To state the obvious, today is May 1st. But apparently it’s not obvious in my mind as I sit here having recently finished a final project, stretching out the last drops of spring break, and regarding my calendar in shock. May 1st. My word. People back home are graduating, summer jobs are starting, and I’m over here sitting in what I thought was bliss on a cold cozy afternoon until I *actually looked at the calendar on my phone. May 1st.
But of course May 1st has been an exciting day in France. What with the true meaning of labor day taken to heart, all the public transportation is closed, all stores are closed, and wait, yes you guessed it, there was another strike today. But all is well as the market receives the rising star award for always being open, no matter the holiday. Thus a fabulous lunch among all of the other labor day shenanigans. But that calendar is still looming…
So now I’m trying to figure out how to avoid that. Like how you were all trying to figure out how to avoid studying for finals. I can’t honestly say I’ve found a solution yet, but I do know I’m currently combating the situation by buying lavender ice cream on the daily occasion. Because if you’ve never had it, you can’t understand the pure bliss you experience when you walk around with a scoop of lavender ice cream in hand. Sorry Ben & Jerry, but you have nothing on that.
However, the world isn’t meant to be lived liked Peter Pan. Sure, we would all love to be able to stop time, but that’s not the point in life. Life is meant to go on–to go forward. Because of course we will always be nostalgic for the days we have, but there are so many other stories ahead that we wouldn’t want to miss either. Thus as much as I’d like to prolong my time here, I also know there are a few things ahead I’m looking forward too.
To add to that, there are things here that I’m still looking forward too. There are museums, parks, and many more things in Lyon that I haven’t had the chance to see yet in these four months, but I know I look forward to seeing in my last. And when I get home, there are stories to tell, and the best summer job and family to see. There are Gator Game-days to attend, and friends to reunite with, and Chick-fil-a lunches to be eaten. So yes, would I love to stay here for ever and ever? Of course. But there are so many things that lie ahead that I also want to do.
And I believe that’s the dilemma of study abroad students. We want to stay abroad, but we also want to see our best friends and eat meals at any hour of the day. We want our two world’s blended into perfect harmony–it wouldn’t be the first time I said “if only all my friends and family lived in Lyon, I’d never leave.” But that’s the beauty. When you study abroad, you find a second home.You find great things, people, and adventures, they’re just different. Your likes and loves become more diverse with the addition of your second home.
So if I could just learn to follow my own advice, it’d be this: appreciate where you are now. Don’t wish away your time hoping that you’ll always be in the same place. Because you won’t. And frankly, you won’t want to. Once you find your second home, you’ll soon find a third home, a seventh home, and so on. The more you travel, the more you go, the more you’ll love the world in its entirety, until every place feels like home. It’s just a question of relativity. And creating “home” wherever you roam.
Donc, whatever you do, don’t ever let your iPhone calendar scare you. It’s just a count–or more of a countdown of things to come ahead.