January 6, 2017 London, United Kingdom

Uprooted: White Lace Dress + Leopard Print Rain Boots

study abroad outfit
study abroad outfit
study abroad outfit
updo medium hair french braid
study abroad outfit
Me: it's way too cold for this!
study abroad outfit
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).

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P.S. I took over the Amherst College study abroad blog for a guest post on making friends with French natives. Feel free to take a gander!

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