So it’s been a while

I feel like a different person since the last time I wrote this blog. In the meantime, I’ve travelled to India on a spiritual quest, thought I would convert to Buddhism and then pretty much decided against it after calling on Jesus and letting myself be guided by the maxim “we walk by faith and not by sight,” in my time of need, stayed with a Muslim family in Srinagar, camped out in the mountains of Kashmir for five days, learned to sit on the floor instead of  on chairs, caught a parasite, drank from mountain streams, was violently ill very far from home, came to quesetion the valeu of travel, and finally took the last few steps out of depression and witnessed the death of the voice of self sabotage in my head. I also realized I would like to have a family, that is, children of my own some day, and I am on the right career track, no major transformation needed at this time, and just how grateful I am for my little life here in Paris.

I am not sure if I am going to keep up on this blog. I thinjk I really should start a new one perhaps and be much more serious about it, whereas this has captured my musings and word vomit from a very confusing time of my life. Now I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I truly believe the worst has passed. I feel in some ways like I am back to my old self.

Another thing I believed I have learned is that suffering is not necessarily helpful or necessary in the quest for personal growth and to realize life’s truths. It is not something we should seek out, and we don[t need to constantly put ourselves in the most uncomfortable positions in order to grow and realize things. And sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with staying on the tourist track and just enjoying yourself. Another thing I realized is how much I want to walk through life with other people beside me, and that includes travelling with friends not just desperation for a relationship.

And travel isn’t necessarily the gateway to greater happiness or understanding, and a life of nomadism, at this time, is not what I really want. I want to be happy in Paris and stay in a corporate kind of job. At the present time I want to be a leader of an organization, not a full time freelancer. I want to go to CrossFit and do hiking etc regularly, but I odn’t need to go live in the mountains. I want to write, and take it seriously, and hopefully even earn money from it, but I want my career to give me the opportunity to be a leader and make strategic decisions, not just communicate the choices of other people.

I want to make really good money, both in my regular job and when my first book flies off the shelves. Having money gives more freedom and choices, and means I can help people more and enjoy my life more, there is nothing wrong with that. I want to own an appartment in Paris. I want to be able to help my family and to spend money for adventure activities on holiday. I want to have money in the bank that I can fall back on. I want to pay off all my debts including my student loans. I want to accumulate wealth. Someday I want to have a million dollars in the bank, why not?

And I want to spend money wisely and save it. I want to deal with the present realities of my financial situation without borrowing from my future self. I don’t want to be alarmed when I look at my bank balance. I want to know that even in the case of an unexpected expense I have enough and then some to stay in the black. I want to have a bit of cushion so even if I don’t transfer money to the US on the right day there will still be plenty to pay my monthly bills.

And yes, I do want love but I think I need to let it go in order to receive it. First of all, I need to stop making compromises before a relationship even starts. I need to go for guys I’m really excited about, even if I’m afraid they will reject me. I need to go for guys who are completely crazy about me and make me feel special. I need to just have fun and not worry too much about the end result but yeah, I need to go out with guys I am really attracted to, on all levels! I need to stop settling. I need to know that I deserve to get what I want.

In terms of my health, I don’t want to be obsessed with my weight, but I want to take care of myself. I want to live a long and healthy life where I can do adventure sports even when I am retired, and that includes not putting too much strain on my body by being significiantly overweight. I need to love my body as it is and appreciate its strength, and maybe not pay too much information to the number on the scale but really focus on my fitness and all that my body can do. Health is so important and my daily choices need to reflect how much I value it.

In short, it’s time to stop playing small and to dream, think, plan, and act big. It’s time to create the life I really want, understanding that it’s not a big transformation or a change of place or career that will give me satisfaction, it’s doing the absolute best I can going after what I want in my current situation, which I do already really like and is a solid foundation. It’s about trusting my intuition and allowing myself to be and do my best. It’s about taking one step up the mountain at the time and believing in myself that I am going to reach the top, and having the everyday courage to face the things I fear.

