“the world is really upside down and me, I’m dreaming all day long.”

Looking back over the goals I had set for myself for the months of January to May, I see that I only began to accomplish them. I wanted to learn french, apprendre the skill to express myself in new ways, learn to love and hate and love again french culture, re-assert my independence, become ‘better’….. Devenir, devenir, devenir.

The reason I feel that these four months were some of the most valuable four months of my life was because I did not sit around in cafes all day thinking about the goals I had set for myself and wondering if I was accomplishing them (as I often do). I filled my days with relationships, travelling, fear, learning, losing and regaining confidence, dancing, and art. For one of the first times in my life, I took steps and leaps without over-thinking them – the best way to describe what I did is to use the word “faire”. I continually dared to place my brush on a blank canvas. I said the wrong thing in the wrong accent a hundred times a day. I danced with people I was afraid to talk to, made terribly ugly drawings for the few that were beautiful, and I gave my heart to a beautiful stranger.

All of these things, done sometimes without reason and without good judgement, allowed me to find out who I was and expand this image. These four months were a lifetime that I was not ready at all to leave. I hoped that I could continue to live in fear and risk even when I got back to North America, but I have not. I will continue to express myself in many ways, and I will continue to devenir, to dance and to create, and I will continue to dream impractical dreams and make them happen. From now on, I will follow my intuition, because getting on the plane back to North America was the most violent crime I have committed against my self, and what I knew was best.
I wanted this final post to have an air of triumph, of reflective joy and remembrance, and of hope. Perhaps I am writing it too soon, but it only falls farther away. Every moment is a fond memory, but after 3 months, I still cannot reflect on my time in Paris without feeling deep pain and regret for leaving it too soon. I must return.

Quand au hasard des jours
Je m’en vais faire un tour
A mon ancienne adresse
Je ne reconnais plus
Ni les murs, ni les rues
Qui ont vu ma jeunesse
En haut d’un escalier
Je cherche l’atelier
Dont plus rien ne subsiste
Dans son nouveau décor
Montmartre semble triste
Et les lilas sont morts

La bohème, la bohème
On était jeunes, on était fous
La bohème, la bohème
Ça ne veut plus rien dire du tout