Serendipitous Nostalgia

Serendipitous Nostalgia

When Matt and I studied in Lyon after our first year of law school, we shared an apartment with a Frenchman named Florent. The whole place couldn’t have been any more than 300 square feet, including the loft. Between the three of us, personal space was limited. (Arguably, it was nonexistent.) For the two months we lived there, however, we made it work.

This is relevant to the story only to demonstrate what a shoestring budget we were on. Sure, we were gallivanting around Western Europe each weekend, but every euro we saved here and there was one more we could put towards having another bottle of wine in the shadow of some old church, or having another 4:00am kebab whilst wandering around some medieval town square. What I’m saying is: we had priorities. Read More

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Take Heed of the Stormy Weather

Take Heed of the Stormy Weather

Another weekend is over. I’m on Train 175 heading back to D.C., heading back home. There’s a woman sitting across from me talking on her cellphone. “It’s okay to be scared of thunderstorms; I used to be scared of thunderstorms too,” she whispers to her son on the other side of the phone. It’s not storming here yet, but it’s spitting rain—water droplets are hugging the windows as the speed of the train forces them, against their own protest, to move along.

Now, you may or may not know that I always ask myself what I learned as a trip comes to a close and the gravity of everyday life pulls me back to the District. See, e.g., And, In the End, PAGAN KINGDOM (“I guess, this is that moment where I should talk about what I learned (or, more appropriately, what I think I learned.)”). This week was not a trip around the world, or even around the country for that matter though. Maybe I should be excused from my own self-reflection over such a short period of time lest it seemed feigned. But, I’m on a lonely train with my thoughts and a keyboard, so I think it’s worth putting thought to paper. Read More

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Is the Past a Time or a Place?

Is the Past a Time or a Place?

Is the past a time or a place? Or, so asked my half-drunk friend last Saturday, as he fought against a rising tide of nostalgia mixed with apparent depression. All I could think to offer in return is one of those unsatisfying, middle-of-the-road answers: it’s a bit of both.

See, my friend—let’s call him Steve—is stuck in a very bad place: quarter life purgatory (“QLP,” for short). And, frankly, he’s paralyzed by questions like: is he in the right job?; is he living in the right city?; is he going to die alone and unhappy?; and, most importantly, how can he get back to when he was happy? Now, all of this might be a bit melodramatic perhaps, but still, for the person pondering these questions, it is undeniably tough stuff, right? Read More

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