Friends, the full implications of this trip have started to set in… really. REALLY. I have finally started to realize that I will miss all of you! I am not sure what I am going to do when I know that there is absolutely no one in the whole city I can call if I am in trouble. I will not have any friends or acquaintances there, at least not for the first little while. I can only hope that relationships will come quickly and surely, and that French people are as kind as the North Americans I know.

The emotional impact of this realization has brought to my attention how people-oriented I am. I always thought I was an independent person, content with being alone. In the past few months, I have not been dating. This has given me alot of time to become part of little communities that exist – the Salsa community, St. M’s, and even work communities. I have become dependent on the support and fullness that these groups offer. The typical NA view would reject this dependency as weakness; we are raised from the time we are young to strive to support ourselves as individuals, making ourselves indestructible. This is seen even in the celebration of a baby’s first step by himself – it is celebrated, and physical support is taken away as early as possible.
I heard a story recently about a North American couple and their young child who spend some time in an African city (I am sorry to be so vague but I can’t remember the exact location). Some of the friends they met in the city were there to witness their child’s first step. The African people were shocked to see the parents sit back and watch, proudly, as their child attempted to walk; when it became obvious that the parents were not going to help the child, the guests leapt up and supported the child with their hands and with verbal encouragement.

We are created to depend on one another – we are created to live together and support each other. There is no good reason to force oneself through loneliness and hardship alone, just to prove some kind of strength. This strength cannot last.

So, if you catch a tear slip out of the corner of my eye in these last few weeks, know that I am mourning the temporary loss of support and community, and that I am missing you already.

COUNTDOWN TO LANDING: 26 days, 6 hours, 3 minutes