Good luck to you all in your endeavors.

MJ

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What it means to write your own story

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Five years and one day ago, I moved to Philadelphia to begin business school. I had been interning in DC, and I envisioned having a career that touched on public service or at least public affairs. I had met a man that I thought would be the love of my life, who would fit into my family, religion, sense of humor, even though inconveniently he hadn’t wanted to pursue a long distance relationship and showed some signs of bro-iness I didn’t love.

I remember moving into the apartment hotel where I would stay for six weeks before moving again to Paris, where I would study for four months before returning. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by the much greater work experience of everyone there, and the stark contrast between my life as an English teaching assistant in the French countryside and an intern paid just a bit more than my rent, and my experience-seeking, idealistic, slightly do gooder self compared to the seemingly cold nad corporate world I was about to enter, which had never held a lot of interest for me. And yet, my greatest mentor had suggested to me to come to business school, I applied to programs with a connection to France, and was accepted with a large scholarship. I was the second youngest and the least experienced of anyone in my group, and I had never held a full time permanent professional job, but perhaps I was also the bravest and most open.

A few weeks into the program at Philly, just before going to France, there was a cocktail party, as is often the case in business school, and we talked about where we would end up after. I said Washington DC was my home, I had never felt better anywhere, and I had a strong conviction I would return to live the life I’d planned and this was just a last taste of France before becoming a real adult.

Within a month of uttering those words, I was deeply in love with Paris, despite having visited it several times before without forming any great attachment. I felt truly at home and like I belonged for the first time in my life, and I nearly left the program to stay there and just get a French degree. I didn’t take that leap of faith, and was plunged into a crisis of whether I had completely abandoned my ideals, and what those ideals were, as I found myself in America feeling like a misfit more than I ever had before, going to school with people who did not see the world in at all the same way as i did, which made me fear for finding my professional path through business.

About a year later, I returned to DC and it was just a ghost of the city I had left, feeling both provincial yet oddly particular in its obsession with politics, which I at that point realised are not the center of the world for the vast majority of its citizens. I got a job offer in NYC to work for a think tank dedicated to studying corporate responsibility and globalization, but I turned it down, because I wanted to continue the search for something to bring me to Paris.

I was willing to take anything, even another crappy English teacher job.

Out of nowhere, an offer to work with a blue chip French company came along, and I took it.  It took six months to get the visa and I seriously considered abandoning the offer.

But I wasn’t happy. I thought of leaving. All my friends had gone and I never saw the boyfriend I had during study abroad. My best American friend seemed like a bit of a lost soul, and I continued to wonder if something was wrong with me for wanting to live outside of where I was supposed to, for rejecting my country and abandoning my family, and not being the person I planned on being. My mom made it really clear she was not a fan of the move, although she supported me, and I lost yet another cherished role- dutiful daughter.

It took me a long, long time to finally come back to the surface, and I”m almost there now. Depression is no joke. Therapy is the best investment I’ve ever made. And through it all, I’ve struggled to be my best self, because I wasn’t sure of who that was or if I was truly the second string player I believed myself to be.

In short, I’ve been afraid of my greatness, and it hasn’t been pretty. I have made a lot of mistakes along the way. Depression has colored many memories that had all the elements to be beautiful and enjoyable at the time. And yet, it was my human experience.

The feeling of losing my ground as Buddhists say really affected me. I am not the person I planned to be, and my greatest fear has been the changeable nature of myself and my desires, and the fear that everything I worked for was in vain.

This journey has taken me a long way and will take me farther yet. On Friday I’m going back to India, which was one of my dream destinations that I really enjoyed during business school. I am going in large part to decide whether I want to commit to the path of Buddhism.

Something of my Catholic self remains, and the Sermon on the Mount is engraved upon my soul, and I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. And yet, I don’t know if I can pretend to go along with the Catholic hierarchy anymore, and to what extent i want to remain culturally Catholic. Can resurrection and reincarnation cohabit? I don’t know, although I can say I’m pretty sure my beef is not with Jesus.

