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inding a new home is a little bit like creating a Horcrux, minus the murder and Dark Arts. Bear with me. Once you connect with a place—be it a city, a neighborhood, a building, a bed—it inevitably becomes, in some mysterious and vital way, a part of who you are. And that really is a pretty magical experience: walking the same street a hundred times, becoming a regular at your favorite coffee shop or bookstore. Memorizing the cracks in a ceiling or recognizing the squeak of a door. Knowing exactly what your town looks, sounds and smells like at different times of the day, and in different seasons. Earning that sense of familiarity and comfort. But it’s painful, too. Because inevitably, if you have more than one place that you call home, you’re going to feel split. You’re always going to feel like a piece of you is simply not there, wandering elsewhere, thriving and pulsing without you. Most of the time, you might not even be aware that anything’s missing, until one day it strikes you without warning, and disparate, vivid

memories come flooding back. I have three homes/Horcruxes now: Los Angeles, Oberlin, Ohio, and Paris. The latter is the newest and certainly the most unexpected. I moved to France to study abroad for the spring of my junior year, and ended up staying through the summer. I really don’t want to be that person who claims to have, like, “found themselves” during their time abroad, when in reality most days were spent eating Nutella crepes, drinking 3 euro wine and rampantly posting about it all on social media. So I’ll be honest: my French-speaking level still rests somewhere between adequate and abysmal. I’ve gone to see the Mona Lisa approximately seven times (mostly under duress, but it still counts). I take pictures of the Eiffel Tower on every possible occasion and wear shorts in public. In short, I do a lot of things your average Frenchman wouldn’t be caught dead doing. I have no pretensions that I am passing for a Parisian— but I don’t want to sell myself short, either. Over the past seven months, Paris really has become

Profile for UGH Mag

UGH MAG | ISSUE 2  

Vol. 1, Issue 2

UGH MAG | ISSUE 2  

Vol. 1, Issue 2

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