Last night I had a long conversation with a school friend, telling me how homesick she has started to feel. It’s not even wanting to go back to Santa Clara, where we haven’t been for almost 6 months now, but more of America-sick. I have started to feel that vibe from a lot of people now, and I have mixed feelings about homesickness myself.
I normally don’t see my family or go home for months at a time. I normally squeeze every last opportunity I can to do something crazy or go somewhere or see old friends, and often times, I don’t see my home for more than 3 months. So being here hasn’t been all that out of the ordinary for me; I can’t fly home any chance I want anyways, so being halfway across the world isn’t that different, is it?
Only, I forgot how much time difference sucks. WiFi makes for communication a lot simpler and comforting, but that doesn’t always fix things. When I go to bed at night, it’s still afternoon at home. When I wake up in the morning, everyone I know is going to sleep. The 9-hour time difference is a lot harder over a 4-month period of time, and that, I have come to understand well, doesn’t stop being difficult.
I don’t want to leave Paris, but I also wish my family could come here. I want the best of both worlds, and I know it’s impossible. I know the honeymoon stage of my abroad experience is rapidly ending, but I still discover new things I love about this city every day. I feel like 3 months is only just enough time to dip your toe in the water and figure a place out, and now I feel like this is my home, and I’m not ready to part ways.
After the first time I went to New York with my sister, I always said I would end up living there. But once I got back home to Seattle, I could never imagine living in a big city. Paris is like a smaller version of New York, except this time, I KNOW I could live there.
Being in Paris for Thanksgiving this year is going to be bittersweet, but I have a friend from home coming in town to join our little IES dinner, and I have to say, I’m excited. We’ll have to see how the French live up to a proper Turkey Day meal. I have high expectations. As most families do, we normally go around the table and say one thing we’re thankful for, which is one of my favorite things about this glorious national obesity holiday. This year, I’m most thankful for my parents, who are not the most traditional of sorts, never being ones to make extravagant days out of birthdays or give lots of presents at holidays, but one of the best gifts they ever gave me was letting me follow my heart. They never (really) told me “no” and always told me that as long as I found a way, I could do whatever I wanted. Their support has carried me to places across the world, that only some people could ever dream of visiting. I’m here in Paris, my real-life dream come true, and I am so very very happy. So, mom and dad, I know you’re not with me, but I’m thankful for you this week, Thanksgiving day, and (mostly) all other days.
I hope everyone has a very (ful)filling Thanksgiving day, don’t forget your stretchy pants, and let your food babies shine. Love to all!