Or the account of my decline into barbarism (and all of the lovely, mad people who helped me do it).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Things have gotten better, but I still feel trapped here. I've read a book a week since I returned from France, and this has proven to be very therapeutic. I find myself being very irritable lately, so I tend to keep my mouth shut. I don't want to anger anyone. I'm thinking about seeing a therapist. I need to go back to France. People continue to make their judgments, say nasty things, but they don't know anything. You've never lived there. You don't know what it's like.

This post is a convoluted mess, but I don't care. I'm going to the Bahamas in two days. Perfect. I need a vacation from my vacation.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Daily Dose

I apologize that the last few blogs have been rather depressing. But I am a writer and this is how I choose to express myself, so maybe I'm not sorry.

Thursday night I had a mental breakdown in the beer aisle at Walmart. Dylan escorted me out to my car, where we had a little chat.

As I've mentioned, I've felt depressed since I returned home. I feel that people don't quite understand me here, and some are too selfish to recognize I'm upset. I'm made to feel that I (who traveled Europe for five months and learned a second language) was the one who missed out last semester, because they tell me all the people they met and parties they've had. I am not jealous. I drank beer in Belgium and sipped wine and champagne in France, but people demean me. They make my successes seem less impressive, and I've cried almost everyday I've been home. Nobody knows how I feel except for Dylan, who's seen me spontaneously burst into tears, and Leah, who takes me out to tea weekly.

Friday night, he and I split a bottle of wine and talked about religion, toe-sucking, and broken families until 3 AM. We had seen Midnight in Paris that night at the Fine Arts Theatre and were feeling a little nostalgic, so I broke out some cheese and we sat on the patio.

Saturday, he left for his camp. He'd be gone five days. No biggie. The power had gone out in my apartment and I would be alone. When he left, I sobbed and locked myself in the bathroom. I cried by candlelight, but I could hear my boyfriend standing outside the door waiting for his girlfriend to come to. I don't know what's wrong with me. Everyday I remind myself that I'm an incredible person, but people here make me feel otherwise. I'm trying to stay strong and I've prescribed myself a daily dose of herbal tea and classic literature. It helps.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Okay, so I got super fucked up last night and woke up with a red wine/coconut vodka hangover after falling down a flight of stairs and ending up at Waffle House at 2 AM. Yesterday I was super depressed because Asheville felt foreign to me. Everything had changed and I felt distant from my once-close friends. I'm left out of plans since I'm not twenty-one, and I'm lonely. I miss France and am not adapting well to America. It's all just a part of culture shock, I suppose, but things are better now.

Leah, who visited me in Bordeaux, took me to a tea cafe downtown called Dobra's. It reminded me of why I love this city so much. The cafe was dark with a Moroccan theme and there was a lounge in the back where you could remove your shoes and sit on the floor. Being a newly-proclaimed tea addict, I loved the place.

Leah and I talked for almost two hours and I started to feel better about being home. She studied abroad in London so she understands that it's difficult to become adjusted to American university life again. And, more importantly, she understands the importance of the cafe culture. This is one of my favorite things about France. They take time out of their schedules to waste time in cafes with their friends. It's good for the soul. And after our chat, I felt so much better. I really am French in the sense that when I don't have my cafe/bff time, I get depressed.

Now I'm waiting for Michelle to come home so we can eat dinner together and catch up. I'm starting to fall back in love with Asheville, it's just a strange adjustment.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Loneliest Country on Earth

I guess it's about time to get back to this. My French blog is finished, and I must admit that it was easier to write when I had a large audience.

I've been home for about a week now and I'm feeling lonely. No one is ever at home anymore. My dad has a new girlfriend and he spends most of his day with her. My brother and sister have their friends, but I am alone in the mountains. I'm heading up to Asheville tomorrow because I can't stand to be here in this empty house. Though my roommates have class until 4 everyday, I can look forward to talking to them after that. Dylan's in Atlanta, so I won't see him until Thursday afternoon.

Today I reinstated my vegetarianism and self-deprivation tactics in a vain attempt to feel beautiful. Such a futile cause.

Sometimes I really hate this place. The culture here is so cold, so individualistic. I'm constantly being pushed out of restaurants, rushed to the next errand or chore, because time is money and money is time and we all have to get ahead. Jesus, doesn't anybody live anymore?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday the weather betrayed my emotions. I suppose this is good. I wouldn't have made it home if the skies were grey, intensifying my sorrow. All day I denied that eventually the sun would set and I would have to say goodbye to Dylan. I went to his band practice, then watched him play football with his best friends. I sat in the mud and watched him while dogs pounced on me.

At the apartment, I clutched his shirt and sobbed for hours. I couldn't fathom that we only had an hour and then we would be separated for four months. I was a mess, covered in dog hair, mud, tears, and not having taken a shower. I wept so hard that I became ill. I couldn't leave him and I didn't want to drive back to Tennessee in an empty car. I couldn't do it. I called my father and he immediately gathered my sister and her boyfriend and drove up to Asheville to escort me home.

