From then, to now, to somewhere, sometime

27Oct10

A long time has passed since I last blogged.

At the time of my last entry, I was thousands of miles away, in London. And I was loving every waking second of it.

I spent six unbelievable weeks getting to know the city as much as humanly possible. I jumped on the Tube and got off at random stops just to see a brand new part of the city. I walked down any street or alleyway that looked like it might have had something interesting waiting around a bend. When I got back to my flat at the end of every day, I was exhausted. My feet and back were killing me. But most nights, I’d head right back out on the town, only to stay out late enough to see the Underground close for the night and have to navigate the night bus system in the early hours of the morning.

I met amazing people who made me love the city even more. I saw more great live music than I could process. I hung out with some absolutely incredible bands who deserve the world’s attention. I dove headfirst into a music scene that was miles and miles bigger than I could ever wrap my head around. I spent entire days outside, drinking strange beers at music festivals. I kicked soccer balls around with hundreds of strangers for hours upon hours.

Time was never more irrelevant in my entire life.

I took full advantage of the greatest city I have ever laid eyes on at the greatest time of year.

Before coming back over the Atlantic, I spent three days in Paris. Initially, when I couldn’t find anyone to go along with me, I scrapped the idea, even though it had been a goal of mine from the start. About half way through the six weeks, however, I realized I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t go, so I bought one round trip train ticket for my last weekend abroad. I left London from King’s Cross at 4am (trains are cheaper when if you don’t mind traveling at odd hours) and traveled for two hours, under the English Channel, arriving in Paris on a beautiful Friday morning.

Granted, I knew my high school French was going to be a little rusty, but I made a promise to myself that I would start every conversation in French and give it my best shot. And while I didn’t carry on many meaningful conversations in French, I got by. Wondering around cluelessly through Gare Du Nord station, panic started to really set in. I had come to Paris with absolutely no itinerary or schedule. I had booked no hotel reservations and had no real idea where I was going. All I had with me was a backpack and a pocket map of the city I had bought at the station. No cell phone. Nobody else. Just me and Paris.

I immediately began to doubt that my spontaneous weekend getaway would work out without any major problems. An hour later, standing in front of the towering glass pyramid entrance to the Louvre, my doubts had vanished completely. I turned around to look through the Jardin des Tuileries, straight down the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. On the horizon to the left towered the Eiffel Tower. All these sites were previously only lucid photos in books. They were Google images. And now they were right before my eyes.

This, too, could be a Google Image, but I took it.

In two and a half days in Paris, I saw everything I came to see. I ate some of the most amazing meals of my life. I took hundreds of photos. And really, I just quietly observed and took it all in. My Paris trip was the single most liberating event of my life.

The train took me back to London, where I stayed one last night, before sadly heading back to the States. One morning I woke up in Paris, the next I woke up in London and the following I woke up in Laurys Station, Pennsylvania. Talk about a change of scenery.

I came home from Europe only to start all over, back where I was before ever leaving for Temple. I’m now a college graduate, and I’ve got nothing but time. But things are different than they were four years ago. Old friends have moved on, and in a lot of ways, I’m jealous of them for that.

I’ve had time to write new music, play open mics and visit Philadelphia on a lot of weekends. All in all, I’ve been way happier than I predicted I would be. But now it feels like I’m just playing the waiting game. Waiting for the next thing that’s going to propel my life forward in some direction. And the more I sit around and wait for that to happen, the more I get scared that life is passing me by. The truth is, I know I need to get out of here, sooner rather than later.

It’s an extraordinarily uncertain time for me, and for so many other people my age. And all I can really do is wait it out.

I started this blog before I left for London, because I knew I’d have a lot to write about while I was there. And I did have plenty to write about, even though I didn’t always take the time to sit down and type it out.

Honestly, I don’t know what this blog is for anymore. I don’t have the interest or the audience to start commenting on every bit of music I hear. I’m not in a place where I can review live shows or interview bands anymore. I’ve thought about just turning it into more of a journal where I can talk about my own music and life. Maybe it’s for this kind of aimless rambling.

And if nobody ever reads it, maybe that’s OK.

But I like to write, so I should write.

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