With less than 36 hours until I plop myself into seat 33A with my ice coffee in one hand and Nyquil in the other, I think it's time to start packing. I have put it off long enough but packing is so stressful. If I'm not worried about forgetting something, I'm worried about bringing too much. There's nothing worse than being half-way across country wondering if you remembered to pack a bathing suit for that one weekend you might spend in Spain, except for maybe arriving in your new home in Paris and realizing that the 25 dresses you've hauled almost 6,000 miles are not going to fit in your matchbox closet.
As I open my closet doors and pick up a couple of items from each drawer--a black and white striped maxi skirt, a pair of high-waisted brown wide legged pants, a flannel shirt, a little black dress etc...--I am reminded of the moments I spent wearing them and the memories that are forever sewn into each garment. The hot summer days dancing in the kitchen. The hectic work hours running along Newbury Street. The cool breezy nights smoking on the porch.
In a sea of clothes, I sit in the middle of my room playing dress up like a five-year-old who has a lunch date with her teddy bear. I meticulously plan countless outfits that I may or may not wear--a slightly annoying habit that does not bode well with my indecisiveness. But after hours of imagining what to wear while running in the Parisian rain, strolling down the Champs Elysées in the springtime, or biking along the Seine, I realize that packing has made me intoxicated with the limitless possibilities during my semester in Paris.
Yes, I do not know what the future holds for me in Paris, but I have this newfound desire to plunge into the unknown that I have feared for some time now. Le désire du grand peut-être. I have this overpowering need for something genuinely unpredictable. I have become all too familiar with familiarity.
So as I haphazardly toss my clothes into my suitcase, I now imagine myself putting on my favorite dress, stepping out into the streets of Paris, and stitching along the seams of my clothes new memories, right next to the old ones. While I may not know what is waiting for me in Paris, I know that at least I will be well dressed.