I am blaming this blog post being a few days late on the fact that I got sick at some point over the weekend. Or maybe it was just poor time management and I hadn’t felt disciplined enough to sit down and type something. Though, the most likely answer is that I didn’t really know how to write what was on my mind. I’ve never been one to try to put words together without an idea of what I wanted to happen. I have yet to feel comfortable with that sort of freedom.
The past week and half has been a hectic yet enjoyable plunge back into full-time coursework. As much as I complain when the school year is in session, I missed the sense of order that comes with it. I may not like that I have seventeen assignments to do in one week, but at least I know exactly what I have to do and can estimate how long they will take me to complete. The academic calendar has given structure to my life for the last 16 or so years, so it is a comforting friend now that I am learning how to get by while abroad. As I write this, I am reminded of how lucky I am to not be particularly concerned about how exactly my credits will transfer back to my school since I have already all but completed my primary major and degree requirements. But nevertheless, it would be nice to actually finish my secondary major in French since I’ve gone through all the trouble of moving to France for four months. But I’m not really worrying about it, everything will work out eventually.
In a lot of ways, this semester does feel like a break from my “regular life” as my friend Halana described her time in New Zealand last year. It feels weird to not be working, interning, or volunteering for something. For the most part, my time here is truly my own. I am trying to use this an opportunity to explore Paris, as each arrondissement (or neighbourhood really) holds its own secrets. I even have a day off during the week! I haven’t had one since my first semester of college, which was somehow three years ago. I am trying not to think too hard about The Future and all of its worries. I had my campus interview via Skype for my Fulbright application on Monday, and I’ll have submitted it officially by early October. So maybe that will work out. Or it might not and I’ll figure something else out. I’m not super concerned about knowing exactly what’s coming next after undergrad. I’ve worked pretty hard these past few years and have had some amazing experiences, so I know they’ll leverage something out for me next year.
I’ll be seeing Mitski, one of my favourite musicians, on Friday at a small venue here in Paris. I bought tickets to this show in mid July, slightly tipsy in the backseat of an Uber. Going to an ~*“indie rock music”*~ show, let alone seeing someone so wonderful as Mitski, feels like I have brought a piece of home with me. I often think about the intimacies that we wind ourselves up with regarding the music that we can’t get enough of. Going alone to a show prepared to cry in semi-darkness and sing along to every word amidst a crowd of equally emotional young people may not be everyone’s idea of a great night, but this habit has helped me make it this far in the world of “adulting”.
A year ago, the thought of studying abroad during the fall semester of my senior year incited a mess of thoughts ranging from me somehow derailing my entire life (wrong), that I would miss some magical window of self-actualizaton that could only come from suffering with my peers at our designated time (wrong), or that I would come back home in January and all my friends had filled the Chris-shaped void in their lives (impossible, I’m a delight). However physically distanced I am from my friends’ general malaise about getting older (one of my dearest friends took the LSAT the other day after months of hard work), I can still feel the gentle ache of our growing pains.
I feel like I’ve just been writing versions of the same thing over and over today. It will be okay. I’m going to be fine. Things will work out. I’ll manage. But, if I keep repeating myself, then some part of me must need to hear it, no?