In the meantime, I’ve come a long way from sub clinical anorexia/compulsive dieting as a teenager to binge eating as an adult to CrossFitter, sometimes with or without the overeating, binge eating, and emotional eating issues. But now, I am an athlete, that’s for sure, and i want to be healthy, I want things for my own good.

Through all this, I have pondered every road not taken, and tortured myself with what ifs. If I had become a teacher, if I had stayed in the US, if I had become a digital nomad blogger person, anything and everything. It’s just this week I put the digital nomad dream to rest. I want to travel, but I also want to build a home in France, and my current job allows me to do that. And that’s why I haven’t taken any real steps in that direction, despite a bit of talk. Yes, I would like to hav ea travel blog and all, but it doesn’t have to replace my daily life. I don’t see it with rose colored glasses anymore. Same with taking a long pause from work. It could change something, but I dont’ think th echange I need is so dramatic.

The change I need is just to take care of myself, eat well, sleep well, work well, have friends, have lovers, and hopefully find my one steady boy someday. And continue to travel! Just keep grinding and moving and dancing to the beat of my drummer, who did not indeed lead me astray.

so today I have to clean my apartment, wash clothes, and get ready for India. I have to breka through the mess I’ve creaed because I couldn’t deal with the pain from all the unfounded regrests and all the fears.

Throughout it all, I have to say my desire to find love has not wavered. And my faith is slowly coming back.

For the past few years, I have felt a victim of change, and my shifting desires.

But now I know, I am the one writing the story- not in charge of everything that happens to or for me, and many thngs are out of my control. But I wrote this story, and I do have the life I want most of the time. It’s not radical change, just a shift in perspective that is needed. There’s no where I would rather be…

And so dear readers, wish me luck !

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The monster that isn’t in the closet

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so I’ve been pretty afraid to try my best at things, because that has often been linked to rebound eating, hunger, bingeing and overdoing whatever behavior it was that I was trying to curb when my inner self destruction, mean girl, inner critic, what have you, Demon of Low Self-Worth appears on the scene and ruins whatever I was trying to create.

This feels deceptively like a very authentic part of me, like something that is fighting for the real Megan to come through, to be loved for her faults/with her faults in a way. It is deceptively human, and humanizing. I think, I deserve to be loved for not being perfect, I deserve to not be perfect, and I deserve to indulge myself. loving becomes indulging and is more about giving in to impulses, especially when they are ill-considered and unlikely to actualy satisfy true need.

Like sure, have that hamburger. If you give yourself what you want, you will be happy and authentic. If you do something you don’t want to  get a result you claim to want, you are a cold bitch Machiellian, so eat the goddamn sandwich or next time i will get you with a dozen cookies two sandwiches and a bread bowl.

I have long, lonve feared this part of me. Because this part of me is what gave me limits, and comfort.

But i didn’t want to let it go, it felt too much like home. Not that my family isn’t proud of me in their way, but they are people who have built their lives with trying to be happy with what they have and mostly focusing on relationships, friendly and in their marraiges.

so what I am doing is completely authentic , to leave, and not even for a relationship, which also wouldn’t have been tolerated from me since my role in the family these days is badass independent woman adventurer- is she selfish or just fearless?

does she even really love us?

She only sees us once or twice a year but she always finds the money to travel.  When we’re gone, then she’ll regret it but i wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

But i’m a dutiiful daughter and that didn’t happen to me, guess there was some perks of staying at home.

No wonder she can’t find a man if she’s always traveling and never stays in one place. SHe cares too much about her career.  Acually she doesn’t care enough, all she cares about is travel, and what is that but an escape- where is she escaping to, isn’t France enough?

 

She was always the strange one anyway- that’s why she fits in so well with the frogs.

It makes me sad that i think people do sometimes thin this way about me, and even more sad that I can particularly

remember the instances of some of the above coming out of someone I respects male. Ouch, that hurt.

