Thursday, January 16, 2014

An Extrovert in Paris

No matter how long I live abroad, how many things I wish to desecrate about America, or how many other elements I choose to embrace from various new cultures, the one attribute I shall always appreciate from my heritage is stereotypical "American Idealism". From various pieces of literature I read, to the many people I have met in France, I always get the sense that my shining star of infinite possibility is not fully grasped by my surroundings. I lay out my future plans of love and wealth and various fames to my friends in America, and I am immediately supported by the "go get em'" spirit that accompanies any conversation I usually have. In France, I am often delivered directly with a list of reasons why my ideas are, if not preposterous, at the very least complicated and convoluted. How are you going to achieve that? Do you know why that sounds completely unattainable? How are you going to break free of the societal norms that prevent such decadent schemes? My answer??? Um duh, I live in a fairy tale world where dreams come true via sheer willpower, done and done...

Being the type of person who frequently over-thinks, over-analyzes, and generally goes over the top about most things, I am not, however, entirely irrational. I fully comprehend that there is work to be done and hurdles to be overcome. In fact, I often create such a list of exhausting tasks on the road to accomplishment, that I overwhelm my grand ideals with violent pessimism. I feel, however, that this is generally a soul-sabotaging act, bent on preventing general happiness, a well-developed forte of mine. But in an ambience of consistent introversion, I am frankly quite baffled! Almost everything I think goes into one brainwave, through my vocal chords, and out my mouth at the approximate speed of light. Currently poor and conjuring amidst the winter doldrums, I have spent many days going to class or teaching English, but going home quite a bit to toil and trouble on my own. This, I have discovered, is a terrible terrible plan. Perhaps the French enjoy their introverted attitude. It creates nuance, mystique, and seductive powers of subtlety. But I am not of a subtle race. To "go with the flow" defies my very nature with anything I sincerely care about. And swimming in the currents of my brain can rarely be a positive thing for too many hours at a time. As any true extrovert would attest, the radiant vibes of humanity are fuel for life.

These facets of personality combined with the inherent language gap can cause quite an isolating effect.  Call me chatty, call me annoying, call me American... Or call me a person who heralds emotion and expression as the reason for being human and my mantra to "Love Out Loud" as the reason for living in a city where love is so often embodied. As I frolic on the soil of Parisian thought, I reject the idea that my bright ideas can be so muddled in such a shining city of light.