Summer of Literary conferences
My travels to Europe this summer for the F Scott Fitzgerald conference in Toulouse, France and the TS Eliot Summer School in London, England were so surreal that I can scarcely believe that it wasn't just a dream. A year ago, I never would have imagined that I would have been in Europe, and furthermore, I never would have imagined that I would have been in Europe learning about what I am passionate about.
Literature has provided me with a sense of meaning that I would have been utterly devoid of otherwise, and this has saved my life in a variety of different ways that I cannot completely fathom. It is for this very reason that it was an immensely humbling and validating experience to be constantly surrounded by scholars and fellow students at both the conference and summer school who shared a similar passion. It was humbling in the sense that the extent of their knowledge on a wide range of subjects such as politics, philosophy, and of course, literature, revealed how much I still need to learn. It was validating, however, precisely because the experience afforded me a greater insight into how much there is to learn, and how a deeper appreciation for literature can be realized through the pursuit of knowledge.
The four hour train rides and eight hour flights could be quite daunting (though, admittedly, Delta Airlines won me over with their complimentary beverages and blues playlists), but it was worth every single second. Not only would I do it all again in a heartbeat, but I eagerly anticipate the next opportunity to travel again so that I may acquire a deeper love and understanding for the literature which has provided me with a purpose in my life for which I am eternally grateful for.