October, lately

It’s starting to get cold here in Paris, which I am overjoyed about as I have yet to master the Parisian art of not sweating profusely on a packed metro car after walking 3 kilometres. For some reason I neglected to bring any cardigans with me. Perhaps I thought they would take up too much space or something. This is a travesty as they are a wardrobe staple for me once autumnal weather starts to roll in. I’ll probably go to H&M later to grab a few thick knit ones, though I might try my luck at a “vintage shop” too. I’m glad I knew myself well enough to leave space in both my suitcases, as I am most certainly going to buy some clothes while I’m here. I’ve already gotten two jackets. They were on sale though, so it’s fine right?

I had a dream in French last night, which was quite strange because after waking up, I realized that I have a much more extensive vocabulary than I lead myself to believe. I think that in “real life”, I’m generally nervous about choosing le mot juste, and this leads me to over analyze what I’m trying to say before I even give myself a chance to utter a single sound. I was able to express relatively complex thoughts and reactions to Fanon and Césaire in my post-colonial francophone literature course yesterday, though I think my inhibitions were overpowered by my ocean of feelings about diaspora and how my own identity has been effected by the phantom limb of my homelands disrupted by European imperialism. But nevertheless, my flexibility and spontaneity in French is getting better, hopefully I’ll actually feel comfortable talking to my French peers by the end of November. Young people talk so fast in every language, and I certainly do in English so it’s weird not being able to verbally keep up with my thoughts in my second language.

I finally got all of my courses for this semester settled with advising at Temple and they’re officially on my record through my American study abroad program, so with that a major stressor has been lifted. I knew it would all work out eventually, but having a 40 message long email chain about getting one course evaluated was a bit worrisome. Honestly, I cannot believe that I register for courses for my last semester of undergrad in less than a month. I’m going to be taking Senior Seminar in Sociology with the same professor that taught me in Introduction to Sociology my freshman year. She’s been on sabbatical for a little while and generally I just haven’t been able to see her much, so I’m excited to catch up with her in January. Taking Intro with her honestly changed my life, I don’t think I’d be quite on the path I am now without that experience. Well I guess path isn’t the right word, it’s more of a vague meandering trail fighting against the dense foliage that is “academia”.

My Fulbright application is due in a few days and I’m planning on finishing my revisions on Sunday afternoon. It’s wild that this whole process is about to end, I feel like it’s been a weight around my neck since June when I decided to take it seriously. I feel fairly confident about my proposal especially as my campus interview was helpful towards discerning the areas I need to make more accessible to people that know nothing about queerness or video games. I’ll know by the end of January if I made it past the first round of review.

To that end, I’ve been thinking a lot about “The Future” these past few weeks. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to study abroad Senior Fall, as it’s allowed me to have a good deal of mental (and physical) distance from all of the things that usually occupy my headspace. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the things that I’ve become involved with at Temple and in Philly over the last few years, but it is nice to have a break. I miss my friends and family, but I think some time away is good for me. More or less, since I have a pretty good idea of where I want to be in like 10 years, I’m not really stressed about what will happen in between. There are quite a few ways that I could reach my goals so I’m more interested in feeling out what works and just going from there. Of course, I’m self-aware enough to know that I can have that sort of attitude because of my accomplishments and experiences so far as well as the safety net of having a strong personal support system.

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