And, then, in addition to my feelings for France, the movie's main character is one of my favorites. A girl in love with books growing up in a small town, but dreaming of something more.
That does sound familiar.
Maybe it's just that I make friends with a certain type of people, but many of the women and girls that I know identify well with that character too. I see her in my friends, in the people that I work with, and in the students that I teach.
Right now, it is hard to remember the time when I felt like my life would never change. It seems like a long time ago that I was the girl who kept wanting more from life than the options that I saw the people around me having. I know that I am lucky because my family didn't think that what I wanted was unusual, but there are girls out there who haven't had the same encouragement that I've received from my family, my friends, and my teachers.
To all the girls dreaming of adventure in the great wide somewhere,
You will go one day.
It will happen.
Although it may seem impossible to you today while you feel stuck in your tiny little corner of the world where everything continues the same day after day, you will find a way to have your adventures one day. They may not happen quite the way that you expect, and let's be honest, in life nothing ever happens quite the way that you expect. But, if you keep your eyes open and you keep working towards it, you will find a plane, a train, a job, or an excuse that will get you there.
Don't get discouraged.
While you're waiting, don't be waiting. Don't spend your life on hold waiting for your adventures to begin before you start living. Your life is happening around you now.
Let your dreams be as wild as your imagination can run. But, enjoy where you currently are. Your starting point might not be exciting every moment but don't miss what's in front of you while you are dreaming of more. Even the smallest of places has something unique about it. If nothing else, you can wake up for the sunrises and stay up late to see the stars. That's something worth doing anywhere.
Still, don't feel bad for wanting to leave. Even if a place is good for others that doesn't mean that it has to be right for you. Maybe you'll come back in the future. Maybe not.
The fact that you don't want to stay in one place forever doesn't mean that you don't love the people or the place. If you're fortunate, the people around you will understand that your need to wander is part of the way that you are. That no matter where you started out, you would have had to go see what else is out there.
Some people are just made to live that way.
But for the moment, until you leave, enjoy where you are. Despite what you think now, you will miss that little place when you are gone.
Please know in advance that while adventures are magical and wonderful, life gets difficult and complicated and messy, and life doesn't care that you are in the middle of living your dreams. Go anyway. Because life will get difficult and complicated and messy even if you don't go.
I see you there with pictures on your walls of far-away places that you want to go and notebooks full travel lists that never stop growing. Keep dreaming and keep planning.
I know that sometimes you are afraid that you will always be dreaming and never doing, but your whole life will change one day in ways that you cannot even imagine. One day you might find yourself looking out from the top of the Eiffel Tower with a friend you've know since kindergarten, amazed that the two of you have somehow gone from afternoons on the playground to strolls through Paris. There will be days in the future when you will not be entirely sure that you are even awake because your new normal is worlds away from the life that you had for so long.
Those days will come, eventually.
Right now, it is ok that your head is in the clouds and your nose is always in a book.
You'll get your adventure in the great wide somewhere,
And that will only be the beginning.