Sunday, January 10, 2010

Me ramener

It's surreal, to be honest.

There's this part of me that may or may not have existed, and I'm squinting at it, hoping I can grab it and make it mine again.

I came back from France three weeks ago--that's a month--a quarter of the time I spent abroad, but it feels so short, so lacking. And still it has taken that long for me to figure out how exactly I'm feeling.

At first, I said, "It's weird to be back in the US." I wanted to think that I had adjusted enough to French life that American life might seem a little foreign. There were little moments when this was true; keys in France, for example, went into the keyhole teeth down, and it was in this manner that I kept trying to open doors here. But for rest of my life, what I said wasn't true at all, at least not in the sense I had meant it.

I think that, as soon as I sat down in the London terminal for my final connection home, I had already started the short rubber band snap that would bring me back not only to my American way of life, but to the exact person I had been before I left.

A study abroad experience is supposed to be life-changing, right? And I did change a lot. I fell in love with the direction I was heading--an open, confident, friendly, risk-taking direction. I fell in love with the atmosphere, the architecture, the food, the language. I fell in love with the easiest friends I've ever made since kindergarten.

Back here, it's as if it has never happened. It's so frustrating that I could cry.

I felt so alive there, I thought it would be something that would stay with me forever, maybe just mildly influencing the rest of my life. But I feel as if my time in France is now completely removed from my current reality. France was a very isolated experience. When I left, I had a complete change of everything--time, ways to tell time, habits, scenery, history, people, classes, class schedules, transportation, language, money, air. Almost every part of my life was switched out for spiffy, French equivalents. And when I came back, I left everything behind.

After my return, I was treated exactly how I was treated before I left, which was not the way I was treated in France. Instead of asserting myself, I subconsciously switched back instantly--no matter what I consciously wanted. And it might have been easier, and I might have been in a "comfort zone," but I was always only comfortable alone this way and never comfortable with people.

I really want to go back. I miss everything, and I miss how complete I felt.

Maybe I need to give it a little bit more time. I hope that I can soon meet with some Stateside friends that I made there, and perhaps they can provide me with tangible proof of what happened. I hope so, because it was incredible, whirlwind, formidable, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

1 comment:

  1. interesting blog you have. twas an enjoyable read, your thoughts, your life, your perspective. and with that, i bid you adieu, the only french i know