Just Because I’m Happy.

Lately, I’ve been feeling differently; and I realize that it is simply because I am happy. To be perfectly honest, I can’t even remember if I’ve ever felt this consistent feeling of contentment. For the first time in a long time, I don’t have to worry about the future–about what’s next. I have so many things to smile about. I have stability. I’m fulfilling my long-term goal of teaching in France. I have a job that challenges me, and students who are motivated to learn. I’m still managing to travel Europe. I have diverse, fun, interesting, open-minded friends, both here, abroad, and back home. I have a really great life I’ve created here– one I really, truly love.

Most bizarrely, I haven’t moved or left the north of France since coming back in January. But, thanks to these people, I haven’t really needed to. Here’s a snapshot of the past month or so, with a few other personal favorites thrown in.

IMG_7523 IMG_7520

IMG_7478 IMG_7515

IMG_6742 IMG_7006 IMG_7095 IMG_7318

friends IMG_7064 Color RunIMG_7476 IMG_7477  friends 2 friends 3 friends 4 nyc



4 thoughts on “Just Because I’m Happy.

  1. Hi Dana, I’m currently trying to apply for TAPIF and I was wondering if TAPIF is for me. TAPIF is the experience I’ve always wanted, I speak French fluently and I would like to become a teacher and teaching English abroad is something I’ve always wanted to do. However, I have some things holding me back. While the thought of living and working in France sounds perfect, I am aware that it is not for everyone. I imagine that people who are happy-go-lucky, outgoing and confident would be the kind of people who have a good time in this program. I believe I am passionate about teaching, languages and learning about different cultures, which are all good things, but I am socially anxious and shy. On a good day, I can be confident and sociable, but when anxiety strikes, I can also get quite self-conscious and not at all confident (not even to the point of faking it), sometimes quite awkward. I’m not very assertive either. I’m not completely socially inept, but I also don’t have a particularly easy time compared to the average person in making good friends. I also get very anxious in party settings, specially in the drunken party settings. Some environments, like home, are pretty accepting of these characteristics, but I’m worried that France won’t be and that I won’t be able to thrive there. I’m worried that I’ll get bullied by students, colleagues, neighbours and people on the streets. I also fear that I’ll be seen as incompetent by the people there. As you can tell, I have many worries, I would truly love to connect with people and make friends and have new experiences, but all the things I mentioned might keep me from doing so and I know it’s already not easy to make friends abroad in normal circumstances. That said, 8 months is a very long time to be a loner. Sorry for the length of the comment, I would love to get in touch with you via e-mail, if you wouldn’t mind. I have a few more burning questions. If not, are there any people from TAPIF or other alumni Assistants/current Assistants who would be willing to answer questions like this? Thanks in advance and thanks for imparting your knowledge with the Internet 🙂 !

    1. Hi Karen!

      Well, a lot of the assistants who come to France have just okay levels of French and not much teaching experience. It’s a great way to learn!

      France is just like any other country, you find people who like to do the same things as you! You don’t have to drink and party to enjoy France (or life anywhere!)

      Living anywhere abroad means you have to be assertive and have confidence- although we all fake it sometimes. Could be a great opportunity to get out of your shell!

      I’ve never met anyone who’s come home from a stint abroad and said, “I really wish I hadn’t gone,” but I’ve met plenty who’ve said, “I really wish I had done something like that.”


Let me know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.