So yeah. I’m going to France.
One thing pulls me to this adventure more than anything else. It took a fair amount of time before I even realized or understood what I was feeling, what the force was that inched me closer and closer to the edge of this small but substantial piece of my life that will likely be beautifully and uniquely, erm, terrifying.
I feel an obligation both to myself and to the self who I used to be. (Yes, we’re diving right into deep end of the nostalgia swimming pool.)
I used to be a (seriously cute) kid that went to camp every summer for weeks at a time wondering what homesickness felt like and why some kids would go to bed crying for families left behind. I used to be a fearless eleven year old who flew off to Australia for a few weeks without looking back. I used to be a sixteen year old who would head to New Zealand with a couple choice amigos, sleeping on pebble beaches (FYI pebbles are rocks. 4/10– would not recommend.) or off the side of whatever road we happened to end our day on (–information that should be withheld from motherly influences until a sufficient amount has passed. There’s a statute of limitations on post-event anger/punishment, you know.). My old self might have flown off with a certain friend of mine to “settle down” (if you can call it that, which you can’t) in Europe with very little hesitation or forethought.
I used to be adventurous.
Now I’m twenty years old, but feeling more and more middle aged every day. Maybe it’s my endless maturity that keeps me so grounded. (That’s a joke.) Maybe it’s a newly developed fear of the unknown that keeps me in my safe little environment. That’s slightly more likely, considering the seizable pit of anticipation that’s been growing in my stomach since about a week ago. Maybe it’s the fact that I pretended to get married the other day, so now I’m facing a premature post-marital complacency. (That’s a joke, too, although I do want to point out to those who missed the memo that I am NOT married despite photographic, admittedly misleading evidence to the contrary.)
I do think, though, that it could be the warm and lovely contentedness that has recently settled inside me. I think it may be the happy and perfect little bubble I find myself in, one which I’m unwilling to pop.
And yeah… Why would I? I love this life. I’m calm and content. Who would be crazy enough to question or throw away wonderful feelings like those in search of something…. what? Better? More exciting? Like, “ugh, I’m too happy let’s stir things up a bit.” ???? Here and now I have very few worries and am surrounded and supported by people who know and love me (and holy cow do I love them back). It’s not crowded, but it’s somehow full, with no empty spaces to fill.
That being said, I still find myself feeling obligated and even yearning to burst my beautiful bubble that’s formed around me and pursue the faint shadow of blossoming possibility lingering across the atlantic (Poetic, aren’t I?). Because as happy and lovely and every other sunshiny adjective a bubble might be, it’s still a bubble. You can’t just live in a bubble. (Unless you’re that kid from Seinfeld, but he was rather unpleasant, wasn’t he?)
So… yeah. I’m going to France.
…Just for a few months, though.