Salty and more

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There’s nothing quite like a nice little panorama of anything remotely ocean-related. That mesmerizing blue and the consistent waves just command your gaze.

I think I’ll be reading some more of Moby Dick tonight since I’m in the salty seawater mood. I don’t think there are whales off the coast of the Bretagne region of France, but the sea is the sea is the sea.

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For the past few days, I’ve been enjoying Rennes with one of my childhood playmates and nearly lifelong friends. We played with beanie babies together as children, had sleepovers for birthdays, played until our parents dragged us home. Now she’s a professor here, and I’m a college student studying abroad.

The adventures are much more real now, even though our beanie baby stories had a touch of reality to them. Even though our beanie babies had names and personalities (and actually still do… can’t look at them without some feeling of recognition), in the past few days we’ve visited sites significant to the French revolution, French history, and her life for the past 8 months. It feels more real. Probably because this is now.

To remember Elizabeth as a nine-year-old when I first met her and to think that I’m her guest in her studio flat in France where she’s been living, and to think that I came from Austria, where I’ve been living, feels so foreign. That nine-year-old and that four-year-old feel like other people, different lives, but they’re part of us.

We’re still us. We’re still the same but totally different. This whole aging process is quite the enigma. I’m 20 now. Five times more myself than I was when I was four. Or, perhaps, I’ve made five times the mistakes and have had five times the amount of life.

Can you be five times more yourself than you were before? Was I less me as a fairy-loving, whimsical, platinum blonde four-year-old? I suppose the idea of “me” is always evolving. That perhaps I was fully who I was at four, but there was more to explore. Perhaps we simply color in the parts of our personality that we’re willing to discover, like a 3D version of a paint-by-number drawing.

No matter where I land on that thought, I like France even more than I thought I would. French food was NOT overhyped, and even as a vegetarian, I’ve had so many exciting new things while here. Looking forward to three more days of the loveliness.

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