No wonder I don’t want to go back, and I”m not sure if I want to go home for Christmas.

But I do because I love them and they love me, and a lot of this is just my inner critic talking- who they did in fact help create, much as they will say I always had that “drive” and they didn’t expect anything great out of me.

But they did, I think, and this life while fun to tell the neighbors about is not what they expected. Oh well, sucks for tehme.

 

As for me,  know I do well enough in the making people jealous of my life contest.

Because I don’t give a fuck anymore.

My childhood babysitter says I’m not the little girl she used to take to the library- now I’m out traveling the world. I”m ure no one would have seen me doing it, least of all me.

I feel like I’m speaking out of turn, too much about me, too much about what’s importat to me than what category I fit into, and if I’ve checked the boxes, and if there can be some schaden frude about the fact that I, while living a prety authentic life ahat I really enjoy, have not crossed off all the milestones yet

 

ANd I will sometime. That I feel pretty confident abou , because it is a part of what I desire. A part.

Maybe f I was a full time traveller I wouldn’t like it as much.

 

I am happy that i’ve been going on quests of my own now, rathe rthan just oging to see something that didnt know what I wanted.

 

But anyway, back to the demon.

The demon is the tempestuous God outstairs who bangs the broom on their celing to disturb me when I”m having sex, or a moments peace.

That’s just how it is.

But no more.

There is no more reason to be afraid of the demon than there is to be afraid of the monster in the closet.

But you will continue to be afraid of the monster in the closet unless you can see that it’s not real.

Like the creatures in M N Shaymalan’s the Village.

When you are loved by people, and truly taken care of, it helps light back up the star within you. And I’m not talking about validation, I’m talking about love, the kind of love that can be tough and adjust you back on your right path. The love of a coach or teacher, not a sycophant, not a positive affirmations specialist, not that person taht doesn’t respect or care for you enough to tell the truth. More than likely this person will witness both good and bad things about you, and will reassure you you that you are only human and it’s ok, and you are still worthy of effort and love.

And little by little, your spark will be reignited, and you will start to be shiny.

And only by your own lifht, which it might take months and years to grow, will you see that there never has been anything in the closet–

That when you came out of the closet of your own making, of your limitations others false beliefs and iill intetions imposed on you, the revenge of the weak amongst the strong, the resentment that causes you to write a song like Jenny from the Block because your success threatens everyone around you, especially if they have helped you on your path. It stings, and if they are not entirely happy with the life they lived and they lacked the courage to live the one they wanted, which more or less might resemble yours.

And love is making love in the light of a dying fire, of being together in a rough corrugated metal shack, two souls in the middle of no where, just feelign each other.

And love is when you have to trat yourself better than you have ever treated yourself, because someone believes in you and has invested in you.

And you know, because of them, that you really deserve it. And you don’t do it for them, you really truly do it for you. And that’s a reason.

You stop wanting to change the world adn start wanting to live your life. You stop grasping for control and want freedom more than power.

And that my friends’ is how to tame the green eyed monsters, inside and out, wherever they may be.

 

Pssst turn on the light.

PS and maybe it’s all called into being by dualism, and the beleif there has to be an eternal battle of dark and night, live and sun. And es, all is well.

 

Best,

MJ

 

The day I figured out what life is really all about

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Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall inherit the (truth) earth.  Beatitudes

Today filled with hope I read a blog post about an Indian woman who has chosen to live without a permanent physical home and to change countries and or beds every few weeks or months, and to own just a bit more than what fits in her backpack.

It sounded paradiasical to me, like that feeling of freedom I have been craving. And she makes her living travel blogging and other entrepreneurial stuff. Living life completely on her own terms, within the limits of the material resources available to her.

The past few weeks have been tough for me. I have been considering looking for another job, which has been the only really stable thing in my life for the past three years, and for better or for worse has been my rock, the only thing that hasn’t changed. It’s the only full time job I’ve ever held for more than 7 months.

