It’s midnight. I leave today; in 6 short hours I will be in a taxi, the city of Montpellier a mere blur outside my window. With final projects and final papers, I didn’t get a chance to think about this ending, about leaving. This has been arguably the fastest five weeks of my life. It feels like just yesterday my train pulled into Montpellier, and yet now, too soon, I am leaving.
This is the hardest blog post to write because I don’t like the finality of it, the assumed ending that comes with a goodbye. I’ve just come from our goodbye dinner, and then a hangout afterwards, everyone squeezing as many more moments as possible. Sure, we have all made plans to visit each other and stay in touch – some have even suggested a 10-year reunion in Montpellier itself – but it’s not the same as spending every waking second together. It’s not the same as heading to the bakery in between classes and treating yourself to a fresh almond croissant. It’s not the same as watching the sunset through the small, winding streets of a historic French city. It’s not the same as $3 bottles of wine, as picnics to the soundtrack of live music, as views of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe and huge river gorges and old clock towers, as fresh cheese and chocolates, as speaking French, as being in France. It won’t be the same.
But is that a bad thing? If I stayed in this bliss forever, it soon would not be bliss but banal. To see the exciting turn average would take all the pleasure out of this. In a way, such a short program preserves this feeling of newness – things never got dull for me, there wasn’t time for it. Friendships remained in their honeymoon stages, every food experience was new, classes were exciting, there was a different sight to see each day; each morning held the opportunity for variety (it’s the spice of life, right?).
My friends keep asking me what I’ll miss the most. I feel silly that I can’t name a single thing. It’s because I can’t choose which part was the best, which city I liked the most or which friend made me laugh the hardest or what food I most enjoyed. Not being able to choose because every moment was a good one? There are worse things.
If you’ve stuck with me this far, thanks for reading my thoughts in blog form; I hope you’ve enjoyed them. P.S. Packing for the return trip is equally as bad, not because you have to think of what to bring, but because you won’t want to leave.