Temporary Fulfilment

Sunshine State of Mind

Stephanie Hempel

The year is two thousand and sixteen. The Earth has not yet fallen to pieces even though violence has wrapped its untimely grip around the human core.

The people who have decided themselves fit to govern the United States are more concerned about tearing down each other than building up any stability.

People spend all day pecking tiny boxes of artificial light like furious chickens trying to capture the essence of what the invisible interface promises.

I am not thrilled that this is the era I will begin my professional life in. The month of May provides a feeling of impending doom because I know after that I will have to find a new safety net to curl up in.

Wayne State is great at providing a home for some of the best people around, friends, professors, inspirations that I never really want to leave.

Unfortunately, life itself is only temporary, and this thought alone makes me think of my time in France.

Temporary. Fulfilling.

After my semester abroad, I took Derek Pufahl (a few of you might know him) by the hand and dragged him through the tracks of my childhood dream of seeing some of the world’s greatest marvels.

Four days were spent driving an overpriced rental car through France exploring a world neither one of us could believe actually existed. I recorded our adventures, theories and lessons on my tiny glowing screen. The invisible interface saw my photographs yet I felt an intertwining satisfaction of disconnect from the boundaries set by American culture and society.
I studied everyone around me roaming the streets, slinging beautiful French curses out their windows, marveling over small cups of coffee with fresh bread at the littered streets.

They are still stuck in my mind like emblems of art work, bright reds and dark blues, romantic notions that captivate a writer’s mind.

The desire in my bones encouraged me to reach out and teach these random strangers. I held an overwhelming desire to show them that not all Americans dance the same way.

The flight home was hard on this dream.

I am not an education major, I am not an organized person, I am not good at birthing a consecutive conversation. I don’t know what I am doing. I don’t know what I want to do.

Signing up for some education classes this semester seemed fitting, as well as applications for teaching abroad next year. Currently I stick out in these courses dramatically, but I’m molding my mind to accommodate this standard.

The only validation a person needs is from themselves and that arguably is one of the hardest things to achieve. I keep poems about the Eiffel Tower in my head to remind me why I keep trying in the year two thousand and sixteen when the world is as violent as it has been for all of human history and my iPhone needs an update.