I also know I have to find a new apartment because my landlady wants to sell the one I have, which caused me such anguish I almost wanted to move heaven and earth to buy it. It is the only place I have lived as an adult for longer than 15-16 months, the only bed I’ve slept in that long besides the one at my parents’ house. It came furnished and it’s not really my stuff, but man, it does feel like home and I am so happy when I see my metro station.

And then, I had that special feeling of loving my life in the transient moment that I had when I was a student here. I guess that’s the official moment my depression ended. Boy, I was happy, and felt like I was home, and meant to stay, although I had perhaps in the back of  my awareness i would have to leave my apartment in the next year.

This after a gym session that had left me entirely wiped but so grateful for the community and for the fact that finally, for the first time in my 28 years, I no longer feel ashamed of my body, I’m proud of it as it is today, Which doesn’t mean I won’t try to get healthier and fitter, but it does mean I can be genuinely happy for myself and where I am and how far i’ve come.

About four years ago my first trip to India had already taken place, and I was still missing Paris and my boyfriend and depressed I gave up a once in a lifetime opportunity to live in Paris. I also filled in my visa request truly believing i’d never get antoher chance to get to india. And now, four years later, i can’t wait to go to India, and leave paris for a little while.  In fact there are times when I wonder if I will leave of my own accord one of these days.

But then, today, it just hit me so hard. Yes, I love my little routines, my favorite lebanese sandwich place, the bookstores i particularly love to browse in, all of it. And the idea of being a digital nomad and leaving it all behind just hurt. Working for the amazing company i work for, i have a fair bit of vacation time and in a few short years, I could go to many of the places on my ever expanding bucket list.

And yes, living in Paris has given me a taste for remote places close to nature and traditional culture which I never preferred before living in the world’s greatest city. I do vacation in Paris’ opposite in a way, and yet, it doesn’t mean I love Paris any less. Nor does the fact I love where I live diminish my wanderlust. For a time, I truly believed it would go away as I got happier, but as the case has occured, it seems to have only gotten stronger. As I fantasized about taking a year off, or even three weeks, i realized just how muh I would deeply miss paris. Not that it’s not a reason for doing it, but that yes, I have more reaosn to  stay than perhaps I really imagined, and they are very salient ones I migh tnot have realized before.

So anyway I finally realized that life is the train and not the station, and buying a piece of property to save myself from moving house a million times and an attempt at premature identity closure, is not such a great idea or a particularly helpful one. Life will continue to change, and that’s a good thing!

I dont even necessarily need a cabin in the mountains to call my own in retirement, but even if I did have one, it wouldn’t matter. Life is the train and not the station.

Everythign we have is on loan. One day, we will all be called in to give up all that we have ever known and acquired, every accomplishment, every love. Not of it can be sure ot make it past the grave, al the physical achivements even more so. all we have is our fleeting, ephemeral memories, but then, that’s gone to- and all anyone ever had was the present moment. And that’s all any of us will ever have, despite all our plans, dreams, and schemes. Really.

So I don’t need to sell all my belongings or give them to good will, give up my stable job for a freelance lifestyle, choose not to marry or date in a commitment relation ship because people are never truly owned.

I can appreciate the things that are on lend, and I can share them with others. I hcan share my stories, I can share what I think of what you study, to an extent.

I have my stories, for the mmoment, while memory is kind.

And even if I commit them to hard drive someone in fifty years or so will be charmed by how quaint things were back in the day, My memories doesn’t have to be my prison. I can walk freely, freely.

And now the point of all of us s that life is sweet.

And we are just here from the party, and aftterward we don’t know how we are getting home.

Love you all

 

Hello again world! From a new computer :)

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So I finally made the investment and got a new laptop as my old one wasn’t very portable.

I’m so happy to have this new tool to facilitate my writing life.

and so grateful to you beautiful people, I’m so happy to know that the messages i throw out in a bottle arrive somewhere and sometimes even speak to someone.

A virtual toast-

A la votre, et a l’art.

