This past Monday, classes resumed for the second semester. How can it be that already half of my European adventure has come and gone, in what seems to be the turn of a page or better yet, the click of a blog post. What is more shocking is that it is already the middle of February and the days keep fading into one another, as though they will soon become one continuous span. Looking back on the first semester and the January break, I noticed a profound change in myself. The kind of change that takes time to notice but once you do, it reveals itself in everything you do. As I put it to a friend last night, I am here in Leuven on a journey of being and a journey of becoming and I hope that is to be the reason I feel such a profound change in myself as of late.
After coming to Leuven from a few days in Madrid, I found myself in a slump. Maybe it had to do with the gloomy winter weather in Leuven or the fact that classes were looming just on the horizon and I do not know if I was ready for that to begin once again. Either way, there seemed to be a funk in the air that was bringing me along with others, down. While I planned to spend the remainder of the week in Leuven, I soon realized that I need to go somewhere and fast. What could be better for the tired soul than a spur-of the-moment jaunt to Paris. With an American comrade in tow, we booked a bus to Paris on Sunday night that would leave on Monday morning. Perhaps that seems reckless, to book an international trip the night before. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. Either way, we filled bags with clothes and fruit, destined towards the City of Light. What started as an impromptu trip to leave the quiet of Belgium remains to be one of the highlights of the term so far.
What did Paris do for me? The Answer: what it does to every person and that is it revived me with inspiration. It seems all to cliché to say "I love Paris" but there is a magic in Paris. Real magic like that contained in the pages of books that really mean something. It is no wonder that so many progressive artists, writer, poets, and playwrights passed their time in Paris, garnering inspiration from the city on the Seine. While I may not be penning the next great novel or painting a portrait to stun the world, I did drink the inspiration sprinkled over the city. inspiration I so desperately craved.
Paris showed me that I am going up, changing, progressing. As the title of this post suggests, it is a journey of being. Much like the discovery of the world through the journey of travel, there is so much self-discovery happening during travel. To be in Paris, with no agenda but to drink too many lattes and write in corner cafes, I felt different, rejuvenated. Paris ignited in me a desire to do more and to find the passions and to follow them with gusto. I want to be alive, feel alive, and be authentically myself. I'm not so sure I was authentic before this impromptu trip, but now I feel more myself than ever. It takes time to become who you truly are and who you are meant to be and I conclude that Europe and all of its wonder, is making me more myself every single day. I, for one, am excited to continue sharing my story of change and feeling alive, feeling myself.
I hope you all enjoyed this more personal post and I hope to be sharing more with you in the coming weeks!