Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Twelve days before

Time has crept up on me. For months, my semester abroad in Paris has been a distant, comforting reality that I could fall onto when I was having a rough day. “It doesn’t matter, I’m leaving this place. I’ll be in Paris soon enough.” But “soon enough” is now and Paris is a not-so-distant reality.

I have filled out the paperwork, attended the informational sessions, and applied for the visa. I am leaving in twelve days whether or not I want to.

And I always wanted to. I still want to. Don’t get me wrong, spending my twenties in Paris has been my dream for years. For months, I’ve been dreaming of trading in Dunkin Donuts for cafĂ© au lait, of casting aside my New York Times for Le Monde, of ditching my old dilapidated baggage for new suitcases where emotional holdups don’t fit next to my lavish collection of dresses.

But now that I’ve left Boston, and the life I’ve started there, it is so much harder to see things as they were. I will look back on these past couple of months and catch myself idealizing them. I’m rocking my rose-colored glasses all the way to the airport. In reality, this past semester has taken a toll on me and I know that I need a change in pace, but I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out on something in Boston.

I’ll be back though, and maybe nothing will have changed and maybe everything will have changed. I think that is my biggest fear about going to Paris. The two-plus years I’ve spent in Boston, I’ve built this life and I’m afraid that if I abandon it now, I’ll come back and everything will be different. Because that’s the difficult part about distance, you don’t know whether you’ll be missed or forgotten.

I think I need to stop thinking about the future though, and focus on the now. I have so many expectations about Paris without having any. I don’t know what to expect, but I am anticipating so much. I guess I will find out in twelve days what to expect. For now, I just need to pack lightly.

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