Gros bisous

Namaste

MJ

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I don’t think love will be neat and clean-edged, a bingo game,

crying out to Wheel of Fortune that you’ve solved the puzzle,

no neat Monopoly pass go and collect 200.

 

I think it will be sweet, not quite so cruel as nature-

But a force too sttrong to understand, nonetheless.

 

I don’t think he will always make me happy

but he will mostly try.

I don’t think I will always be his dream come true,

but I will support him.

 

I don’t think we will have everythign in common

But he’ll be my best friend anyway.

 

Maybe I won’t tell him all my secrets-

but he’ll guess them, and forget them,

And love me in all my splendour, not blindly.

 

Maybe i won’t know rom teh first time I hold his hand

That he’s meant to me mine,

or that we will always be happy.

 

But I think I will always want him laying next to me,

And that migh tbe all I need to know.

Neither flowers nor birdsong

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Maybe love is not a walk in the park

On a summer’s warm bright sunny day.

 

Maybe it is a hurricane

That makes dry leaves swirl in its path

 

Maybe it is the Fall

That makes the fruit ripen on the vine

 

Maybe it is a mountain lake

Deep and cold

 

Or a brushfire

Destroying everything in its path.

 

Perhaps it is as cruel, and real

As Life

 

As sweet, as ephemeral–

 

A force of nature.

Love without clinging Part III- Bliss

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I take to the internet, asking a group of digital nomads the eternal question-

Should I stay or should I go now?

Stay, and build, and get citizenship maybe. Go, on a new adventure, hoping that somewhere else is better, and maybe a bit better paying.

The answer was overwhelming “STAY”

A kind soul took the time to message me directly- “It’s not about France, it’s about you. What do you really want to do? Write that memoir. In the time it takes to get citizenship you can have sold the book and be planning book tours.”

And i can get to be a hotshot in content marketing and social media and enhance my professional reputation and pay off date and get that passport that will let me come back to France, always. Because I still love it and always will- even if at some point, I let go.

I talked to my good friend, who has also read the Alchemist a thousand times.

“Right now you’re the shiney shop guy who wants to go to Mecca, because you are comfortable and it might be good or bad”

So what is my Mecca- everywhere and nowhere, the road.

Space without center or limit.

Freedom.

Living out of a suitcase.

Being able to experience the world in all its diversity and beauty, and owning next to nothing.

At least for a time. To go, and support myself as I go, to have roots in the earth itself-

after having spent my youth in France incha allah.

 

As for the man and the  baby? If they come to me, when I am my full, lovely, enchantress, free spirit, arms wide open, travelling fool aspiring surfer girl and mountain mama self, why not?

If someone can take me with my philosophy, with my Buddhism, with my extraversion, with my sensuality and all my fire, YES.

But I am done trying to fit into a box- whether it be for a man or money or motherhood.

I am not an earth creature. I come from the fire, I fly in the sky. The earth is my friend, not my property. I flow like the ocean, in big waves, and sometimes in alpine lakes tucked high in the clouds.

I write and I speak and I tell my tales.

So I realized I’ve been to forty countries, and I hadn’t even realized it at the time.

“Your blog is about seeking and finding,” said my wise friend, my guardian angel.

I would rather have forty countries than forty blocks of gold. I want to be rich, yes, rich in experience and luxury and full of abundance and true prosperity.

YES money, but so much else.

So maybe I don’t want a cat and or a baby in such desperation as I thought before, even if I think babies are cute.

And as for a lover, I’m ready, but I’m not waiting for anyone.

I’m not a nun or a monk or anything like that, but I am vowed to the sky quand meme.

I am radiance, come what may, and that’s more important than trying to snare a man or rushing to be on time for a baby.

If they are mine, they will come.

And maybe I won’t be in the mood to roam forever.

Nothing is forever, all compounded things are impermanent.

And I am a Buddhist, whether I have taken refuge in the Buddha or not.

