My Biggest Birthday Gift (So Far)
It’s my birthday tomorrow, and this year I am giving myself a huge gift. The gift of being where I love to be.
Yes, indeed, this is my first week of living in France. I am still pinching my arm, amazed by my familiar, yet new surroundings. It seems like even the weather agreed upon my stay: it was 19 degrees on the day of my arrival here.
Perhaps it’s because I arrived shortly before my birthday, but every morning I wake up feeling like I get to unwrap this huge gift a little more.
It’s kind of hard to describe – the biggest conundrum for a blogger – but I guess it comes down to being even happier than I dared to imagine during my preparations to get here. Don’t ask me how the image crawled into my brain, but it makes me think of Casey Jr, the little train, from Disney’s film Dumbo. There’s this scene where the train climbs a hill, carrying all those circus wagons with elephants and what not, whilst puffing “I think I can”. The little train almost doesn’t make it to the top, but reaches it still, and puffs “I thought I could” as it starts to go down with renewed energy.
You don’t remember the scene? No worries, you can watch it below. It’s almost my birthday, and I can share what I want to ;-)
For the past two months I’ve been climbing that hill: selling my apartment, getting rid of most of my stuff, canceling insurances, subscriptions, and anything that ties me to The Netherlands. It’s been a period of many goodbyes. A period of closure.
Once I arrived in France, I could feel the shift: a period of many hellos, I mean bonjours, has commenced. Even though my train is going downhill, it will be hard work – believe me, I know. But instead of breaking something apart, I am now building something new.
Come tomorrow, I’m not just celebrating the day I was born. I will be celebrating what I have done with my life so far. From the bottom of my heart, I hope you feel your life is worth celebrating too!