it’s 3 am, much too late, as usual, so i’ll keep it short.
you know what? people ask me if my gap year’s been anything like the way i imagined it, and the truth is, i thought about my gap year as an idea, not as individual moments. a minute on the farm seems like forever, but a day in a city seems like a blink. the idea, really, was only 80%, maybe 90%, baked. or less.
my idea was simple: to spend a year WWOOFing on French farms to
there was a third but i forget….
both goals are still works-in-progress, but i know i have achieved something. outside of those goals, so much that i didn’t anticipate or imagine has happened, and i’ve learned. some of what i’ve learned can be distilled down to mundane, simple things, such as making sure to always have a backup public transport route in paris, or plugging in that you do, indeed, have a 12-25 card on voyages-sncf.com, or to always put my computer in a secure location, away from dogs/cats/children.
the rest? it’s moments, moments that i remember clearly, still. i still recall my first farm, le salvet; the path i took from my caravan, doing my business under the full moon because the compost toilet was too far in the woods, our last night party in the workshop’s unfinished attic, the vast quantity of tomatoes, olives, potatoes and almond paste i ate…. someday soon i need to write just a huge info dump so i remember it all, like when i read back on my journal entries it’s easier to recall the exact sentiments of the moment. right now when i think about le salvet it’s kind of tinted with the future’s knowledge, that everything worked out, that i’m alive, that it set me up for the rest of my farms…
that’s not really where i meant to go with that, but oh well. a moment that i love is when i successfully got my way into arc de triomphe for free. as a national historic monument, EU residents under 25 get in for free. i said to the guichet, “maintentant je habite en france pour un an, pouvez-vous me donner le billet s’il vous plait?” or something along those lines. perhaps she was tired of dealing with annoying tourists all day, but she simply nodded and gave me my ticket. the view up on the arc de triomphe was beautiful, but this tiny ‘win’ is memorable, too.
and what i’ve achieved? it’s kind of hard to explain. they’re feelings extracted from the moments. i know that i’m more capable. i think. others, too, but they’ll take time to really define. more independent? i know that i can plan in advance? and such.