Last departure thoughts, 1-19-18:
Leaving Paris before sunrise feels disrespectful, like a lover stealing away in the night. I tried to take in my last glimpses of the city through our shuttle windows, but everything was still horribly out of context. Paris is far too large and old to have figured out in two and a half weeks. She’s too complicated, and claiming less is an insult.
I am happy to be headed home, to my own bed for the first time in almost a month, to my best friend, to my boyfriend, and to my family. I am excited to hear American English, to not feel my harsh Midwestern voice so out of place. To be back in control; yes, I have been able to wander this beautiful, foreign city alone, but I haven’t felt confident or knowledgeable. I am out of my familiar, and I’m feeling exhausted because of it. I want to rest, I want to organize, I want to take charge of my life again.
Rediscovering this journal now, a month later, is so fitting. I’ve been swept up by the spring semester, and I am still striving to feel that sense of control, even back in my familiar at home. My trip happened so quickly, it was hard to put into words at first, or to know if I had written any that I felt were worth sharing. This past month has given me enough time to try to put this into perspective, and I think evaluating what I gained, what I learned, during my travels just may be the key to unlocking a new sense balance and a positive attitude for the future.
Stay tuned for the reflection(s) to come!