Honestly, leaving Dylan was the hardest part. If we had never met, I think I'd be okay now. But I can't eat for the pain. It's a deep, gaping wound to know everyone I love will be an ocean away. I'm so terrified. I just want to be settled and make friends. Then it will be okay. But this is the hardest part.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Because I Love You

I have the ability to ruin perfect moments. The other night I laid sobbing on Dylan's bed. I had a belly full of Waffle House and Absolut and when Dylan begged to know what was wrong, I shouted, "Because I love you!" The next day I hated myself. How could I have tainted such a beautiful moment? I should have waited.

But Dylan said, "You know, maybe that's how it was supposed to happen. Every moment has its little imperfections. But don't beat yourself up. We have had some pretty special nights."

And that's when I began to think about all of those perfect moments. It may not have been the first time I said, "I love you" or any other significant milestone in a relationship, but they were incredible nonetheless. These moments were as small as slow dancing in the kitchen or baking lumpy sugar cookies at midnight or waking up every morning and discovering new ways to make pancakes.

I always get wrapped up in the big moments, because society tells us they should happen a certain way. But the compilation of the small, beautiful, tender moments are all that matters, because who determines if the sun pours through the window panes at a certain angle or whether the sky is blue that day or if some sparkly classical music is playing in the background? And who cares? All I know is that he's the first boy to make me cry tears of joy and, hey, I love 'im.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bon Voyage

Last night was the Bon Voyage party for Pete, Taylor, John, and me. The boys are leaving for England this weekend and this was one final bash to send them off.

As soon as I walked in (two shots in), John screamed, "Gabi, I missed you so much when I was in Michigan!!" and picked me up. I took my Wendy's Diet Coke and made Dylan pour Bacardi in it. The entire night I'm carried around a container of lime juice to chase the rum. I squirted it into people's mouths/drinks.

Then I approached some random guy and asked, "Hey, HEY, do you like French girls?"

"Shaven or unshaven?"

"Whatever you like. I'll UPS some to you, k?"

" about FedEx?"

So the rest of the night I'm offering to be everyone's wing girl. Taylor came into the party late because he was busy fucking some girl in his car.

"She's in community college." Stephanie told me with disdain. Pete said he doesn't have the heart to tell him she's not pretty.

John put his arm around me. I said I'd be his wing girl too, but he said he was happy with his French/Italian girl. Uh, sir, one arm is around you and the other is around my boyfriend. This is why relationships scare me so. I'm just too much of a flirt.

I had to get up this morning at 6 AM for an appointment with the TMJ specialist in Johnson City, so by 12:30 I knew it was time to go. However, I knew this would be the last time I saw Pete and saying goodbye was excruciating. I started weeping and told Dylan to go grab Pete because I was too drunk to walk over. Pete was slammed and falling on top of me. I yelled for someone to help as this 200 lb. boy rested his weight on my petite figure. He was slurring his speech so I couldn't understand anything he was saying. All I got was, "Gabi, I will do whatever you want."

I sobbed as I said goodbye and promised to meet up with Pete in Europe. He assured me he'd see me in about a month and told me how much he loved me. Then he grabbed me and attempted to walk down the hall, however he couldn't keep his balance and we both fell to the floor, laughing.

I cried the entire ride home and then made Dylan feed me kettle chips and pretzels. The next morning I was up and ready to go. I watched the sunrise over the mountains as I drove, and I was okay.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pancakes and Happiness

Last night Dylan and I made double chocolate chip banana pancakes for dinner. It was one of those marvelous days where I thought, I couldn't be happier. I had received a reply from my French host family, which consists of a schoolteacher, a father in the "trade of heifer", a 21-year-old girl who studied abroad in Scotland, and a 15-year-old boy who's studying to become a pastry chef.

When I told my mother about the family, she said, "Wait until that boy sees how gorgeous you are. God, he's going to go crazy!"

Ehh, I have an American boyfriend. And I am so happy. I honestly feel like I'm weightless. I have no responsibilities for the next month. I'm just hanging around the apartment, cooking for my boyfriend who thinks Bertolli is gourmet Italian, and enjoying my last few weeks with my roommates. Laughter, sleep, and sugar. It's all so, so good.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Twenty Eleven

What a coincidence to be blogging right now. I remember my New Year's resolution for 2010 was to begin this blog and update it three times weekly. I'm feeling nostalgic so perhaps I'll rewind and read it from the beginning. It'd be neat to chart my progress (or regression) throughout 2010.

Anyways, I leave for France in thirty days. THIRTY DAYS. I'm still a little anxious about my trip. My French mother has yet to email me back saying that she'll pick me up at the train station, and my visa hasn't arrived. But right now I'm just trying to enjoy the moments I'll miss when I'm gone. You know, like baking cookies with Michelle and Dylan during exam week, ordering pizza with my roomies on snow days, and drunkenly kissing my girlfriends when I've had one too many screwdrivers.

It's all a little overwhelming, and my heart aches at the thought of going. Things in Asheville have been going so well and it seems unfair to have to leave it all behind. It's okay, I keep telling myself. I'll be back. I will. I will. I will.