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This Strange Summer

I had plans for the summer. I was going to solve all the issues my family is facing, then relax, write a manuscript or two, work as usual, be the perfect mother and spend some quality time with Feng.

Holy shit, I’m exhausted—and not from accomplishing any of the above-mentioned tasks.

I failed. I didn’t solve anything and I absorbed emotions. Now I’m stressed out too and I feel completely powerless. Any shrink worth his salt would probably ask for €100/hour to remind me I’m not in charge of my parents and other relatives and I’m not responsible for solving issues I’m not even directly involved in. But nonetheless, I feel it’s my duty to do so—and for my own peace of mind, I like to know my loved ones are doing okay.

I resent the fact that I’m technically the child and I end up parenting my parents and older relatives. I wanted to feel loved, safe and supported. Everything is changing too fast and it looks like my French world is shattering.

Certain things will never go back the way they used to be and they could go either way—worse or better.

“How are you dealing with this?” I asked my younger brother this week.

“I don’t think I am dealing with it,” he replied. “I try to… make sense out of all the information, prioritize issues. I step back and avoid thinking about it. And in case of emergency, I’m closer than you—a two-hour train ride.”

“Is the situation… I mean, are the situations, plural, stressing you out as well?” I asked my younger sister earlier this summer.

She lit up a cigarette. “Yeah.”

“And…?”

She shrugged and rolled another cigarette.

Clearly, none of us found the perfect way to handle stress.

I cried a few times this summer, mostly at awfully inconvenient time, like at the dinner table—even though we were among adults, I couldn’t help wondering if there was an adult in the room.

Do you ever feel like absolutely no one has any idea how to deal with life and we’re all making it up as we go along? Do you find it as terrifying as I do?

There were plenty of happy moments, though. We laughed, we had fun in Paris, we spent time together and I did disconnect from work.

It was worth it, in the end.

Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery, Quai de la Fosse, Nantes
Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery, Quai de la Fosse, Nantes
Titan Crane, Île de Nantes
Titan Crane, Île de Nantes
Grey crane, Île de Nantes
Grey crane, Île de Nantes
Saint-Anne from Trentemoult
Saint-Anne from Trentemoult
Place des Filets, Trentemoult
Place des Filets, Trentemoult
Crossing the Loire River from Trentemoult to Nantes
Crossing the Loire River from Trentemoult to Nantes
Crossing the Loire River from Trentemoult to Nantes
Crossing the Loire River from Trentemoult to Nantes
Crossing the Loire River from Trentemoult to Nantes
Crossing the Loire River from Trentemoult to Nantes
Crossing the Loire River from Trentemoult to Nantes
Crossing the Loire River from Trentemoult to Nantes
Crossing the Loire River from Trentemoult to Nantes
Crossing the Loire River from Trentemoult to Nantes
Crossing the Loire River from Trentemoult to Nantes
Crossing the Loire River from Trentemoult to Nantes
Crossing the Loire River from Trentemoult to Nantes
Crossing the Loire River from Trentemoult to Nantes
Rue de la Marne, Nantes
Rue de la Marne, Nantes
Rue de la Fosse, Nantes
Rue de la Fosse, Nantes
Place de la Bourse, Nantes
Place de la Bourse, Nantes
Quai des Antilles, Île de Nantes
Quai des Antilles, Île de Nantes
Quai des Antilles, Île de Nantes
Quai des Antilles, Île de Nantes
Quai des Antilles, Île de Nantes
Quai des Antilles, Île de Nantes
Quai des Antilles, Île de Nantes
Quai des Antilles, Île de Nantes
Quai des Antilles, Île de Nantes
Quai des Antilles, Île de Nantes
Quai des Antilles, Île de Nantes
Quai des Antilles, Île de Nantes
Quai des Antilles, Île de Nantes
Quai des Antilles, Île de Nantes
Quai Président Wilson, Île de Nantes
Quai Président Wilson, Île de Nantes
Quai Président Wilson, Île de Nantes
Quai Président Wilson, Île de Nantes
Château des Ducs de Bretagne, Nantes
Château des Ducs de Bretagne, Nantes

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