Rounding out my five and a half month séjour à Paris. Contemplating my feelings and regrets; overthinking, as per usual. Today I was sitting at a little in the Trocadéro, drinking my thé vert à la menthe and journaling. I feel so much pressure, mostly internal, to have a certain kind of experience. I inhabit nostalgia. But it's never exactly nostalgia of my own past, more the false memories of what could have been. I have so many ideas of what I can accomplish and who I can be, but they all catch in my throat like the precursor to a good sob. I'm currently reading Nancy K. Miller's memoir, "Breathless: An American Girl in Paris". Her experience is different than mine, for sure. She's experiencing Paris in the 60s, fresh out of college in New York and looking to strike out for independence and build a life. The main narrative has a lot to do with the various men she comes across and her romantic and sexual escapades. Yet I still relate to a lot of the same feelings and identity crises. I'm so used to reading and writing these pensive analyses of life and psychology, but I've become too accustomed to living that way. I make every decision and take every step simultaneously thinking about the memories I am creating for eternity. That's all well and good for journal-writing, but it's limiting as a lifestyle / personality.
I have decided to make more of an effort with my vocabulary. I just rediscovered this internet graphic that I took to heart this time. It shows more elaborate synonyms of words to avoid ever using "very". I use "very" a lot, but I want to flower up my language now. Also, I apologize for my writing (and thoughts) too often, both literally and subliminally, using copouts of language, like "like" and "I think" and "maybe" and "I don't know" sprinkled through every phrase. I've read a few articles that discuss this "epidemic" of female apology in writing / creating, because we've been so condtioned that our very existence needs to be proved and deemed worth it. So much bullshit. I want to take my power and creative abilities into my own hands with no apologies, like the badass media ladies of today--Lena, Mindy, Amy, Tina, Zooey, and the like. I know I have so many stories in me and I know my time will come to make them. Soon. Ish. But for now, I'm still a little scared to open that door. I want a little education and collegiate confidence behind me. However false it might be. I incessantly walk a tightrope between humility and ego. I think part of me thinking I'm the shit has to do with my generation of "special" and nice, loving parents, and all that semi-true bullshit you read in articles by bitter members of the previous generation. At the same time, I do honestly believe I am THE SHIT. Or at least one of THE SHITs. For now, this empowering knowledge manifests itself between bruised ego-trips when everyone doesn't immediately recognize my clear glory / superiority and blankets of fear wrapped in "humility" and perceived societal obligations. I pack on both physical layers, like being overweight and unhealthy, and emotional layers, like shying away from social interaction to hide my spark as a coping mechanism, cause I'm not ready to deal with my awesomeness, let alone the whole wide world. I use my quote to hide / explain myself. "Our deepest fear is not that we're inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we're powerful beyond measure." It goes on, and the whole quote is amazing, but every time I reread those words for the millionth time, my earth shatters a little. Little by little, it's sinking into my consciousness and one day I'll be more capable to take this fear head on and just shine.
Side note: I use so many idioms and flowery metaphors in my mother tongue, it's SO hard to communicate in French. But I'm working on it.
Anyway, for now I feel that fear deep in the fathoms of my soul. But I'm so certain that juuuuust beyond that pitch black well, there's a sparkly magic me who will take over the world on her own terms. And every once in a while, she comes out to play, but she's not quite ready to explode. I'm on the verge. It's all happening, as my favorite Band-Aids are so fond of shouting, arms wide. The hormonal shitstorm of this past year and a half are all building up to an awesome future, sure of it. I analyze and rationalize and deal with and explain all my "setbacks and problems" on a shallow level, but I've yet to discover how to actually deal with shit. The raw feelings, not the psychological entanglements. I always jump to 911 mode and text my mom and friends and have freak-out-rants or heart-to-hearts detailing all the things I already KNOW in my head, but don't know how to feel. And NO ONE can tell me how to do that. Despite my love of solo adventures and near constant jet-setting and "me party" movie/theater/lunch dates with a good book and my eavesdropping ears turned on, I have yet to figure out how to just be me, hanging out with me, feeling the feels. Even as I wrote the "first draft" of sorts of this post as a journal entry, I was crafting and planning how to bring it to the interwebs and discuss my new epiphanies with my iPhone contact list. And I think all that sharing is generally a good thing, except when I don't give myself the time to let the thoughts brew and steep long enough to become real. I have a finely-tuned script of my self-psychoanalysis, but it's nice / good for me (I guess, I mean who really knows) to wade a little bit past that.
I feel limited by society and comparisons, because sure, I'm doing more than alright in life when you compare my fact sheet with other kids my age and my adult co-workers. I walk my path of life between the fork in that yellow wood, and it rocks, but I know I have SO much more in me. I recognize how trapped I get in my over-thinking and hyper-rationalization. I feel like I'm in a glass box. I can see the magic of the universe and my potential swirling around me, but I've yet to unearth the ax or doorknob or jedi mind-control glass-shattering tap à la Divergent.
Urgh, speaking of Shailene Woodley, she said this dumb thing about feminism that was so awful and just made me sad. I'm sure--I hope--people have helped her understand how she went wrong. I think she's coming from the right place of heart, but it's simply not the right definition of feminism. There's ton of speculation about what feminism even means and that's a whoooole other blog post or two, but basically it just is about whether you support the FACT that women are EQUAL to men. Not that they should take over the world (although maybe they really should) or obliterate all of mankind. No. Just, like be respected as being HUMAN. But anyway, I definitely do NOT want to be one of the internet people jumping on the bandwagon of tearing down a celebrity for doing something a little bit wrong. I don't want to give her (or anyone) the pressure to fix everything and always be on point and politically correct on every topic, because that's not fair or possible for one single human. That being said, it IS true that there is a certain responsibility and standard for someone in that position. People definitely get WAY out of hand sometimes with their expectations for celebrities. No one is perfect. But it is important to reach out when something sits funny in a polite way with the hope of educating. Everyone can slip with a dumb/ignorant comment in an interview, absolutely, but it's important to make things clear afterward if you feel you made a mistake. It's a dangerous game to play right now with feminism and equality, ESPECIALLY in the media. Maybe the entertainment business isn't as important as world politics or whatever, but it has an ENOURMOUS impact on society, in SO many ways. Oh man, I can't wait to study / talk about all this stuff at length in college, I could go on and on.
Anyway. I feel like I should be a libra or something because I can NEVER settle with a black and white opinion. It's always, always, a delicate balance in any and all aspects of my life. It's frustrating and exhausting sometimes, and my writing can sometimes feel schizophrenic with all the "on the hand"s and "that being said"s. But I wouldn't have it any other way. It feels more real.
I'm so ready to be home, but it's definitely bittersweet with the taste of regret. I did not have my L'Auberge Espagnole experience or my romantic Parisian trysts, but I made it through and did some great shit. I'm okay with that. I don't think I was ready for that kind of social adventure anyway. I'll cross the bridge of active social interaction with college and then I'll have my year abroad or something and take it by storm. It's certainly not au revoir, cher Paris, just putting away the passport for a little while. Plus, chellooooo, this isn't the obituary of my trip, I still have a little over two weeks left and though I don't want to place too much pressure on myself, I can definitely still get some awesome shit done. Just feeling kind of overwhelmed by all the opportunities, as per usual.
You're welcome for the slice of my brain, inter-webs.