Where In the World Is

I’m not going to tell you where I am right now.

It is not Paris. Or New York. I’m not in Italy. Or anywhere else in France. But at some point, after you see so many things. And see them and see them. That place becomes a kind of footnote to the experience itself, the pretty backdrop to happiness or lonliness or sickness.

I came home from Italy sick from drinking the tap water. Everyone told me not to drink the tap water. I drank the tap water. And I was deathly sick in Paris for three days and almost got better and then left again because all I wanted to do here. Here. Europe. Was see things.

And for the very first time, I felt really selfish. I wondered when it would settle, that feeling. Because when people ask, I feel like my reasons for coming here are not practical or good ones. I am too old for the Gap Year. I am not here to work. Learning French will not help my career in any particular way.

I did this because I knew it ā€” the act of seeing and seeing ā€” would make me really happy.

And as an adult. As a woman. That seems so incredibly foolish. To spend so much money. To sacrifice for exactly no one. To let go of the traditional safety nets of family, of work, of home. To be alone, mostly. To change context.

There is nothing smart about any of this.


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