Chin-Chin, Prost, Santé, Skål, Na zdraví, SKULL IT, Proost, Salud, and Cheers mes petits lapins.
In every lovely summer's day...
...in that small café...
...the park across the way.....
I'll always think of you that way...
...I'll find you, in the morning sun....
....I'll be seeing you.
Every time I smell lavender, or roasting chestnuts, or the sweet scent of fresh brioche wafting up the street, I will close my eyes and see images chiseled onto the back of my eyelids. Josh laboriously tasting his newest ice cream choice......Caitlin walking with a stride as big as her boundless imagination.....Roby eyes closed as she imbibes the sun as well as her ever-present coffee.....Ben speaking with reverence about his breakfast and then renewed animation for his next meal.
This time now, these moments where you can feel time tick, rushing past you like a wave you've spotted and tried to ride in, are upon me. This time now, is like the end of that ice cream. Piled, giant and overwhelming endless at the beginning and now dwindled to the half melted dregs that you're vainly trying to save and cherish. These days in Aix are starting to scrape the bottom of the bowl. The spoonful is less full day by day, but still just as sweet.
I never want to miss opportunities. I never want to fall behind on emails. I never want to lose touch with someone for whom I care deeply. I must be conscientious of these things. Time has this way of flowing, overwhelming you into unconsciousness. Life is one foot in front of the other, and if you don't direct your footsteps, you will still be marching ever forward. Keep track of it, friends. Keep track of friends.
"...in the depths of her soul, she was waiting for something to happen. Like a sailor in distress, she kept scanning the solitude of her life with anxious eyes, straining to sight some far-off white sail in the mists of the horizon. She did not know how it would come to her, what wind would bring it to her, to what shores it would carry her, whether it would be a launch or a towering three-decker, laden with sorrow or filled to the gunwales with bliss. But every morning when she awoke she expected it to arrive that day; she listened to every sound, periodically leapt to her feet with a start and was surprised when she saw it had not come; then, at sundown,sadder than ever, she longed for the next day. - Madame Bovary
"Men always want to be a woman's first love. That is their clumsy vanity. We women have a more subtle instinct about things. What we like is to be a man's last romance." -A Woman of No Importance
On my morning runs, I see people I know. As I hit the vrai Aixoise mark, it is time to start packing up. It is time to fight the current again.
I am hoping that this knocker or one like it will adorn my next house. Even though I love it here, I cannot deny the itch that haunts the soles of my feet and it creeps. Starting in the center as a soft whisper stealing into my heart and limbs "Go West young Man, go West". Maybe I am more of an United States American than I realize, or more likely I am just pulled westward by the fierce and raw attitude that still skulks between the setting horizon and living free.
Two months from now I will be in London, gearing for my trip home to the United States of America.
It seems unreal that this experience, this way of life with which I have become completely enamored over the past eight months will be a memory in two short months.
This ten month period, for which I have been planning, dreaming, scheming, preparing and waiting since 8th grade will be over. This is a turning point. To me, this is where my Real Life begins.
My Real Life has been in the making for sometime. I have grades and records and accomplishments that will follow me and will weigh heavily on my Real Life. However, my return "home" marks the moment where my childhood ambitions and outline ends; here is where things begin to hold new sorts of dimensions. I am entering a world where I am viewed completely differently.
My 21st birthday is four days after I re-enter the States. This transformation couldn't have more physical manifestations if I had planned it. I don't mean to say that the moment I get to Chicago, or MI or SLC I will be a bona-fide adult with an 401K and stock portfolio. But more, that all the things I have been planning since a young girl (sauf getting my own house and husband and other items that still seem too far off to contemplate) will have been checked off, documented and filed away in the container which holds all that is me.
It would be now that I am making Part B. I am entering that new phase where I have to start over. I am rebuilding my life goals, dreams and sense of self. In essence, my life no longer holds internships and summer jobs but is lengthened into careers and investments.
This isn't something I shy away from and I think can thank France for that in a large part. This eight months has poked me in my ticklish and weak places. I have been exposed to enough to know I am utterly ignorant and I like it. I learned enough about ME to step up and face that youth, ignorance, inexperience, and general incompetence.
How do I feel at the end of the day? A mélange of things, but they might overall be described as restlessness or anger. Why couldn't I have been more prepared for this year in matters of self? I am eager and anxious to experience life and all that I have brewing in the furthest reaches of my conscience.
As I look at the calendar and see all this things I could have, thought I would have done this past year I want to collapse. But then I think of returning to SLC.
Ahhhh, here's where I get those basic and instinctual feelings of being human. I am for once going back, back to something familiar and easy. I am going to return with a tremendously different way of entering and interacting in situations. How different will SLC look to me? How AMERICAN will it and all my people seem. Talk about a roller-coaster, I am going to have to re-learn all their names at least.
I don't want to go "home". But there isn't anywhere else to go. Except forward and yadda yadda yadda. Now I am going to study. It is a satisfying way to spend the last 60 days you have in a place you love and never want to leave. Wait......no it isn't.