Thursday, December 21, 2006

Life after College

I showed up a little early to order a drink and take in the ambiance. The 5-block walk there reinforced my belief that Atlanta is slowly becoming a real city. The big building lights and glass of Midtown make my heart fuzzy. I imagined the city filled with people who work in little shops and bakeries and remember my face because I buy food and goods from them everyday. Instead I have a new Publix that is walking distance to be excited about. I imagine Atlanta filled with a million other walkers and that I had to weave through people on the sidewalk to get to where I was going. As it is now, if I see another walker in Midtown I am grateful for their existence and probably way too friendly. I spotted another new stylish restaurant on 8th that has cropped up and in desperate need of my patronage. A few blocks down at my destination I, of course, was the first one in my party to arrive. I headed for the bar and tried to brave the wine list. The multitude of choices was quite boring for its sheer magnitude. I spotted an unmarked bottle, round on the bottom with a long skinny spout, and jumped to all kinds of conclusion that it might possibly be the one and only French liquor Parfait d'Amour. It wasn’t…it was grappa, but the bartender suggested a drink named Lemonade Provencal. It was awesome, not only did it have my favorite vodka in it; it had a lavender syrup infused with lemons. It was delicious. The rest of my party arrived and we were a little tense at first, as usual. We politely settled in to our evening as the hours ticked on and by the time we parted ways I was left feeling regretful, as usual. “Did I order one too many drinks” “Did I talk about myself too much” Did I talk about other people too much”? Feelings of inadequacy are a life long thing for me, probably brought on by my crazy family and all of there, you know, life lessons and shit they ingrained in my head about respect and stuff like that. The annual managers meeting went well and I am again left grateful for having a very nice boss.

In short, Life after college has been brilliant! No guilt about all of the homework that I should be doing instead of ‘insert any activity that makes me happy here’. I feel as though I have been in a really bad, stagnate, unhealthy, and let’s face it, abusive relationship for the past four years. I feel like I just dumped an asshole boyfriend and I’m rediscovering myself all over again. There is something better about this than getting out of an unhealthy relationship. I finished this. It is done because I completed the task. It is a head-trip to think of it. I dropped out of high school when I was 15. I was so intimidated by my peers that had stayed on to get their diplomas that I thought I was superior to them. That was a high school degree. I was the one who said things like, “it’s just not me” and “I would go to college if I could ever figure out a good enough reason to”. And then one day, I decided to go to college. I wanted to be a translator. I had found my reason. I wanted to go back to Paris. So I enrolled, attended classes, fretted over grades, turned in papers and assignments, forged relationships with classmates and professors and then, just now, I have graduated. Who knew it would have gone like that. I am always amazed at the things I have decided to do, planned them, executed the plan and come out of still breathing. This is another one of those things, not unlike plotting my escape from America as a 21-year-old high school drop-out.

How I Feel About Paris Today

I wish that I could be okay without this here. I wish that my walk through midtown, the neighborhood I live in, were enough for me. It would make everything so much easier. I wouldn’t have to struggle with money and papers and I wouldn’t have to break my father’s heart all over again. But it is not enough. Atlanta is not Paris. Paris is Paris and Paris owns my heart. Nothing short of it will do

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