I’m taking a writing workshop in France.
I’ll be gone for like a month. I’ll be abroad for a month. When I say this to you, it will conjure up the most romantic images: me, sitting with the Alps at my back, riding on trains filled with only upper-class citizens, eating croissants piled on top of croissants, breadcrumbs falling into my lap. We will picture me wandering, time less important…through tiny towns that revere the past and redefine the present. I won’t be wearing sweatpants — and I’ll ingest my caffeine in small doses, in small porcelain cups, with my small pinky just daring to lift up a little into the air.
Oh — and I booked a chalet. I’ll be staying in a chalet…a chalet that I booked the other day.
Odd, how uncomfortable and ashamed I have felt by my upcoming adventure. “So you’re going to France,” people ask? I hang my head as I stammer, “Yes.” Emailing a friend the other day, I actually lowered myself in my seat, as my fingers typed the 6-letter country out, like it was that infamous ‘F’ word with only 4 letters.
Why the shame, to capture such sweetness? Because I suppose it feels like indulgence. Because no one told me I deserved this….no one but me. I singlehandedly decided to have a dialogue with my heart and to then honor it. Then, for fear that it is foolish to do such things, I began judging. I hijacked others’ possible judgment and added, “I know I shouldn’t go, but….” when I spoke of my plans. But I robbed myself. Of the excitement, of sharing the joy that is steeping underneath…
I don’t think myself a princess. But I do think that I’m the only one that ultimately need ‘approve’ of my own heart’s desires. And that in our society, for some reason, it is hard to justify going after them.
So when people reply, “Man, I wish I could do that…”, I want to rear up and slap them. Well…less of a slap and more of a lovetap — just to get the blood flowing up there in that brain of theirs. “You can,” I will say. You may have a job, a house, a husband or a child, but those are not your limitations — you are. This isn’t me calling luxury’s number, this is me calling myself home. Traveling is the way I feel most alive. It is a non-negotiable gift I give myself and it doesn’t harm a soul. Furthermore, when I fly higher, those around me benefit.
I have to hold my head up, as I climb aboard the flight and return to the land that awoke me at the age of 22. I have to remember that no one taught me to dream but me; and I will nurture these dreams of mine until my dying day; I will do this for ME. I knew a long time ago that jumping headfirst into the foreign was the way I found my breath — and I’ll continue to do that when needed.
I’ve got just over 2 weeks until the plane leaves. I plan on leaving with an exuberant smile. I plan on shouting into the air as I climb the steps, “FUCK YES; FRANCE!!”