Today, a rainy Monday in a tidy suburb just outside of Paris, I received my final exam marks and just like that, I am not a student anymore. It has all gone by so quickly, and so achingly slowly. Years of studying the shape of an a and all the different ways an English mouth can say it, and reading books I’d fall in love with, writing stories about people that look, act and feel exactly like me and maybe, finally learning to see a little way outside of my own life. And suddenly it’s over.
It’s been a while since I wrote that- it seemed too open-ended, unsure, unfinished to put anywhere real. I feel open ended too, like I could go anywhere, become anyone. With so many choices I’m scared of doing anything at all. I blame the books I read, getting up after 10, surviving on food groups I never eat back home. I think about what it means that I know where I mean when I say home now. There’s so much room to think in that I get lost down all the side streets. I wonder what would happen if I never found my way back. Despite it all, I’ve started drawing again, finding things I gave up years ago and giving them another try. I think about sewing summer dresses, selling flowers. I drink a lot of coffee, and even more tea with lemon. I find the time to write back to old emails and learn about the price of housing in an American desert. I start going for runs. I read books like I know one day soon I’ll run out of time, gasping them in, not stopping to think. Maybe this is the beginning of whatever happens next, and when I think back it will seem like only the breath I had to catch before it all starts, but for now, all I have is time, some room to count my blessings in.