i leave in about 2 days. at this point, i have a packing list but still have to just PUT everything into the suitcases. hopefully i haven't overshot it on the amount, but so far my clothes only take up half of the big suitcases and foreseeably another quarter of it. so i have a small suitcase left in space (not outer space... i'm talking volume)! not to mention my impeccable packing skills. i will make this happen seamlessly and beautifully. one word: TETRIS.
tonight i saw one of my dear friends, janae, and when we grabbed some chinese food, my fortune cookie said "your dearest wish is about to come true." good call, fortune cookie, you got it right.
on another note, my dad had me take this personality test (if you could call it that); it's called strengths finder and it was developed by Gallup (probably all of them) and associates. basically, instead of saying "these are all the areas you need to improve because you suck" it says "these are all the areas you're best at and will see the most improvement when you you spend time on them". see? strengths. so all that to say my five strengths are as follows (and ways i can harness my own strength while i'm in france):
1. learner. this is the reason i want to marry wikipedia and not just stay up late at night having awkward roundabout discussions with it. things to do: study history via museums, classes, monuments, and books. and language by speaking, absorbing, taking notes and doing research.
2. achiever. this is the idea that every day is a clean slate sitting next to a to do list. the way this plays out for me is that i have my to do list and every day i try to get as many items done as i can, in addition to my daily responsibilities, even though some may be added throughout the day. in france, i can keep a journal and a planner, but also keep in mind that cultivating friendships is an achievement. thus, 4 hours over a cappuccino with someone is most certainly an achievement and not a waste of 4 hours and 3euros.
3. relator. this means i like to have a few intimate friendships that serve as my base in life. many of you have seen this about me! i'm choosy, and if i choose you, i'm all out there in the open ready to be your best friend. this one will go well in france: make friends and have heart-to-hearts with them regularly. it's a win-win.
4. connectedness. this is the idea that humanity is an entity and any of my actions will have repercussions in the lives of others. to cultivate this strength, i'll need to delve into history so that i find some of those connections, and i'll need to participate in any and (almost) all cultural activities so i get that feel of life being so much more than just me.
5. strategic. this is my astounding ability to look at the big picture and find the best way through the labyrinth. well, maybe it's not astounding yet, but it ought to be! things to do: language is a puzzle to solve and decode, but so are the cultural norms. so in short, i'll have to pay attention and mull it over!
so, i know this entry is remarkably long, but i wanted to share this and not just tuck it away somewhere. maybe we'll see how well i do on my strengths developing while i'm over there!
on a less boring note, expect my next entry to involve a photo or five of my trip and/or lyon!!