, , , , , , , , ,

or expectation, may be the hardest lesson I’m learning.  Right now, I love my life in Paris very much. I thought about staying here and changing schools, but I concluded that the time is not right and my journey isn’t over. And yes, I am seeing someone and I think maybe I could fall in love with him, maybe I am, even though there is so much to learn about him. Even though I’m leaving in 2 months.  I am appreciated by my peers, I get to speak French everyday, I live in one of the greatest centers of art and culture the world has ever known, where it is cool to go to expositions. Today I went to a chocolate tasting held in a convention center.

Yes woe is me, I love my life, I’ve got an awesome guy in it-as far as I know, though he hasn’t talked to me yet today- but I can’t stay. Truthfully, I don’t want to stay- I inquired about transferring but I decided that I wanted to go on. I still want some of the things I wanted before I came here, although I certainly want to try to come back here to live.  I am actively pursuing that goal now, and not denying any part of myself or my destiny.

I miss him, I miss Paris, I miss him- even before leaving.  This feels like the Golden Age, or a part of it, and it’s certainly the happiest I’ve been in a long time. Probably the happiest I’ve been in about four years, and certainly the most loved and accepted by my peers, and the most internal self-worth I’ve had of myself, probably ever.

I just learned the Portuguese word saudade- it means the longing, the pain of missing someone knowing that you may never see them again. Apparently you can miss someone even while you are with them.  However, at least by confronting the choice I had to stay, though the circumstances would have been imperfect. God, I don’t want to go- I am going to weep when I leave, I think. But who knows what time will make. And there’s still a lot of getting to know you and some months left in this case. But God, I really do love him, in some way, even if I don’t want to marry him and even though I know I don’t know all there is about him.  I love him for being nice to me, for giving me hope again, for teaching me to let time do its work, for making me feel beautiful, for being just plain nice. I know, very strong feelings here, but they are also gentle. They are like the ocean lapping at the shore, subtly changing the coast to a sandbar for children to play in. They are not a self-destructive storm. Yes, it does seem I love him a bit for the way he treats me and not just his personal qualities or for any ideal he measures up to or heroic image I cherish. No, I just slowly start to love him, whatever the future might bring. Of course this happens the day he decides not to text me, but who knows maybe he will call or not.

I just started to list all my fears regarding this situation, but I am not going to waste any energy on it. And above all, I don’t want you to think my love is sad. No, it is quite happy, a totally unexpected joy, a touch of grace that I didn’t see coming.

This is quite a different feeling from the love at first sightish or falling in love with an image of someone I’ve done a lot of in the past. No, this is a real living, breathing, available guy who doesn’t put down the toilet seat. In fact, I think I’m a lot more humble than I was in the past. I don’t have to be right about him, I don’t have to know “where” it’s going, I don’t have to put a label or a ring on it (once I did have promise rings).

In a lot of ways, this guy reminds me of my first boyfriend with how soliticous he’s been for the most part. But with my first boyfriend, we were young and were committed before we really knew each other. Yet also in that case, I knew he was going to college in a few months and I loved him anyway. Once he went, I loved him so much I will never forget it, I will never forget what it felt like, and how blessed I was to know it.  And we ended up staying together long after, to the point it was no longer good, because we were held together more by fear of being apart, fear of an uncertain future, fear of missing each other too much. So many fears, it took me a long time after we broke up to remember what the love felt like in its purest form. Since then, I’ve loved more passionately and less intimately, falen in love with images instead of real people. And now, I’m starting to love a person again, even though I may never see him again. I have enough trust we will eventually talk again, regardless of what happens tonight. I know, I’m a hopeless romantic. I know I’m a fool. But maybe these aren’t such bad qualities.

And maybe I’ll learn the greatest lesson of all, a little bit at a time. Maybe I’ll learn to cherish things despite knowing they are ephemeral, or have the potential to be so. Maybe I’ll be able to live fully and put my whole self into something wonderful without having an ironclad illusion of guarantee it will work out. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll let time do it’s work, and it will somehow.

Love and peace,