Some 40 hours of one-on-one instruction (broken into 1.5 hour chunks) later, I find myself at the end of my company-allotted French lessons.
I am now feeling strangely adrift, and it took more effort than I expected to stop myself from simply sulking through the day.
She was nominally “just” a French tutor (whom the Purrito is/was seeing as well, albeit separately and in a different location), but the reality was that, for the both of us, she was more than just a language teacher; she’s been an interpreter, a dictionary, a historian, a city guide, a soother of frayed nerves, and perhaps even a bit of a psychologist at times. I would say that she’s been an anchor to the two of us, but that’s not accurate; anchors keep you in one place, they keep the sea from sweeping you away, they keep you from changing too much… but we have changed so very much. Perhaps the more apt metaphor is one of a lighthouse; you’re still bobbing around in the ocean, but at least you’re not going to find yourself unexpectedly dashed against the rocks.
We’ll continue navigating the shoals (because what else can you do?), and we’ll continue to learn the language, but it will be through dimmer waters, on a sea that feels, to us, much more alone.