Told you I’d be back.
I’ve been so inconsistent about blogging since I moved to Paris, but I noticed that I’ve been really great about journaling. Some things just aren’t the same when I try to share them with other people. So instead I leave details for myself, to read and find 20 years from now when I’m sorting through old boxes of junk.
I have so much free time here in Paris. I am taking three classes, but one of them is a directed study. I’m in a classroom for a grand total of five hours and 20 minutes a week. I spend my time traveling (in the Marais, in Paris, in greater France, throughout Europe) and cooking and journaling. Mostly alone.
This time has been like a honeymoon with myself. And while that sounds poetic and all, I’m actually kind of serious. When I’m in the real world, working and going to school and running magazines and going to charity events, I work myself down. If and when I get a short second to breathe, I write some blog post about renewing my commitments to myself, and I love me so much, and blah blah blah.
But instead of writing commitments, I’m living them. I’m free to do everything—stroll alone through London on a whim, read Hemingway on a park bench, sit in a church in a small French town, eat eclairs—and also nothing.
I listen to music a lot. I sit and daydream and waste away on Pinterest. I drink a lot of cabernet sauvignon. I’ve almost forgotten what stress feels like.
My entire life, I’ve been on this forward-facing road, with clearly (self-) defined directions and destinations. Graduate high school, go to college, co-op at Marie Claire, study abroad, have officer positions in any club I get involved in, graduate college. When I was a freshman, I made up a little calendar of the next five years—where I would be and what I had to do. It was color-coded (green for classes in Boston, blue for co-ops, pink for study abroad).
I planned everything perfectly. I was going to have two majors, I was going to co-op at Marie Claire and the Boston Globe and someplace international, I was going to study abroad in Peru, I was going to go to Egypt on a summer dialogue for journalism, I was going to be editor of the Huntington News. And when I graduated in 2014, I would go on to be an editorial assistant at a fashion magazine.
But planning isn’t doing. Those “going to’s” represent the person I wanted to be and the world that I lived in when I was 17, and so much has changed. Things fall apart, classes are cancelled, money is tight.
And dreams change. Continue reading