Sunday, April 28, 2013

Exchange is 80% completed: 2 months left

It doesn't seem like that long ago I posted my one-month anniversary entry. 
It doesn't seem like that long ago I stepped off the plane, confused and deliriously excited, in Charles de Gaulle Airport.
At the same time, it seems like so much has happened in the span of eight months, it feels like more than eight months.

(Not that you noticed, but I totally did steal the intro from my two-month anniversary post.)

Rereading that entry, I realized in shock how much I have really grown over the past 6 months since I wrote it. It's almost painful to think of how I was at the beginning, so ready to experience everything, and how I am now, already at the end of my exchange, reminiscing about times in the past that used to be times I would look forward to.

Way back then, not even having a return date set, my exchange felt limitless, like I could get everything I wanted done and more. May was a distant half-formed illusion, and I constantly made plans in my head for the later half of my exchange, intending to execute all of them. While I do agree that I've done quite a lot, it's a bit harrowing having the time slip precipitately through my fingers, wishing to do so much more, but being unable to grasp all the time I need to be able to do everything.

 One of my favorite poems is a poem by Edgar Allan Poe called "A Dream Within a Dream." I have known of it since 8th grade, but reflecting while writing this entry, I thought of it again and reread it. It could not be more appropriate to express my sentiments at the moment.

Not to begin to analyze poetry or anything, but after the first stanza the narrator states, "All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream." There is no doubt evident. At the beginning of my exchange, I knew that it would end, I didn't question it. During the tough times, I would take solace in that fact. But the poem ends with, "Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?" after a particularly desperate passage. The narrator refuses to believe that life is, after all, a dream within a dream. Likewise, I am in a state of denial, hoping that there is a chance my exchange isn't really coming to an end, that the sands of time so finely concentrated won't run out before I am ready. Now that June 30 is a mere 9 weeks away, the fact becomes so much more concrete. 

My exchange is ending. My exchange will end. I will be brusquely, violently awakened from this dream within a dream.

However, there is a positive side to this too. I already know what I'm going to do the day I arrive, and I already have a bunch of friends who wish to welcome me home at the airport, friends that I long to see again. There's also so much for me to look forward to this summer, like spending time with friends, visiting San Francisco (!!), a cruise in the Bahamas, and of course, my rebound reunion. 

All in all, I'm satisfied. Despite that nagging, "You're already here in France, go!" feeling, I realize that I've already come so far and done so much, I deserve now to just stay at home and relax in Parthenay, a place that will only be my home for two months more.

Well, until Friday, because I go back up to Paris for the weekend. 
Ahahaha...this obsessive traveling everywhere is never gonna end, is it?

More on that next time! 

1 comment:

  1. Hey Amanda,

    Now that I finally know you personally, I feel a lot more comfortable to post a comment on your well-written and intriguing blog.

    Like the many other posts you've published, this one is another great chapter of your exchange life and I applaud you for writing it. It not only reflects your exchange but also can be related to mine and probably many others who are experiencing it right now.

    I hope to meet you again somewhere cool!