Just when I thought

I was holding it all together pretty well and feeling pretty good about the last week in Paris and heading to Austin… I went out with A tonight and we had fun and then he started to say goodbye and I surprised myself by starting to cry. Right in front of the metro stop. I really couldn’t stop myself. I did a little bit better on the metro/tram ride back here as in, no tears actually rolling down my face, just seeping into my eyes. And then when I got back to the apartment the entire American gang (the Ys and their guests) was finishing up dinner so that cheered me up.

I got to the FNAC today and bought Renan Luce’s album and Yelle’s, one of which A approved of and the other he snickered at (can you guess which?). But I am quite happy to have both and Margaret and Leigh (other Y guests whom I’m sharing the apartment with) requested to listen to it so we put in Renan Luce.

Last night I went out with ex-student O and we drank beers on the bank of the Seine and it was good craic. And then I had to pee horribly horribly bad on the metro ride home I swear I almost exploded. So I peed at his place before walking the rest of the short way home.

I’m going to miss them all so much. =(

Somewhere in Almost French Sarah Turnbull talks about a Greek man who tells her, “It’s a curse to love two countries,” and I can’t say I honestly feel that way (I still feel that it’s more of a gift) but I do feel awfully torn. There are some really neat people and places and things in the States. But my heart is here. And I really feel it’s a great gift to have found a place (even such a vast one as an entire country) that calls my name so strongly and feels so much like home, and more so to have such a strong vision of what I want out of my life and how I want to spend it. I don’t want to lose that vision with time and distance. That’s what I fear most with the return.

Sometimes I think I would give a lot to be back in September and able to do this year all over again (even counting the break-up!). But then I think, surely I will feel that way in a year, or two years, or three, so I should stop being so cripplingly nostalgic. But I think it’s just a personality trait that I have to live with.

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2 thoughts on “Just when I thought

  1. Casseeeeeeeee says:

    Awww. I wonder if there’s something about France. My sister worked there for a summer after high school and has been trying to get back since. She still talks about how she could spend the rest of her life there and be happy. For some reason, the short times I spent there I also felt generally better or something. It’s hard to explain, but I’ve noticed that I often feel bad about myself in America. In Japan, I was more confident in a lot of ways, even though I was just a dumb foreigner and everyone was about half my size. There’s an atmosphere that makes it difficult to live in Japan. The fact that it’s very tense and uptight, and in the workplace everyone is pretending to be stressed out all the time. But I came back from this knowing that America is one of my homes, and that it really needs me, while Japan didn’t. I don’t know, I’m just rambling.

  2. It’s good to know it has a lasting effect on other people. Sometimes I think I’m just nuts.

    To be fair there is also an atmosphere in France that makes it hard for a lot of foreigners to live there. There’s a general distrust of strangers and people you haven’t known for 30 years or since kindergarden and that, I think, is the root of all the other issues. The French also like to pontificate on things they don’t have good information about. As in, they often take themselves too seriously. Also, the fonctionnaires can be serious assholes (distrust of strangers taken to the max I think). It can be really hard to be successful here depending on who you are and what you’re trying to do (business-wise especially I think). But none of this bothers me yet, in fact, I mostly just find it interesting and challenging. In fact I have reservations about making this list because I know so many exceptions and there’s an upside to almost every downside–but I also know a lot of foreigners find life here difficult.

    I may well continue to bug you for your input on living abroad and coming back, Cassie.

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