Monday, October 25, 2010

La Vie Quotidienne

Everyone says to me when I talk about being homesick "live in the moment."  What does that mean?  Currently I am sitting at my desk in my apartment, freezing becuase it is forty-six degrees outside and we haven't turned our heat on yet.  I have a presentation on Wednesday and a paper due Thursday.  The moment isn't that great.

I always imagined that studying abroad would be the greatest time of my life.  When I was back in SB, there were nights when all I wanted to do was be in Paris.  I couldn't imagine anything other than living in the city of lights.  And now, all I can think about is being back in SB.  And I hate myself for that.  I wish I could live in the moment.  I wish that there was a reason for me to.  I wish that I had something or someone who would really make me want to be here.  But I have yet to find that.

And I hear stories about my friends hanging out, about them meeting new people, about awesome things happening on campus that I don't get to go to.  And I am here.  Alone.  In France.  I think what is worse is how much feeling like this perpetuates a cycle of self disappointment.  I hate the fact that I can't see what is around me and appreciate it at its full value.  How many hundreds of millions of people will never get the opportunity I have right now?  And I can't appreciate it?  Who do I think I am?  Why do I get to not appreciate it?

Still, those questions don't fix what is going on.  I really don't like SciencesPo.  And considering how much of my life here revolves around that institution, it is really frustrating that I can't get away from it.  I was reading today that if you were given a choice between buying material a material good or the option to have an experience, you should always choose the experience.  We normalize material things.  No matter how great an object may be, we will eventually take it for granted.  I love this apartment, I love this city, but it is being normalized.  I can't stay in awe of all of this for a year.  It would be too exhausting.

I am not unhappy here.  Not by a long shot.  I am just tired of it.  I am in week seven of school at SciencesPo.  I've already done so much, but there is still six more weeks left in the semester, not to mention finals (which they STILL have not announced).  The one thing that gets me through the days where I feel like just throwing in the towel is the fact that no matter what, time goes on.  If I don't do my work, it doesn't matter.  Time doesn't stop for me.  I know that between now and the deadlines for my projects, I will get the work done.  It may mean some sleepless nights, but it will be done.  So I can look forward to not having to do the work.

But my every day life here has normalized.  I have a routine.  Nothing changes.  I am really excited for my friends coming to visit though.  And I am seeing Michael Bublé in concert on Wednesday night.  Life here is just so different.  I have to work so hard to do the most basic every day things.  I dropped off my dry cleaning today and I couldn't really understand the lady behind the counter.  I want to blame the loud noises in the pressing shop, but I just didn't know the words she was saying.  And I am tired of feeling like that.

Yup, its that time folks.  I am a big fan of cliché if you haven't already gotten that from all of my other blog posts.  And I know the best one for the situation I am in is this, "the hardest things are the most rewarding."  I just don't do well with delayed gratification.  Blame me, blame my generation, blame the instant society I come from, what ever.  It is just really hard to remember why I am here, especially when I know how different my life would be if I had chosen not to.

This is the first time in my life where I knew what I was giving up and still gave it up.  If I was back in the States, after this quarter I would be about three classes short of graduation.  I would be an intern with Y&G.  I would be a career peer advisor.  I would be going home for Thanksgiving in a month.  I would be living in Isla Vista with Axel and my roommates from last year.  I would get to see the people from the VC I worked with.  And I willingly chose to give all of that up for the life I have here.

I'm sure when I re-read all of these posts after I get done with this year, I will read this one and say that I am being over dramatic and that I should look at what I got to do.  After all, in two months I've already been to three European countries.  I have made friends from all over the world.  I have lived with a French host family.  I successfully found an apartment.  I've done a lot.

I just need to remember what I am working for.

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