This will (most likely) be my final post from France - next Monday I'll be in Paris and I absolutely cannot be bothered to write a blog post when I have only 2 days there. From Paris, it's back to Chicago on Wednesday the 7th. Wow. I cannot believe that time has passed so quickly, and I am definitely not ready to go back to the states. While I am obsessed with my friends and family and cannot wait to see them, I've become comfortable in St Brieuc and absolutely love my life here. I don't even mind waking up at 6:30 to go to school because I have such a good time teaching the kids and hoping that I'm making a difference in their English educations.
Shit! I'm going to have to break my own unspoken rule about "Sex and the City" references and pull a Carrie Bradshaw here: as I'm sitting here in the teacher's lounge on my last Monday at St Pierre, I can't help but wonder, what have I learned in my time here?
Damn you and your astute observations. You think you're cool with your trendy NYC apartment and sweet-ass wardrobe? Yeah, so do I. Failzorz.
I made a list of about 20 things that I can say I've "learned" while spending eleven weeks here, things ranging from how to request a pork-free galette in french to how the weather on June 4-6, 1944 affected the allied troops' landing plans at Normandy. But, upon further reflection, everything I've learned can be boiled down to one thing:
OK, I know that I generally shy-away from anything overly corny and/or emotional, but even the most sarcastic and wanna-be-apathetic twenty-somethings (read: me) have to give in to those deeply introspective experiences and accept that sometimes you just gotta let it go and write it down, cool-ness be damned. So? Yes. Don't worry - just know this: nothing can happen without first saying "yes" to your most ridiculous and outlandish dreams. Obviously, things don't always work out and really awful, shitty things happen along the way but at least you have this thought on your side: you're living it and that's better than sleeping through it. Trust me. And, I think my mom would be proud.
So? On to Paris. And then a brief interlude in Chicago for a summer full of friends, kickball, Superdawg, running in sprinklers, Cubs games, Lake Shore Drive, fireworks, sunburned shoulders, and Lake Michigan.
But, for those of you wondering, "did you manage to embarrass yourself this past week in any special way?" Why yes! Yes I did! Glad you asked. This weekend I went to the Cote Granit Rose, an area about an hour away from St Brieuc that is home to the most amazing pink-granite-rock lined beaches. It's still along the English Channel, just to the east of where I'm living. There's a hiking path carved along the coast that snakes around for about 6 km, and there are huge rock formations that you can climb all over along the trail.
Being the adventurous type (ha!) I scurried up and attempted to scale what could only be described as a sheer rock face of slippery granite. There was a group of people on top, so I figured that they had gotten up by hoisting themselves over said sheer rock face. I desperately wanted a picture of me up there, so even those my first attempt was a failure, I tried again (cause hey, "yes!" and all that, right?), this time going at it at a run. I jumped up, missed the place where the rock jutted out to grab onto, screamed like an insane person, and fell on my ass. Hard. Picture Barney Rubble doing that leg-spinning wind up, running at a rock, crashing into it, and then falling. Only I was wearing my brown parka and don't have a pet dinosaur (yet). While another group of hikers ran over to make sure I was OK, my host family only chuckled and pointed to a sign saying "CAREFUL! SLIPPERY ROCKS!" Then, I saw that there were stairs on the other side to aid tourists in picture-taking opportunities. Sometimes even I wonder how I get myself into these situations.
Of course, before I return to Chicago to continue my reign as falling champion of the Windy City, I have the opportunity to get myself into some excitingly awkward situations in Paris. I hope that many of them will involve stolen antiquities (not that I steal, of course - they've already been stolen from their places of origin by western colonizers. Ethnocentricity FTW!) and the like. Who doesn't appreciate an American getting too excited by the Nike of Samothrace and accidentally knocking it over?
JK (Rowling), I'd never do anything to hurt her (intentionally).
My life should be in parentheses.
Currently (re)reading: "Ordinary Men" by Christopher R. Browning
Currently listening to: iTunes genius mix based on "Nightswimming" by REM (love me some 90's soul-searchingly-delicious ballads)
Currently craving: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
A wise man once said to me: "So? Onward." And onward I shall go.
Peace, Love, and Voyages.