On my last Friday in Paris, it was a good portion of the rest of the group's last night. So, to celebrate one more night all together in Paris we went to, of course, O Chateau. It was bittersweet and just a really great night. It also happened to be the opening ceremony of the Olympics. So, for guests to enjoy it they had this huge projection screen behind the bar. It was really amusing to watch the different countries walk. When France came across the screen, obviously the whole bar went crazy. Then there was the United States who most of the group cheered for. But then you had other countries that some of us identified with on our own. For example, I cheered for Italy and Poland (mainly Italy), another of my friends cheered for Ecuador and another for Columbia. We were just kind of scattered all around the globe.
Anyway, classes were finally over and we were enjoying our last moments in Paris together with some amazing wine, laughing and pretending the night would never end. Unfortunately, the night did have to end and many of us said bittersweet goodbies. A few of us had a few days left but for the ones that were leaving it was sad to see them go. When you're in such a magical place such as Paris, you have this unending desire to stay there forever but in the back of your mind you think about everyone at home and the life that you have there. You create freindships with people that you never knew before but feel as if you've known them your whole life. There's this bond that's created from the new environment and feeling of homesickness. When you leave, you hate to leave these new relationships but you are excited to go home to the people you left behind and the life that you lead. You're happy to go but you're sad to say goodbye.
Paris will always have a special place in my heart. I met some amazing people that I hope to have in my life until the day that I die. I had experiences that I will never forget and some that I kind of want to. I learned so much about myself and what my limits are as an individual that will shape the way that I live my life. I discovered new things about myself and really just the world that have opened my eyes to what there is to offer and that I want to experience all of it. I felt like I was at home in Paris. I felt like I belonged there. It was the first time in my life that I felt as if I actually fit in and was accepted by a culture. Chicago is a great city and I love it here but I've never had that feeling before. I thought I did until I knew what it actually felt like. It was almost surreal. However, in my friend Steve's words "YOPO! You're only in Paris once!" Maybe that's true for me, maybe it isn't. I know that I would love to go back one day but I also know that there are a million other places that I really want to go. Maybe I'll get to everywhere I want to go and get the chance to return. I guess it's all for the future to tell. But for now, at least I have Paris.