I feel like this blog post needs a dramatic opening…
Duhn, duhn, DUHNNN!!!
I know this is a post that you all have been waiting for…I have officially made a decision about what I will be doing after I board my flight for the good ole’ USA in May.
The decision about my future that I am about to share is one that has reeked havoc on my thoughts since I accepted this position back in May. Will I continue on with TAPIF? Will I go to grad school at UIUC? Will I do something entirely different? I thought I would never be able to make the decision. Thankfully, a solid amount of time spent reflecting lent away to a decision that I found easier to make than expected. As of March 4th…
I have officially accepted my offer into the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana Master of Social Work Advanced Standing program starting in Fall 2018! Go ILLINI!!
A few of you (especially my close friends and family members) are most likely shocked at this decision and if I’m being honest, I shocked myself with this decision. I think it is obvious that I love France with every fiber of my being and I am absolutely dreading my flight home in May. The French food, culture, language, people…it’s become so much a part of me that I’m afraid I’ll feel like a foreigner when I go back to the States, at least for the first few weeks. I’ve made friends and created roots here in France. Living here and being an assistant is easily one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
You might be thinking, “Michaela, if you love it so much then why are you leaving??” (trust me, I’ve asked myself the same question). The answer to that question is best described in an e-mail I wrote back in January.
Monday, January 8, 2018
“Also, I thought I’d let you know that I made a decision for the fall in regards to grad school versus staying in France. I decided that I will be returning to Illinois for the fall to attend UIUC. I felt a real call to go to Lyon for my Christmas vacations and in a strange turn of events, I ended up there despite my original plan to go to Strasbourg (God always gets His way!) and I had the feeling that while I was there, I would get a clear answer about my future. Well, that didn’t exactly happen—the only thing that happened was that I completely fell in love with Lyon! However, when I spent the New Year in Beaune, I woke up on Wednesday morning and I just knew (and felt so at peace) about e-mailing UIUC to say yes. I even got the e-mail to renew my TAPIF contract two days later and I didn’t feel a pull to fill it out (in fact, I already moved the e-mail into my TAPIF folder, which essentially means I know I won’t need to look at it).”
“To bring this story full circle, I was talking to [my TCU roommates] about it yesterday because they were curious about my snap decision to go back to school, and I think being in Lyon made me realize that this is my first time in France but it is absolutely not my last time here. This place has stolen a piece of my heart (of course, a part of my heart will always be in Texas—love y’all!) and I just know that I’ll be back-I just don’t know in what context. I’m kind of excited to find out what God is doing! Even now, I feel like His plan to have me study social work and French is SO much bigger than I originally thought. I feel like I’m having a revelation about all this just typing out this e-mail!!”
At the end of the day, I know that I’ll be back to France. As I said, this place has become such a part of me that the idea of coming back to France after my Master’s program brings me unsurmountable joy and excitement. I don’t know how I’ll come back: as an assistant, with a full-time job, as a tourist; but I know I will be back, which is enough to keep me going.
Thanks for reading and check back soon for more!
Until next time,