In a city filled with a million people, it’s easy to start feeling lost, lonely, and just plain unimportant. Someone once took the words out of my mouth as I struggled to find the words for how I felt: “You want to know that you matter.” He was right. Many times, as human beings, we simply feel that no one cares about us, and that we just don’t matter – and all we want is to feel loved. The past couple of days, this feeling overwhelmed me. I felt lost in this huge city, lonely and alone despite the fact that I was surrounded with people and had had a whirlwind Friday that I will never forget – I felt like I could fall through the cracks of the Champs-Elysees and disappear forever, and no one would care. I felt homesick and longed for school, where friends and food were in endless supply, where I could curl up on Haley’s bed and cry if that’s what I needed.
What’s comforting to know is that friends will always be there when you need them – Courtney made me tea and gave me a croissant, and listened to me vent about my housing and social frustrations, and made me feel validated. Sometimes the best cure is just to know that you’re not crazy. This is why I love my friends (especially my American friends) – she reassured me that it’s okay to miss my mom, to feel intimidated by the scarily haute-couture French women, and to be frustrated with my lack of personal space and alone time. Aah, relief – I am not crazy.
Being here has truly made me appreciate St. Mary’s – the close-knit community, my team, my big goofy group of friends, and the close relationships you develop just by being stuck on a campus with people for six months at a time. I miss American-style professors and methods of teaching, and I miss being surrounded with people who understand me. Here, being American is something to constantly defend, something to discuss and analyze. I miss my family, my mom, my sister – even my dog. While I am truly enjoying my time here – I am in Paris, after all – I think it’s only normal to feel a little homesick, and a little school-sick. But I’ve only got a little time left here, and I want to enjoy it. So I’m going to wipe my eyes dry, put on a smile, and remember to see “la vie en rose”.