Jaël Guest is a language enthusiast born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Currently a junior at Middle Tennessee State University, both her studies and free time are devoted to linguistics, French, Arabic, and the many other languages she dabbles in. Enraptured by our beautifully diverse world, Jaël believes in the power of education and dialogue to bring unity across cultural barriers. In the future, she hopes to work for an NGO as well as pursue a doctorate in linguistics.
I lean against the stone ledge, gazing out over the city as the embers of the setting sun heat the rooftops. Behind me, the château walls glow with orange light. The bells from the magnificent cathedral spire echo in my ears. Below, college students sprawl among the spring flowers sloping away from the château, giving way to bustling streets. Even from here, my ears catch the whispers of conversations and the chatter of distant shoppers and restaurant goers. Drinking in this image, I breathe out a profound sigh of contentment. A voice in my mind murmurs, How will you ever return after experiencing this life?
Standing atop an ancient castle at sunset, it is difficult to imagine that only a few hours later I might be curled in my bed, stricken and paralyzed while clutching my head in sheer, overwhelming anxiety.