It’s quite a somber title, but the truth is, reality is beginning to sink in: this is my last month in Paris. It is crazy to think that I will be leaving the place I have called home for the past three months. Though there are infinite things I will miss about this place as well as the people I’ve meet while here, I am not going to let the feelings of sadness sink in quite yet. I am going to live my last month here as if it were my first. The weather is finally starting to warm up, and the sun is shining (yes, in Paris!). This last month is going to be about pure exploration and enjoyment. Many of my friends have made a list of things to do before leaving Paris, however, I am choosing to go with the flow because I am confident that I will return to Paris in my near future and be able to continue to explore the city.
One of my professors here asked our class what our personal expectations are for our last month in Paris. Honestly, I have no expectations for “my last month” in itself, but I do have expectations for myself. I came to study abroad in Paris with no expectations, and I have had a life changing experience. The few times when I had expectations for an event/class/weekend throughout this semester, I have been let down, therefore, I am grateful that I have been able to live the majority of these past three months free of expectations. I do, however, hope to continue making positive improvements for myself as a human being as well as a dancer. I expect to make the most out of every dance class I take during this last month. I am aware of my growth–both as a dancer and a being–this semester, and I believe that there is, and always will be, room for more.
I have been trying to take in the beautiful weather and enjoy Paris every single day. Recently, I have discovered new places in nature that bring contentment to me. After three months of cold, rainy weather, 60 degrees calls for spending many hours outside! My friends and I have become quite the avid picnickers; we enjoy picnicking by the Seine and various parks around the city that exhibit greens and fresh flowers. I also find myself more reluctant to take the metro in the nice weather; I prefer to walk (if it’s a reasonable walking distance). Plus, that’s how I’ve been discovering new places in the city.
Having a positive mindset during this last month will help me live in the moment rather than sulking about what’s to come. Thinking about leaving Europe used to frustrate me, and although, it still makes me sad, I have been focusing on being present each day instead of thinking about the future. I am grateful to have gotten close with a group of students that also came to the program from USF so that when we return to the University for senior year, we can reminisce about our experiences living in Paris and the city where strong friendships have been created.