L'Angoisse. That's what's been on my (this is Haley) mind lately. I'm assuming that none of you know what this word means, so I'll tell you. It's French for anxiety. If you know anything about me then you probably already know this, but for those of you who don't know me too well, now's the time that you learn- I worry a lot- even about things that don't deserve to be worried about, which usually ends up being served to me on a big platter with a steamy hot side dish of l'angoisse. In my mind, the things that I have been anxious about lately actually qualify as things that any normal person would be anxious about, but still- I wish I could stop worrying all the time. One of the things that has been on my mind lately is next semester. If things go according to plan, I should be spending 16 weeks in Aix-en-Provence, France with other students from Gordon College. When I think about this potential reality, part of me is so nervous that I could throw up, and the other part is so excited that I could, well, throw up. While I know it's an incredible opportunity, and I know that I will probably LOVE it, part of me can't help but wish I could just stay right here in my little 1057 A4 bubble with people that I love and who I know love me, too. I'm worried that I'll miss too many things if I leave, things that I might never get to experience again. I know that Wheaton campus is pretty subdued and not too many crazy exciting things happen, but it's the little everyday things that I'm going to miss- pillow talks with Anna, laughing with Holly over the ridiculous things we attempt to do, hangin' with my homeboy James, singing in the Gospel Choir, tutoring at Dearborn, seeing familiar faces when I walk to class- they're all things that I love but that I'm choosing to give up...? Sounds crazy to me. I guess another part of it is I'm worried that I'll feel inadequate once I get to Aix. I mean, I've been studying French for basically 7 years now, and I feel confident that I know enough to get by, but this is going to be totally different. I'll be taking courses at a French university that are taught in French with other French students, I'll be living with a French host family, and I'll have to get by on my own when I decide to go be a part of civiliation in the city. I know that the immersion will be fantastic for my speaking abilities and that I'll most likely be fluent by the time I get back to the States, but it's the in between time that worries me.
Another thing is that the application process is hideous. I started applying over the summer, and I still don't think I'm halfway done. I have to get a bunch of recommendations, apply for and actually get a visa, figure out what classes I'm going to take while I'm there, figure out financial and course credit junk...it seems like an insurmountable pile of things that just have to get done, and I'm feeling overwhelmed, but I know that it will all get done, and I can only pray that everything works out in the end. I don't know...maybe I just need to suck it up and take it like a man (figuratively speaking, of course). All I know is that I am terrified. I am terrified, but I am strong and I can do this. So, ready or not...here I come.