Two weeks ago, I was packing my suitcase to leave Paris.
As I sat in my room one night, I thought over my time in Paris. I remembered my initial struggles to adjust, my weekend trips to Amsterdam and Annecy, and all the friends that I had made abroad. While I was obviously sad that I had to leave, I was also scared: How was I going to be able to adjust to my old life, when I feel like I’ve changed so much?
I grew up wanting to escape America.
Now don’t start jumping to conclusions. No, I’m not unpatriotic and no, I don’t hate America. But there was always a part of me that thought that some things would be so much better in another country. Maybe I can blame the idealized descriptions of Europe, maybe I can blame the affinity I always felt with French ways of life. But, the bottom line: I didn’t truly appreciate the good ol’ US of A.
It’s finally here.
No, it’s not a particular holiday. No, there’s nothing HUGE happening (except I am going to Annecy this weekend!) And no, I still haven’t received any of those packages that I asked for.
It’s better than that. It’s the feeling of overcoming culture shock.
Paris I love you, but you’re bringing me down.
No, literally. All your butter is weighing me down.
I would be lying if I said that food wasn’t one of the main things I base my day around, something that I always want more of, something that I’m always looking forward to. Let’s just put it out there: I’m addicted to food.
Before jetting off to Paris, I spent hours on the internet studying French etiquette and customs so that I could learn them, practice them, and appear as a true Parisian; I was certain that I would impress my host mom. However, that illusion quickly ended after I got a little lost on the metro and called her (during which I used my best French. Who says you need to use subjects and verbs?).
I celebrate my nineteenth birthday tomorrow, but that’s not really what’s on my mind.
In exactly seventeen days, I’ll be landing in Charles de Gaulle airport and starting my new life, à Paris. For the first time in my being, the fourteenth isn’t the climax of May, but the day on which I can demand any remaining items of my family for what will be a bigger climax than all of my birthdays combined.