2. Hi Claire,
    I know it's not nearly the same- but I feel like I sort of know where you are coming from. When my bestie passed away I had to move schools because I couldn't look at anyone the same because they knew something so personal and I'm a fairly reserved person.

    My point is I moved schools (like you have, a bunch) and sort of floated between people, was welcomed into a group, but never really felt like I connected with anyone.

    I know that it's different considering you have literal language barriers so I'm sure it's hard in a different kind of way. My point: I get that constant feeling of not feeling secure.

    Also I agree with you, I don't think you can every really be fluent in a language! Stay strong and don't leave.

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