Friday, December 30, 2011

Dreaming with eyes wide open

You know how it is;
You've just had one of those experiences, the life-altering kind. Perhaps it was the amount of time it lasted, the people you were with, the things you saw, or the nature of what you did.  It was everything you felt.
Though of course, there has to be a return to "normalcy". Some transitions are more abrupt than others.
If you haven't guessed yet, I'm already yearning to relive the past 4 months of my life in France. I have issues with dwelling on the past, it's really something I should work on--but it freaks me out, because it feels like a dream.
Fortunately for me, it wasn't! Whether it is acknowledged or not, a part of me has changed. And although I prefer the tangibility of printed photos from film, handwritten letters and souvenirs to remember where I've been, I like that I have hundreds of digital photos that tell stories and Facebook to connect with my friends on the other side of the world.
I'm struggling with identity disjointedness [apparently a real word !].  I can't lie, when I left on December 16th I was ready to jump back into my American life.  There are things you take for granted when you're away from home for so long.  I realized this even more than I did when I left for college!  However, I feel like I'm cheating myself out; I feel like I've lost my 'French identity' already.  It's a mental turmoil, sorry I can't explain it that well.  But like I mentioned, my experience in France is now a part of me whether I can reconcile with it or not.  
These are photos from the last week I was there, the one above is the building where we took our classes.
The cafe I hung out in before political science every Tuesday.
My host family!
La Catedrale Notre Dame de Rouen
Going out with friends and taking advantage of "city life"!
And our ridiculous program group in general.

How do you summarize a trip like this...
It tends to come best in spurts.  At that moment, something I'm doing will trigger a memory of what I've done, then I'll laugh and relate it.  Trying to explain it as one long story is tough.  I just spent the last 1 1/2 actually going through my full set of photos with my parents, and we only made it through 3 weeks of my semester! 
I know people are interested, but it's almost uncomfortable because in general they probably don't... care.  Bad assumption, I know I can't apply that to everyone!!  Haha, the general formula of formality goes, "You went to France?!  Oh my god, did you love it?  How was it?"
How do you answer a question like that.  I'll tell ya---- 
"Yup, I was there for a semester!  It was amazing."
"Yeah, I think I'm fluent in French.  All the courses were in French, it wasn't too hard."
"Yes, the food was delicious... Enough baguettes for a lifetime!"
Cut me off right there because no one cares.  At least beyond that point.

Bah, and I understand!  My parents' eyes were probably glazing over but I have to say that I love them immensely for being patient to give me time to explain everything and expressing genuine interest.  And this blog, it's my other outlet of expression!  So whether you're truly engaged in what I'm writing about or not, I thank you sincerely for dropping by.

Oh la vache, I can't believe 2011 is over tomorrow.  What is everyone doing?

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Haha, I do understand what you mean. When I came back from Australia it's like... how do you summarize everything? You can't! Though in my case it was only three weeks, and yours was an entire semester! Really though, I am so glad to hear that you had such an amazing travel abroad experience. I can't even begin to imagine all of the things that you saw and did and ate and the friendships and memories that you made, which are all things that you can't simply put into words, much less sum up into a few blog posts. It's like writing about eating a delicious dessert, for example. You can say it tasted heavenly and post pictures of it, but the simple fact is that no one else is going to actually understand how amazing it was just from the description, even if they really want to! Haha. That was a very bad analogy, but I tried. Really though, everything about your trip to France sounds incredible. :)