The First Half of 2020

Maison Sauvage wisteria

Getting halfway through the year has never been something I’ve paid attention to before, but suddenly there are reminders all over Instagram and I’m writing a blog post about it. 2020 is full of surprises I suppose! While I certainly wouldn’t have expected pretty much anything that the first half of 2020 has brought, I have learned quite a bit.

This time last year, my 2019 flight tally between the US and France was eight. This year it’s one. Like a lot of people I’m mentally still in February…but it’s July.

Normandy Cherry Blossoms first half of 2020

I want to get on a plane and go home and see my family, friends, and dogs. I’m ready to go (I just listened to the Paris Airport sound…never knew it would be possible to miss that). But, for the first time in my life, I’m nervous to fly. I’m not worried about myself. I’m worried that somewhere along the 15 hour travel day (mostly during the 11 hour flight) I could come in contact with the virus and give it to someone else.

When I left Dallas in January, the plan was to come back at the end of June for a summer vacation. I always thought that maybe I’d come for a quick trip somewhere in the middle of that to surprise my parents (and see the dogs and get my hair highlighted). Six months later and I’m still in France and my hair still hasn’t been highlighted. And that’s fine for right now (but not forever).

Lessons from the First Half of 2020

I’ve learned so much in the first half of 2020. More than I can begin to articulate. Here are a few of the lessons, in no particular order:

  • Normandy was the best thing that could’ve ever happened to me during the confinement. Romain’s family is the real MVP for letting me crash that party.
  • I got over highlighting my hair and bought a purple shampoo at the grocery store. It works pretty well.
  • Dogs are amazing. I joke with Romain that I love Dalton more than I love him. It’s not true – I love them equally.
  • Black Lives Matter. It absolutely wasn’t enough for me to be silently anti-racist. I decided to listen, learn, and become actively anti-racist.
  • Watching the tiny changes every day that are actually spring happening is incredible.
  • Driving a tractor and mowing the lawn is relaxing.
  • I can make butter tortillas. A total game changer for a Texan living in France.
  • I can cook pretty much anything I want, even in my tiny kitchen in Paris, as long as I’m patient, willing to fail, and willing to keep trying (looking at you @BriocheBuns). There’s a bigger life lesson in there.
  • Tequila is important when you’re suddenly living with someone else’s multigenerational family, in another language.
  • Tequila is hard to find in Normandy.
  • Paris isn’t Paris without cafés.
  • Paris is really beautiful when it’s empty.
  • Taking the time to set the table and using pretty plates, coffee cups, and napkins makes a difference.
  • I want to be surrounded by flowers and plants at all times, even if it’s just via a window box.
  • Wearing a mask to protect someone else isn’t a big deal.
  • Life is all about perspective.
Paris roses first half of 2020

I have no idea what the second half of 2020 is going to look like. Regardless of what happens I know I’ll continue learning. I hope there are a few more long-haul flights in my near future. And I really hope that COVID-19 is under control enough for the borders between France and the US reopen.

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