Me: it's way too cold for this!
Cardigan, Forever 21 | Dress, Kohl's | Button down, thrifted (in Bordeaux!) | Boots, China
I miss it already.
My voice sounds foreign as I converse with the sea of new faces in this new place. It sounds harsher, more confident, oddly-resonant. It doesn't sound like mine.
My English-speaking persona is dusty after four months on the back shelf. It's been idle, tidily packed away in the cupboard, brought out only for special occasions--the weekly skype session with family, the peppering of linguistic exchanges, the haphazard run-ins with lost American tourists.
As the dust falls away, I should feel more like myself. But instead, I feel disoriented.
As my American voice regains strength, I feel my French voice fading away. When a French couple joined my table at an open-air market, I happy-danced in my head, eagerly (and probably awkwardly) struck up a conversation, and promptly became appalled at my clumsier-than-usual pronunciation.
I find myself reminiscing over photos, rereading old blog posts. I wonder how my Bordeaux friends are doing. I complain about British wine quality (that mulled wine/vin chaud in yesterday's pub...oof, definitely have had better). I gush about my semester in France to my new study abroad program friends (though as judiciously as possible, since I dread becoming that annoying girl).
I dream already of excuses to return. The French language has become a luxury again, rather than a necessity. I still play my French versions of American pop hits while I work. I've taken to watching a daily episode of a hilarious French vlog (for purely lingustic purposes, you know). I changed my Bible app language to French so I could kill two birds with one stone. I even rethink the day's conversations in French and mutter under my breath in imaginary French dialogue.
Basically, I've gone even more insane. Language is such an integral part of identity--France has changed me, and I don't want to lose who I've become.
But England is my now, and Oxford will soon be my reality. I will embrace this wild ride of continuous transformation. And of course, I'll keep nurturing the resonant voices that thirst to grow stronger (okay, I'm going to sign off before I begin to sound seriously deranged).