Exactly two years ago, I was gazing at the Belgian countryside from atop a double decker bus. Right now, I’m probably riding public trans to work, absorbed into the LCD screen resting on the palm of my hand. While the initial shock of returning to the US has worn off, there’s still a part of me that longs for the continent across the pond.
No more French?
Up until last spring, watching French videos was part of my daily routine. There were also a few dates that involved a well traveled French speaker and skype sessions with others who spoke the language. Although the majority of my online accounts are still in French, my ability to actually speak the language has dwindled along with interactions with other French speakers.
Everyone in the United States seems to get offended by everything. There’s cultural appropriation and then there are people deleting Facebook friends who are voting for opposing political parties. I desperately long for peace of mind; a morning scroll through my feed without rude comments thrown between people whom I thought to be polite.
The German word ‘weltschmerz’ means “apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state”. That’s similar to how I feel, but it’s more like a lack of inspiration:
For a year I lived surreally, inspired by marvelous adventures that befell my group of friends. There were royalty who lived castles, rainbows made from snowflakes which we chased under the setting sun, and rows upon rows of chocolate a the local grocery stores. At my current state, I’m often disappointed by the mundane everyday reality. There are no real castles, it doesn’t snow and there isn’t even one row of chocolate at the store. It translates into my art as well. In France, photoshoots were magical; here, they are call portrait sessions.
Wonder lust is such a thing that must be incorporated into one’s life as either a lifestyle or a learning experience. Personally, I would like to move abroad within the next five years. It is my goal to eventually move into a position where I can increase cash flow and cross borders for a quick adventure or an extended cultural experience.
In all honesty, returning to Europe will not be the same. Why? Because in my mind, I remember the experience of living there in a romantic sort of way. When returning, there will be culture shock, but hopefully it will dissipate and a new adventure will commence.
Featured Image Credit: Kaelibeth