Five countries, showing and sharing beloved Paris to my immediate family, graduating with a Masters degree, saying goodbye to a Great Love and returning to home on the range in four weeks has left me trying to catch up with who, what, and where I am. No really, my first night back in Texas I woke up at 3 am completely unsure of where in the world I was.
And since then, I’ve been hiding from the internet. Email, blog, job applications – what are those? It’s an unfortunate habit I pick up like a favorite book anytime I’m at a metaphorical edge. Except, I’m not escaping into a novel’s new world plot, just escaping my own that continues to beckon me forward. I knew there was a problem when I found myself eating cheetos and watching reality tv at 10:45 one morning this week. It just takes time for me to decide one and for all that I’m going to jump (even though deep down, I always know I’m going to jump – that’s what edges are for after all). So finally, one week into re-Americanizing myself, here I am.
I’ve traded a high esteem for small for that of large and extra-large. Old for new. Formal for casual. Round plugs for square ones. No phone for iPhone. Walking for driving. Compact for spaced-out. Foreign for familiar. I’m constantly reminded that the two places I’ve inhabited feel more like separate worlds than simply different cities. The first time I came home from Paris, I hoped things would seem odd to me – I wanted to feel different. And now, things just are different…but that’s not to say I don’t fall right back into place here. I excitedly pull into Sonic for my half-price limeade from 2-4 pm. I wander the long aisles of DSW trying on pair after pair of discounted shoes, I drive my car through the city with hardly a thought to where I am going, and I incredulously wonder how anyone can live without the blessed comfort of air conditioning. It seems I’ve become a mélange of a person. It’s true as my dad reminded me in Paris, despite my many attempts to fool the Europas, I am indeed an American, but as years of practiced American behaviors etched into my brain continue to resurface, I continue to unconsciously count seven hours forward anytime I check the hour.
Today I woke up and decided on a whim that it felt like the perfect morning to wander the cobblestones and headstones of Père Lachaise – the mystery and solace of that place would be just right. Oh wait, I thought. That’s not possible. It’s going to take time to fully move from there to here.
The best part is, things that were holes in everyday life before, are one again blessed parts of my day: text messages between old friends, quick phone conversations, last-minute meet ups and family dinners get to all be happy facts of everyday life again. There’s also a new sense of longevity lingering above and around us – I’m here for the unforeseeable future. There’s time for us to all be together and I have a ridiculous amount of things to share and show you. From a dream trip to Greece to a quick trip to London just before Her Majesty’s Jubilee celebrations to saying goodbye to Paris with graduation and family visits in between. I promise not to fare this far away from you and the blog again. Thanks for coming back. We’ll start Monday, with a surprise and new beginning!
See you then,