December 17, 2009

Tonight's Gonna Be A Good Night

As I'm sitting here, rolling my clothes up into tiny balls so as to fit into my suitcase perfectly, I can't help but feel into the deepest parts of my bones just how much this semester has meant to me.
I've had a ball. I've learned more than I ever expected. I've made some of the best friends of my life. I've traveled alone, and I've traveled in groups. I've made cultural blunders, and I've said things that probably translated horribly. I've cried, I've been sick, and I've missed home. I've loved, I've danced, and I've had nights filled with some of the most interesting conversations. I've felt on top of the world, and I've been constantly inspired. My view of this world has expanded tremendously, and I will never be the same. I am still me, but now I have this little treasure that I will keep forever as a part of who I am, and that is Paris.

Today, on my last day in Paris, it's snowing. I woke up this morning to everything covered in white fluff, and it was beautiful. It was like Paris decided to say goodbye, and now it's really time to go. I still have this one last night, and tonight's gonna be a good night.

December 7, 2009

Making A List, and Checking it Twice

In anticipation of having a whole semester in Paris, I made an extensive list of places I wanted to go, things I wanted to see, foods I wanted to taste, and things I wanted to learn. I have reached the point in the semester when I have suddenly realized that if there is anything left that I want to do, I better do it now before it's time to hail a taxi to Charles de Gaulle.

So I have my list, and now I am checking it twice. Have I left anything out? Is there anything I want to add? The interesting thing about checking my list is seeing how the list has evolved during my semester. At first, it resembled something of a checklist from straight from a Rick Steves guide book. However, as time went on, the list began to reflect much more of my personal interests and goals. For example, I have come to love Macarons. These little nuggets of joy are a Parisian specialty, and I have made it a goal to seek out the best macaron artisans in town. That's just one, small, tasty example.

In this last week and a half, I will be turning things I "should have done" into things that I "did do." Am I hoping to accomplish every possible thing in Paris? No. That is impossible. I'm simply trying to accomplish everything that my 21 year old student self can do. As the current list is being checked off, the next list is being made. One day, I will come back to Paris (preferably after establishing a good career and having lots of money to spend - believe me it's easy to leave a good chunk of change behind in the City of Light) and experience a whole new "list" of Parisian delights. For now, I must profit bien with while Paris is still at my fingertips.