brain

As I wave goodbye to June of 2022, I am greeted by a wave rushing to my ankles from the summer essence of July.

I’m honestly kind of proud of that first sentence, not going to lie, and I’ve debated on merely posting it and it alone. Though, as usual, I have more to say.

A bittersweet sentence can be seen as the following:

I’m in the midst of packing away my life in France.

Bitter? Yes; due to the endless sea of opportunity, places to by a croissant and the act of merely existing in a city resembling a vintage dream. They also sell an almond milk (Amande Intense) that has quickly captivated my interest and heart and will find a difficult time saying au voir to.

Sweet? Yes; due to the fact that people flood the streets at every corner. Though seen as an immense burden at face value, over the past few weeks, I’ve found comfort and ease of mind in such abundance. Three cheers for conquering social anxiety!

In all honesty, I understand why people perceive the French as rude. In my eyes, though, I feel as if they’re merely misunderstood and honest. In the West we’re coddled everywhere we maneuver with an artificial kindness; in France, however, they obtain no shame when it comes to laughing in your face for your mistakes.

In the first week-ish of settling, I felt vastly unwelcomed.

Overtime, I realized that I’m merely a coddled Westerner with thin skin.

Since then, I’ve allowed the French to create a stronger being of myself. I realized being of such honest being isn’t entirely negative — you know who you can trust vs. not.

For example:

The manager and my own waiter that laughed in my face (at me) for asking for a glass of water — lost trust. Which, thereafter made my restaurant experience exceedingly uncomfortable, do NOT recommend Au Cadet de Gascogne in Montmartre.

VS.

The few older men that helped me with finding groceries at the market and laughed with me since not being able to truly understand another — gained trust.(:

Paris has been an experience I completely underestimated, but thankful beyond words for it, nonetheless.

I truly am more than ready, though, to be living in a smaller city!

Speaking of Paris…so, rats; this isn’t me attempting to take a jab at the cleanliness of this beautiful city, it’s more so a Disney movie reference.

In the midst of my fluxed and constant maneuver throughout the summer, I’ve come to find love with a rat lifestyle.

So poetic.

Maybe “rat lifestyle” is a bit much, but I truly feel as if I’m inching towards a way of embodying rogue…it’s freeing.

I have less, therefore I must remain innovative.

I feel more human than I ever have in my entire life, I don’t know how else to explain it, but losing [almost] everything I held to my name was the best decision I ever made; 10/10 recommend.

Over time, I’ve re-found my passion and hunger for life.

Back in my home town, I’d remain fluxed in the oh, so comforting familiar.

Same coffee shop, coffee order, grocery stores, grocery items, recipes, thoughts…EVERYTHING WAS THE SAME.

It’s no wonder I was constantly on the brink of absolute insanity!

I’ve fallen in love, per usual, with learning and creating — languages, cooking, words, random facts, etc. The world is so full of life and I neglected it in the worst way.

Since this realization, I’ve decided that this next chapter of my life depends on me learning to play the ukulele; no ifs, ands, or buts —its already decided that my life depends on it!

Normal transition here…

I vaguely and loosely knew this fact of the brain completely maturing by the age of 25. Though, yesterday I did some extensive research into this notion (for a reason I can’t truly say I know why).

There’s a “myth” that once the brain matures, the pathways in our brains narrow and it makes the being have more difficulties when learning anything new.

This terrified me.

And I began thinking…what if when we turn 25, all the work and effort we put into the person we are then is the person we will remain for the rest of our lives since we can’t hardly learn anything new?!

A wave of panic grew over me — I still have habits that need to be broken, characteristics that must be shed…5 months isn’t enough!!

Then I realized it said “myth.”

Then I allowed my self to believe it in its entirety…to use it as motivation for greater growth.

Now I hold a deep belief that who I am on my 25th birthday is who I’m going to be forever.

Hence my hunger to play the ukulele, learn and create more languages, words, and all else in between…after all, my life depends on it!

Did I just internalize a belief to fill myself of angst? Perhaps…but it’s pushing me in the right direction for once and helping me out of my lethargic ways.

It’s raining today, which began unapologetically, and has been deteriorating into a rain of deliberation, almost as if asking for consent.

Washing away the skins I’ve shed whilst my time in the unknown.

I look forward to another chapter.

The next two months you can find me learning ukulele on the beach while eating spaghetti.

What about you?

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Vanessa Leanne

Vanessa (n.): Writer, reader, & coffee enthusiast. A lover of 20th century poetry, abstract/contemporary art, & almond croissants at any given moment.