Saturday, February 9, 2013

Late Thoughts

Hello, all!

It's time again. I'm back to blogging, for now anyway. I have so many things on my mind and I need to share.

So here I am again.

The thing about the hours between midnight and dawn is that I am never sure if it is morning or night. It is still nighttime, but the day approaches quickly-- especially when you are awake without a purpose, or are suffering from a sense of impending doom
(the things the day brings are not always welcome).
It's quiet, too much so if your mind is racing and you can't force yourself to relax. When your mind is brimming with thoughts and lists of
things to do
things not yet done
and misguided attempts at motivation.

The night is when I spend the most time thinking
(foolishly so because thinking strangles sleeping)
(and I am hopeless without sleep)
but the thoughts are good and sometimes inspiring and sometimes clarifying.

But it is lonely at night. The knowledge that everybody else is sleeping or off in their own mental world makes me feel lonely and isolated. At night I find myself in measures of extremes: the overly emotional girl that is brimming with love and happiness, or the girl that feels profoundly lonely. Frantically working or slowly drifting into unconsciousness. Company in the form of pixelated words on a too-bright screen, eyes straining; the light from outside through my blinds, covering my eyes to sleep.

As the evening wears on, sometimes I find myself thinking of happier things-- realizing, alone in my room, that maybe
just maybe
I am so much more than I give myself credit for.
(But sometimes I am much, much less.)
It is those moments, though,
(where I recognize that I am spectacular in ways I don't even acknowledge)
(that sounds so egotistical written out like that)
that I realize that these late nights
or mornings
are perhaps the best time because they are the most challenging.
It is in these hours that I am most critical and most emotional; where I allow myself to think about more than just mundane life for a while (before I'm sucked back into worrystressworrystressworrystressexhaustion).

I think it's time to sleep.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Aly en... Anywhere

Hello, all!

It's getting to be that timea gain, where my wanderlust sets in and I find myself dreaming of new places to explore and beginning to plan what's next.

It should come as no surprise to those of you that know me (either by reading this blog or personally know me) that I am an international studies major. At my school, this means that I have to have an "international experience", which means studying abroad for at least 6 credit hours.

I don't have any issues with the fact that I have to study abroad-- in fact, I think it's great that my program requires majors to study abroad, because I think the experience of going abroad is probably one of the most useful and necessary experiences to have as a student. Particularly in my major, it makes sense that they require it (or a similar experience).

My major worry is not how or why, but where. Having already fulfilled my dream of going to France, it seems a bit silly to try to recreate the experience or continue to lust after a country and experience that I have already had. That is not to say that it would be the same now, as a university student rather than a high schooler, but for various reasons, I probably won't be going back to France to attend classes.

So where to, if not France?

This is the dilemma I am faced with this year, as I seek out where I should go next. There are so many places in the world to see, and even though I am focusing my search on Europe (after all, France is just a short trip away from most places in Western Europe), I find myself questioning this blog most of all. If I am not "en France", as I have shaped my online identity since 2009, am I still "Aly en France"? I mean, I'm not in France now-- but I maintain this blog, my tumblr, etc., under that username/title. It works; my near-constant longing for France and nostalgia for the places I have been is a bit ridiculous, even as time passes. My heart still remains "en France", so far as I (and this blog) are concerned.

But wherever I go in the future-- should my blog still be "Aly en France"? France is not the end of my travels; it was the beginning of a lifetime of wanderlust and dreams. It is still an important part of how I perceive the world and my identity as a person. But should my blog always reflect an experience I have already had?

What do you do with a virtual space that holds so many memories and identity you have taken on when it is no longer relevant to your current life?

Do you abandon it, as I have (at least on this site) until a time when you figure it out again? Or is it not necessary for the name to reflect reality?

What if I was just "Aly en Europe" or "Aly en America" or any other combination of place? Does my current reality need to be reflected in my online presence? 

These are some of the questions I am struggling with while I do research about where would be the best place for me to go next. The challenges of international travel await, yet I am preoccupied with an issue of virtual identity, rather than the challenges of reality.

I'd love to hear what you (as a reader of this blog, however infrequent) think!

A bientôt,