Hello whoever may read this,
I don’t have enough self-discipline to update this regularly, or to do much lately for that matter. I don’t know why. I make schedules, list, alarms, reminders, plans, and yet, at the end of the day, I don’t want to do it.
Am I lazy? Should I change my life? I mean I’m living in Paris, so it’s not like I’m stuck back in my Missouri rut. I think instead it touches on something deeper within me. As to what that is I have no idea, but I don’t much like it.
In fact, I hate it.
On a less melancholy note Paris is sublime. Well, okay it’s not always that great, but I like it. I think I just miss structure. My days are totally open except from noon-ish to three-ish which means that I slack basically all day because who can do work immediately before or after class? Evidently not I.
I’m not even going to try to organize this post. I’d prefer to unzip that little barrier that cradles my thoughts, that inner space no can penetrate, and let a few things slip out. Then of course I must seal it back up, even I don’t really know what’s in there. Sometimes that scares me a lot. But, I try not to think about it.
Europe has gotten kind of old. I mean I still love it of course, but after awhile it becomes the same old churches, weird languages, and overpriced sandwiches. Some still take your breath away like when I saw the quasi-ruin of a still-functioning renaissance cathedral in Chartres, the joyful cadence of two Italians rendezvousing, or the $12 paninis in Geneva. Yet those instances are few and far between.
I appreciate Europe. I love its good parts, and I know that everything is nuanced, so I try to not condemn it for its faults. But I’m not enchanted by it. The south of France is great for vacations, Geneva for lakeside strolls, Berlin for counter-culture, Amsterdam for canals, Prague for Habsburg opulence, London for cosmopolitain flair, Paris for effortless elegance, Edinburgh for life’s simple pleasures, and the US for life itself. Yes, that pattern did end quite abruptly. I apologize for those startled by it, but that was the point. Despite all of these great traits, sights, sounds, and lifestyles, it is only in the US that I feel I belong. In France I’m “l’Américain” (the American), and no matter how many compliments I get on my accent or how well I speak French, every French person and I know that I’m the foreigner in their country. I’m the one that will never know all the acronyms, which root vegetables are in season in Limousin, how many bullet holes tore up Charles de Gaulle’s Renault, why Rosé will never equal Rouge, or why the French are so god awful at English.
On that last point I do feel quite bad as I am also a traveller on a formidable language journey. However, I hate the way the French say English words. I find it stuffy, annoying, and stupid. Unless they have a really good accent I would really just prefer to speak in French regardless of my French ability or their English competence. Of course though, I couldn’t be so direct with Valentine, and I told the first lie that I regret in quite a while. Valentine, my oh too dear host sister, is my favorite person here. She’s so pretty in that effortless French way, and her personality is even more beautiful. Rarely have I met someone that is so simply, so purely, good.
Two weekends ago I went to this business conference in New York for gay students looking to go into finance and consulting. It was really interesting, and I definitely would like to consult for a bit post-Navy or MBA, but these last two weeks (since the conference) I’ve gotten more jaded about relying on other people.
I met all of these great people (peers and professionals) at the conference, but when I got back and sent hey it was nice to meet yous (to peers) and thank you notes (to profs) I got a few really great responses, but on the whole all these people that I thought I had made a good connection with forgot/ignored me just as soon as I left.
I mean I get that people are busy and that it’s not always intentional, but I just don’t like being ignored. It’s especially annoying because it was basically students from Ivy-league schools and their peers who are interested in business aka it is a conference of very intelligent, driven, and gay(!) men (and lesbians, I fucking love lesbians).
Do you realize how rare it is to meet 200 gay men that aren’t a mess? (Though obviously there were secret sluts and problem children, but on the whole it was a great group).
I met 3 guys that I at least thought were interesting, but all of our conversations have trailed off since I got back to Paris. Luckily one goes to Duke, but the other two are at Stanford and Harvard so I’m just going to forget them for now.
In looking back over everything that has passed, the one lesson that I’ve learned from the last 10 months that I think is the most important thing I’ve ever learned, and it’s something you can only experience otherwise it sounds cliche or overly simplistic, but there’s really no meaning to life if you aren’t happy. The money, the awards, the lunch dates-social hours-VIP rooms, and travel really don’t mean anything if they aren’t tethered to someone (or some people) that you love.
How to do that is hard. I think that’s really why I made this blog. I honestly don’t care if no one reads it or 1000 read it. I just need to say these things, and there’s never anyone to listen. I don’t know how it’s possible to have so many friends and feel so alone. What I really need, more than anything, is someone truly close to me. Someone that calls me everyday, jogs with me on the weekends, rages with me, smiles when they see me, and, most of all, someone who will listen to these things.
Easier said than done.
Happy 21st birthday to me.