20 September 2009

10 years later

So, I have been back from my vacation for almost a week now, and am feeling pretty much adjusted back to this time zone. Work was rough last week, but I've gotta say that...well, as little as I was looking forward to the end of vacation and getting back to the grind, it *is* said job which supports my travel bug. So...whattya gonna do?

10 years later. Returning to Paris for a good stay (~6 days) was incredible. So much of the city has changed (people wear jeans now, the Velib city bike share program, no-smoking inside restaurants), and yet...so much has not changed at all (Parisians are effortlessly put-together, the Metro smells the same, the bread...mmm).

Once again, turning to my old journal, I found a list I had composed on 12/2/1999, entitled, "Things I have learned about myself or life this semester." Looking at it, I can see in what ways I have changed, as well as what hasn't changed at all.
Here's the list - unedited as written - with my current sentiments following [in brackets].

1. I 'groan' a lot. [In reference to my propensity for non-verbal, yet out-loud, agreeing or disagreeing with people. As in: mmm-hmmm, mm, or heh. I still do it. My father does, too.]

2. I need God - He is constant [Still completely true. And I still need reminders of this sometimes.]

3. I am extremely independent [No newsflash there]

4. I love French - more than ever [Speaking French for a whole week was magical for me this vacation. I still love it and think it is a beautifully expressive language - even though my brain was fried at day's end...]

5. I can sing - but must practice [Still so true.]

6. I have an acute sense of smell [Ahhhh yes. Again, the smell of the Metro hasn't changed one bit.]

7. I take too many things in the USA for granted [I don't think I take too much here for granted anymore...I am very grateful for the blessings in my life. This was one of the lessons I took to heart 10 years ago.]

8. I want to get married eventually [Still true. Though watching Sibling plan a wedding? Elopement sounds better - but my mom would kill me hahahha].

9. I am way taller than your average European [Oh yeah.]

10. I miss my girlfriends [Had a really close-knit group of galpals in college and high school. I *still* miss them, given that most of us are now scattered across the globe. Thank goodness for Facebook! lol]

11. I really miss seeing my brother grow up [Ah...and I am immeasurably grateful for the time we spent living together here in SF. Truly special.]

12. I am very different from who I was in high school [hmm. I am different from who I was in college...but I think I'm getting closer to returning to who I was as a kid, in some ways.]

13. I don't like boring classes - I get lazy in them [Hitting the nail on the head. Still.]

14. I am turning into my parents [Scary, but yes. And hopefully more in the good ways, than in the ... not-so-good ways.]

15. I really like champagne [OH yeah!]

16. I miss smiling - a lot [Note: a female by herself navigating the streets of Paris, the metro, etc, does NOT smile at strangers. It's taken as an "invitation" to a very specific kind of ... ahem...male attention. Very unlike the streets of my college grounds of Dallas, where everyone was friendly.]

17. I am much 'better off' than a lot of my friends [I grew up in a comfortable household - my father is a physician and worked hard (still does!) for his family. This is something I have never taken for granted and any of my parents' support of me - materially speaking - and generosity in general has been both humbling and something I've tried to 'pay forward' in my own life.]

18. I am judgmental - [I have had - and probably still will have - my moments with this one. And while I have become much more open to some things in my "elder" years . . . in some ways, I have probably become more closed. I think both is a function of living in SF for 8+ years, now.]

19. I don't like couchettes (see #9) [Couchettes are the sleeping cars on overnight train-trips which feature 6 fold down bench-things for sleeping. Again, I'm taller than your average European - those benches are incredibly awkward for me.]

20. I am tolerant [Funny, after writing #18 up there. Again, yes, I am both tolerant and judgmental, depending on the subject, I guess. Aren't we all?]

21. I do get homesick a little [This is probably more true NOW than it was 10 years ago.]

22. I like the fact that I am keeping a journal [I like the fact that I am keeping a blog.]

23. I like tomatoes and mushrooms - but not headcheese [Before I lived in France, I hated BOTH tomatoes and mushrooms. I like them now. Headcheese is still disgusting.]

24. I need lots of sleep [I still do. And I still probably don't get enough.]

25. I hate commuting [ditto]

26. I am on display 24/7 [Interesting comment. I don't remember why I wrote that, but I guess something about how I present myself to the outside world. I don't really feel this way currently.]

27. I don't *have* to be addicted to email [Amen to that! Even though I am totally reliant upon email these days.]

28. It's not that gross to go for a week without shaving my legs [hahahahah. That is hilarious. I *had* been living in very hot, very fixy Dallas, so moving to cold Paris where showers where small and shaving difficult...this really was a revelation for me. I mean...if you're wearing long pants in the winter, and you don't have a boyfriend...anything goes! lol]

29. I enjoy having older (adult) friends [I have been this way since I was a kiddo]

30. I can read people well [I try to use my power for good.]

31. I need to learn more about politics and current events [I have become much better at this, these days.]


Bag Blog said...

I'm glad you are safely home. I love reading your past journal and present thoughts.

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Buck said...

I, too, liked reading your past/present entries. Good on ya for keeping a journal during your first visit to France... and for revisiting it!