Friday, July 4, 2008

Graduation July '08

(This is a long one, you’re warned)

While writing this, I’m still trying to recover from, in no particular order : almost three hours in a hot tent, 4 (or 5 ?) glasses of bubbles, 5 hours of non-stop dancing, half a bottle of rosé wine, 2 cranberry-vodka’s, barely 3 hours of sleep, and uncountable goodbye-hugs and tears. That’s right, the July ’08 Graduation, and with that the whole INSEAD year, is over. Done.

First of all, I feel immensely proud of P. Of course because he got an MBA (and some really fine results with that), but most of all because I know he has become a wonderful friend to a lot of people, because he finally learned to party the night away, and because he kept insisting that this was (and had to be) a great year for both of us. Even at times when I hated it.

I feel grateful for the experience I had the past few months. A year ago, I was someone who never had a conversation with let’s say an Indian, a Japanese, a Rumanian, a Canadian, etc. I had never lived abroad. I had never hosted dinner parties for more than 4 people. I never partied until dawn (let alone on weeknights !), never dived into a pool around midnight, never had so many social activities I actually had to plan a night at home. This list could go on and on, but all I’m saying is : damn, I’m gonna miss the parties :-) !!

Last but not least : I feel so much love and friendship, that my heart is just too small to contain it all. The intensity and depth of the friendships built in just a few months, are very hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t gone through the whole experience. Day after day, we’ve shared laughter ,tears, irritation (Grrrr, those men !!), gossip :-) , boredom, dreams, hopes, and fears. (Setting up a refugee camp for « Partners without a destination » in the INSEAD garden is still an option girls !)
That being a partner was not always an easy ride, can be shown by some quotes :
- I want to be normal : I want to have furniture.
- The last few months, I was trained as a private investigator…I sat and watched people all day in an international business school.
- My clothes are in four different places, and you know what ? I don’t even care !
- Don’t cry – Eat !
Or what about a contest on whose husband/boyfriend arrives first in the bar after classes being the most exciting thing in your whole day ? (on top of everything, a contest I mostly lost !). Looking back on it however, I think we never would have become such friends if we hadn’t shared all those idle hours….
Next to the partners, there are also the friends I got to know through P, and the ones I got to know through writing this blog. On that last note : in the beginning it felt strange to realize that people knew who I was and what I felt without ever having really talked to them. In the end, this blog has become the thread that keeps me and a lot of people together. People I don’t really know all that well, or don’t know at all, but who are friends just because they read, they care, they show concern and support.
So after saying heartbreaking goodbyes to friends who are leaving to the four corners of the world last night, saying goodbye to this blog would be one goodbye too many.

Tears are still not far away today. Just thinking about some people makes me grab my sunglasses and a Kleenex. I wanted to tell some people so much yesterday. But I just couldn’t. So I’ll do it now. (sorry if this post is going on and on and on !)
- You’re the sweetest, warmest person I’ve ever met. A soulmate. Thanks for all the shared dinners, and for dragging us to Paris many a weekend for eating, shopping and 1 hour-museum tours.
- Your tears surprised me. I always thought you were such a though, strong girl. Take care. I just know you’ll do great in life – there’s a fire burning in your heart and in your eyes ; keep it that way !
- You’re both wonderful people, who’ve treated me with a lot of respect and showed true gratefulness. Honest and kind, warm and friendly, on the same wavelength on many a things (family, food, cars :-) , you’ve become real friends
- Never loose your uncontrollable, unstructured, crazy creative side. It’s what makes you you. It can be one of your greatest qualities if you let it. It sometimes takes a writer to understand one, and I think we did…
- I have to admit I first thought you were cold and distant. Never have I been more wrong. I’m still jealous of your perfect style and elegance. But more than that, I’m proud I got to know such an amazing personality.
- I feel that we didn’t really had a chance to say our goodbyes, each of us being absorbed by our own problems. But let’s not forget what we share : a true, honest friendship, with room for our own straightforward opinions, with understanding and concern. I admire you. I really do.
- Thanks for all the sexy moves we shared on the dance floor :-). I feel the year has been too short for us, and we haven’t had the chance to really know each other. But I saw enough to know you’re a great person.
- I don’t really say goodbye to you. ‘Cause I know with full certainty that you’ll always be there and that we’ll be friends for life.

Hugs and kisses to all of you, and to all the other readers. Thanks for sticking with me throughout it all !

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