“How was Paris?!” -Everyone
Paris was...is...nothing less than amazing. It is intoxicating...everything about it filled my pores, filtered my vision, clouded my brain with a high unavailable on any black market. Paris is every newly discovered piece of myself that I never had in Atlanta. Paris is a home. Paris is where half of me still remains, waiting impatiently for my return in January.
For the time being, I’m ever so slightly detoxing as I shift my focus in my attempt to adjust back to Atlanta.
I’m relearning how to live in a space where I can’t comfortably call to someone from one side to the other.
I forgot what it’s like to have squirrels as upstairs neighbors and not the four thunderous children that seemingly love being active at all hours.
If I want to get anywhere it will be in car rather than the metro. It is much easier to walk across Paris than it is Atlanta. My subconscious came through the very first day of me driving again in Atlanta and I ripped off my front bumper. Adjusting takes time.
I coming back to a curfew and Christmas on steroids. I’m seeing the people that I once saw everyday in the halls of my high school for the first time in months and I’m realizing that I am not the only one who has changed. The memories are there, yet somehow I remember everything differently.
When I opened my closet for the first time, an abyss of clothes looked back at me as if to judge, “you left us here to hang with no purpose and now you’re back to fit into us and pretend you never left?”
People always say the first time you come home for a break is the hardest. I would agree, except I don’t feel like I have come home yet. I feel like I am sleeping in a bed, but it’s not mine anymore. I run with my dog on the same paths I have been marking for years, but I don’t know the direction to go anymore. My actions aren’t automatic and familiar, they are awkward and arrive with doubt. Maybe Atlanta doesn’t fit me anymore or maybe I just don’t fit Atlanta.
So, I will enjoy the things I spent a semester living without: my family, fresh air, Chick-fil-a, my over-sized sweater embroidered with a scarf clad llama, my dad bringing me hot coffee every morning, my favorite squirty green Gatorade bottle, booming southern thunderstorms, mason jars and tea cups, the ding-dong of the church around the corner announcing each new half-hour that passes by.
I shouldn’t complain. I can’t look at my situation and be ungrateful. I have more than I could ever wish for. So, don’t take this as me feeling unhappy for not having Paris, take this as me being overwhelmingly grateful that I am fortunate enough to have the opportunities that I have. Everyday I wake up and get a warm feeling knowing I’ll be right back where I belong in no time.
Besides, how can you hate coming back when you get a text like this (if you haven't noticed, food is very important to me...I figured out my first few meals before I knew when my flight home was):