September 16, 2012

Why France?

I wasn’t looking forward to the first day of school because I wasn’t looking forward to having to answer the question everyone would inevitably ask me; “why France?”

I had my armor ready. I had a good answer to give. I like France, I mostly speak the language, and it’s a lot cheaper to go to school here than back home.

But even with a prepared, readily acceptable answer to doll out, every time someone asked me, it made me think about the real reason I picked France.

I only looked at schools in France, and not all over Europe (it’s cheaper almost everywhere over here than the good ol’ states), because of a boy. I decided to get my masters so I could have a visa so I could stay in France, because of a boy. That maybe 70% of the reason I decided to do this isn’t a reason anymore.

I knew that coming back here would be a new kind of hurting and healing process, but I still wish I thought about it less.

Sometimes I think if I ended up here anyway then why did we break up? I know that’s not fair. But I’m here and I’m following the plan that we created together, only he’s not a part of it anymore.

I think about how it would’ve been easier if he were here. Having someone to help me do everything and find a place to live. Then I remember all the times we got into a fight because he wasn’t always such a big help when it came to that sort of a thing, anyway. I’m doing it all on my own, I’m doing it well, and who can really say if it would’ve been any easier doing it together?

Breaking up can’t justify not going to a really good school to get my masters in a field I’m passionate about. So perhaps he wasn’t 70% of the reason after all.

It’s not about wanting him back; it’s about mourning over what we had and what we lost. It’s about finding a French life without him, and how he wasn’t the reason I moved to France but he was the reason I wanted to stay. And it’s okay to fall in love and it’s okay to start over. It’s okay to miss him and remember our life together.

And I’ll be okay, even if it does hurt a little every time someone asks me “why France?”

One day maybe it wont be such a loaded question.


  1. Hi Laura,
    I myself moved to France this autumn because of a man. We had been in a long distance relationship for over a year and me starting studies in Lille was because we wanted to be closer to each other again. But about 3 weeks before my arrival we broke up and I find myself asking the exact same question: "Why am I here?" I need to keep reminding myself that coming here can be seen as a rational choice even if I'm not together with my boyfriend anymore. However, it's not all that easy to start my life here without him. That's why I was very moved by your post,I'm sending lots of positive thoughts your way!

  2. I asked myself a lot of the same questions after my own break-up in 2008, after being with the guy for seven years, but decided to stick around in France because I wanted to leave France on my own terms, not because of a guy. So I temporarily moved to a new city and ended up loving it and I'm still here after all this time.

    And you're right, it's hard figuring stuff out on your own, but like yours, my ex wasn't really much help in that department either, so I eventually realized I'd been doing it on my own all along anyways. It's also true that it was painful thinking about all the plans we had made and how they had suddenly disappeared, but you know what? Eventually you make your own plans and they can turn out to be even more awesome than the original ones. So staying for love is a great reason, but it's also pretty gratifying when you realize you are staying here for you too. And I promise that one day that won't be such a loaded question. :)

  3. This was a great piece of insight, Laura. I would move to France if I had the chance, but I don't think I can say why.

  4. Oh man, if anyone understands this it's me. I'm so sorry you're going through it.

    Like you, I came here on my own, fell in love and got dumped and didn't want to leave because he decided to end things with me. I loved France before I loved him.

    If I can give you one little insight from "the other side", it's that everything works out the way it is supposed to. Cliche but so, so true.

    Why France? Because it's a beautiful country and you love it here.

    Hang in there. It will get better. I promise.

  5. So tough! I went back to Spain because of a boy, and it worked out. I suppose it doesn't always.

    I know I would never go back to Spain without him, so I can't imagine how difficult it must seem at times. I wish you all the luck and happiness this year.

  6. Laura, I love your blog and thank you for sharing such honest moments about your vie quotidienne! As a californienne myself living in Normandie (Rouen) with her own FBF I totally get it. I haven't had to make the choice to return to France with or without him, but I think I would do the same as you. Return to France because you fell in love with the country before ever falling in love with you-know-who. And now you have (hopefully) fun classmates and others to mingle with as well! Who knows what tomorrow holds and it's only bound to get better and better :)

  7. Laura, I really, really love this post. It sounds like you made a great decision and the way you're approaching your time in France is really inspiring.

  8. Welcome back to France! I hope that your time is profitable and that things will get better & better.

  9. I want to wish you good luck ! Heureux de vous retrouver et de vous lire de nouveau. Vous etes une jeune femme courageuse, je vous adresse toute ma sympathie.
    an anonymous reader.

  10. Hi !
    Je suis française, j'aime beaucoup ton blog ^^


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