Today I am doing much better. My mom put me back together and did everything she could to make this transition easier. And never once has she reminded me that I brought this upon myself nor has she given me the "this is a such a great opportunity!" speech, which I greatly appreciate. We met with Florence, my contact at Les Petits Freres, where I'll be working starting tomorrow (!), and she was very nice and I think I'll be just fine here.
And maybe there's a chance I could leave a week early.
My hair color gives me away before I even open my mouth.*
Thinking this makes me feel immediately better. Maybe if I package all of my fears into little short sentences I can hide them under the bed of this Ibis hotel and forget about the fact that I am still not even at the half way mark.
Here I am in Toulouse, with a suitcase I can’t lift and mascara that won’t stop running.
Take me home. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease.
*French people, besides never straightening their hair, also never dye it blonde. and there are very few natural blondes here.
Quite frankly, I cannot decide what I think about Paris.
It sort of feels like this odd, make-believe world created for me, where people are speaking in French for my benefit and learning. I keep thinking things like, "Oh, how nice of them to speak French!" and "Wow, it's incredible how many people speak perfect French here!"
Yeah, no duh.
It used to be that I loved, loved, loved big cities. Staying in the Waldorf Astoria in downtown Manhattan for 10 days was a dream come true when I was fourteen. DC quickly became my favorite city in the world at age sixteen. People would say, "I love visiting cities, but I could never live there," and I'd always think, "I could! I will! And I will love it!" But lately, I think that has changed. In England, it wasn't London that was my favorite place. It was Downham and York and Aberdeen in Scotland, smaller towns (okay, York is still fairly large, but it feels small). Here, in Paris, I love being not down the Champs-Elysees, but in Monmartre, or down the little streets where all of the outdoor markets are near our hotel.
So I guess that's why I do not know what to make of this place. One second it feels like I'm in New York, and the next it feels like a little village. Keep me in the village, I say.
Laisse-moi rester dans le petit village?
And another thing I've been musing on. I used to love traveling (and I still very much do), but you know what, three months is a long time to be out of the US of A. And you know what else? I really love America (and maybe a certain boy who lives there). I love our superior plumbing. I love that we have air conditioning. I love that we use paper towels. I love that we speak English. I love that our money doesn't look like Monopoly play money. I love that we have trash cans everywhere in public places. I love that we have decent hamburgers and Mexican food. I love that my family's all there. I love that my friends are all there. I love that my boyfriend's there. I love that my teammates are there. I love that we have mountains there.
I can do anything...better than anyone...! Go watch Jessica's daily affirmation on youtube to understand that reference.
Anyway. This is not me complaining about Europe, I promise. I almost cried when I saw France out the window of the plane on my way here. I have worked so hard, for so long to get here. This has been my dream since I knew France existed. It is beautiful, and I love love love it.
This is me apologizing for never blogging on this blog anymore. Ballroom tour has been so crazy, and internet access has been so haphazard...and well, all I have to say these days is my itinerary which is posted on my other blog, so there you go.
But today I was doing some thinking. Do you ever have moments where you feel like you're reliving something? The first couple of performances after we competed at Blackpool, when we danced the latin medley, it was like I was back on that floor at the Winter Gardens, dancing in front of Brian Watson and the rest of the judges. Instead of seeing the audience at the small theatres in London or Sheffield, I was looking out at the Blackpool crowd.
And then yesterday, when we were in Dundee, Scotland taking a walking tour of the city, we walked through a cemetery dating back to the 1500s, and it was like I was in Utah standing at my grandma's grave. I was remembering little details, like all the grandkids pulling out roses to dry and keep from the arrangement on her casket. I have these moments every so often where I realize she is not here. And sometimes I just can't help but cry all over again.
I just miss her, ya know? And I want her to know that I haven't forgotten her.
And...it's just like...if this is how I feel, I can't even imagine what my mom or my grandpa feel like. I'm so sorry, I am so sorry.
And I decided that no one else I love is ever allowed to die before me. And I plan on living a long time, so you all better stay healthy, okay?
Cheers, and go read my other blog for a happy post.