I have taken refuge in the sweet sad impermanence of the beauty, ugly, and ever changing world. I take refuge in the path, that never leads exactly where we think. I have taken refuge in joy and wonder and most of all, surprise.

I have taken refuge not in a country, but in liberte, egalite, fraternite

Joyeux fete de la Bastille

May we storm the prisons of our minds and gain victory every day.

 

Namaste

MJ

 

 

Love without clinging Part II- The letting go part

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Besides crying in the office bathroom during this exchange of messages, I have a really low moment.

Why am I in France? What’s the purpose of being here? Why stay until I’m eligible for citizenship? Do I need or want it anyway? Why am I in business if my heart is in travel?

Why can’t I meet anyone? Will I ever have a baby?

Does life end after 30 (I’m 28)? Does life end after having a baby?

Is life just a race to do everything you want to do in life before someone else owns you?

Is marriage and motherhood just a chemical joke made of oxytocin and dopamine?

What if i’s not all it’s cracked up to me? Vaginal tears, fistulas, bruised vaginas, deformed breasts, never again being truly free because your life is tied to a little person for good and for all? And you become a motherly coward who forbids your child to take a single risk that you did?

What if love is not so loving after all? What if the price of love is to be tamed, and all that’s given me joy in life is my wildness?

What if he pulls this shit ten years down the road? What if there’s no one out there for me?

What if the love I’m seeking doesn’t actually exist?

 

Why do I work in this job I don’t love? Why don’t I do something that makes more money even if I have less vacation time? What is wrong with me for not having any ambitions?

What if I always feel disappointed when my dreams come true, like I did when I got work in Paris but was still depressed for another three years?

What if the French are not all they are cracked up to be, and travel is just an escape and I’m a coward who can’t face the world, who can’t face my laundry basket, who prefers to live out of a suitcase because I don’t have the courage to face the challenges of having roots?

What if I’m the kind of person that doesn’t really need them, at least not the way other people do?

What if I will never be happy settled?

What if the problem is not France, not my job, not my single status, but me?

What if I’m too wild, too free, too kind, too giving, too crazy, too sweet, too sensual, too smart, too sexy, too brave?

What if that fantasy back in the day about having a blog and traveling the world was more than just a fantasy, and worse, what if when it came true, it actually didn’t s make me happy since I’d still be stuck with my sorry old self?

Or what if it actually did?

 

Love without clinging Part I- Meeting a stable guy who wants to settle down

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I made plans with friends from work to go to the Fete de la Musique in Paris on 21 June, a special day for me since it’s also the birthday of a family member.

I hopped in the subway with one of the work friends, who had invited someone to come out with us that I hadn’t met. “Do you like him?” I asked my friend, who had recently gone through a breakup.

“No, not at all, he’s just a friend.”

We started drinking beer on a terrace during the very hot day, and then the friend showed up. He looked to be in his early thirties, and cute, but when he started smoking that killed a bit of the attraction, being that he was North American on top of it, so it’s not quite the same as a European smoking.

We talked a lot about the French real estate market, and how now was the time to buy. “I’ll help you figure it so you can buy something,” he told me. “It’s ok if you spend half your income and stop going out as much, it is a great investment. And you’ll feel differently about traveling so much, home ownership really changes you.”

I made a joke about wanting a rich husband instead, and he said something like, “Well I’m not rich yet but my parents are.” He had also made a pretty penny from selling his house before moving to France.

We talked about France, and when we switched to wine I refused to pour for myself, because French custom is for women to be served. He started serving me.

Next thing I knew, we had gone to a much crazier area where people were packed in dancing like sardines in the gay district. “These guys must be gay if they are not hitting on you,” he said to me, “and I would be really jealous if they did.”

Mere hours later, we were kissing on the Place du Trocadero as the sun came up, and he was telling me how he is ready to have a family (read baby)  in the next two years, and how he has had his eye on me in the corridor at work (I never noticed him, but then I kind of have my head in the clouds a bit, wouldn’t you believe it) for months and has been waiting for the opportunity to talk to me. I am his dreamgirl, and he can’t believe his luck. He wants to see me for lunch, take me out for dinner, and puts me in an Uber to go home.

