Chicago... it was exactly what I needed. In so many ways that I didn't even expect.
Before going home for Christmas, I felt like I was failing my experience in some way by needing a break. But I have to say, looking back now, I don't think I would have lasted the rest of my time in France had I not taken those 12 days to really take a breather. The idea of being abroad 9 months total had become overwhelming, more so than I was even willing to admit to myself... but now I feel like an enormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders, and I couldn't feel more relieved or happy. Plain and simple.