But he is worried that our mutual friend is jealous and doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. “We’ll have to find her someone before coming out,” he says, and he wants to take it slowly, and not do anything physical, because he is really serious and wants to get to know me. Although he does mention- “My apartment is just there, maybe you’ll come live with me iin a few months.”

He texts me around noon “Wow that was amazing”

Radio silence over the weekend- he is meant to be elsewhere in France looking at real estate but in the end he doesn’t go. I get up my courage and ask him how’s he’s doing, an dhe explains he just rested up after the long night on Wednesday/Thursday (he’s not much older than 30 by the way).

We meet up during the week, before he has to go to a house showing and before I’m meant to go to the gym. He explains he wants to take it slow and start as friedns, that he is wary of the fact that we work in the same company in the same building, and and that he just got out of a relationship three months ago with someone he met at work and it was hell once the coworkers found out. The conversation started out cold and then towards the end he could barely stop himself from kissing me despite his imposed just friends rule. He told me about all the times in the past few days he saw me around but restrained himself from saying hi because he wanted to have this talk first, and he told me how pretty my dress was the day before.

I was too late to make my gym class, and messaged him, but he was already gone to look at the house.

Then I invited him to a picnic with my friends later in the week, at the last moment so he wouldn’t feel pressured- he had plans with friends but would go if things didnt work out- as it turns out it was rained out anyway, and then wished him a good weekend to no response.

About a week goes by and no contact is initiated. Is this what he means by taking it slow?

I saw him around the office complex, made a point of saying hello to him when I pass by his desk, and outside the building. I pass him in the convenience store and he waves and smiles but doesn’t take a few minutes to talk.

I’ve had enough, and feel like something is not right. I wonder if my friend, who has actually acted quite jealous and claims we both disrespected her by wanting to date because it will put her in the middle, and the fact that it was spontaneous and he didn’t ask me for a date at another time, and claiming it’s that she feels uncomfortabel because of work though she herself has many of her close friends coming from work and has dated guys from work and parties with her team at festivals, it seems a little disingenous. Needless to say, I am disappointed my friend can’t be happy for my seeming good fortune.

So I message him that I am no longer interested in anything friendly or romantic besides basic politeness, he agrees that he feels the same and thanks me for clearing up. He starts asking me how work is going, I explain (in tears) that I don’t want to talk to him really and he has really disappointed me and hurt my feelings by talking such a big game and not following through, and that I deserve more than to be ghosted essentially. He agrees, apologizes, tells me there’s something I don’t know that he dared not say because it would only disappoint me more, asks if I want to cut ties (I already have,  I defriended him on Facebook) but that there’s no need for awkwardness in person. He apologizes, and the conversation just seems to go on and on. I check back a few days later, thinking maybe at the least he could let me know if something opens up in his department, as crazy as that sounds, and I can no longer message him and conclude he must have blocked me.

As for my jealous friend, I am sincerely disappointed because I thought of the person who would come pick me up in the middle of the night if I ever needed it. And I realize that, consciously or subconsciously, she has done just the same as my family in exerting some pressur eto follow her path, of being single and childless and with a big apartment and fancy job, and maybe she’s not so happy with it, and maybe she doesn’t want to end up single alone, or doesn’t want me to find my person first. She is a bit older than me and I”m sure it wouldn’t be the first time a girlfirned’s priorities changed once she found a man. And she skinny shames me for ordering a salad when she wants to get a dessert and threatens to change her order, so I get a hot dog instead.

Conclusion- time to move on….

And if you coldn’t tell in the beginning what was I even thinking of doing with this guy? He’s not like me, and he’s a bit boring and odd. But I thought,a fter 8 months of celibacy and meeting him on the summer solstice, that my ship had finally come in.

Needless to say in my frustration, the celibacy streak was broken since we were just friends and he wasn’t doing anything to make me fall in love with him…