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I’m back at home at my parents’ house until my next semester starts in Philly. I drove a car today for the first time in about three months, and listened to the radio. A lot of songs seemed to bring back a memory formed what seemed ages ago, bringing up a lost love or yearning or period that has since simply faded. Some songs I loved just as much as before, but they were few and special and brought unmixed memories of simply good times and feelings.

Paris has come to New Jersey though, in the form of my maybe boyfriend who is vacationing here. I’ve been writing texts on my American phone in French and pulling over by Wegmans to return his phone calls and have a conversation in French. It is bizarre.  When he tries to speak English though, it’s even stranger lol. I almost don’t recognize his voice.

He’s planning to come see me and meet my parents in NJ and I told him I could maybe come meet him in New York some day since he’s staying with friends of a friend there and it wouldn’t be too hard for me to go meet him. We talked about shopping in NYC vs New Jersey and I think I’ll be taking him to the mall. I think he’d like to get more Levis jeans like the ones he bought at Macy’s, which are expensive but popular in Paris and he likes largely because they are American, I think.

I saw my old old friend I met when I was five years old for the first time in about a year today. I thought he wasn’t really interested in staying in touch but turns out he texted me to do lunch and wants to hang out more before he leaves to go back to his job. Turns out he is just busy and doesn’t go home to NJ that much.  It was really nice to see him, he’s actually studying counseling, and offered some good perspective on recent events in my life. I told him I felt like two worlds were colliding my head as I was speaking French to my family’s new dog without realizing it and now with my dude coming to visit. He said it wasn’t two worlds colliding, it was two worlds coming together.

I’m still working on group projects and have one monster of an individual assignment I have yet to start from Paris, and with Facebook and all I doubt I’ll fall out of touch with the friends I met there. They seem to expect me to come back soon. [Of course the dude loves America and wants to move to New York provided he find good work lol]  I appreciate so much about home and realize just how unhealthy the food is. I would like to go back to Paris but I don’t know if I would want to live in France forever. I don’t think it’s France I love as speaking French and new adventures.  I think I would get bored of France eventually and there are definitely some elements of its society that don’t resonate with me, although that is also true of America or probably any where else for that matter.

It will be exciting to see New York with my dude’s eyes, with Paris lending perspective. all parisians want to come to New York. I tend to take the view that it’s dirtier and uglier but it is also bigger no question and Americans are more open than French people, cold though New Yorkers might seem to be.

I even got to talk about my ex boyfriend from high school today to my current dude’s friend who is studying the same subject. Of course, the dude himself also reminds me eerily of every guy I’ve ever been interested in from time to time. Down to facial expressions and turns of phrase at times. It used to scare me but now I just accept it as being a part of him who I am tha attracts/is attracted to this kind of dude. And I met the current dude so randomly there’s no possible way for me to really have made too much of a connection.

Weirdest of all, I texted an old friend from college to let her know I wouldn’t make it to her bday party, which I just realized was today when my cousins I hadn’t seen were over and I’m just feeling pooped and jet lagged and stuffy on top of it. Turns out my whole college crew was actually going to be there, even someone who lives in Wisconsin now. Strange I wasn’t even in the loop about the big reunion, and how I don’t feel much loss about not going or that it would be right to push myself to go. I heard my old sorority song on the radio and those were decidedly not the best days of my livfe. i would prefer to think the best is yet to cmome. en tout cas, I have grown apart from my old friends that I thought would be my forever friends based off our shared experiences in a private residential college. I have really put in serious effort to maintain closer ties with them, though admittedly after I graduated I was a difficult person to be around in some aspects. In any case, I know they are not my real friends, not necessarily. Maybe things will be the same when we see each other, maybe not. I’m going to try to see them tomorrow for lunch, but it will be weird to see them and to explain all the changes in my life, which I’m not even sure will interst them. Not sure how much we will still have to relate to. This was a really painful situation for me and I get the feeling it wasn’t the same for them. I don’t even think it’s a shame anymore, because they just aren’t my real friends and its okay to elet them go and be what they are- people I spent a moment of time with.

So yes, many worlds have met today. I’m going to try my best to stay open and not let past pain stop me for reaching for the very real and very genuine pleasures I have in the moment. I am going to try not to take anyone in my life for granted, ore than ever.  And yes, the people who truly care for you will find a way to stay in your life. I do hope tihis guy does, because those are the kind of people I want to be with. The same for my grad school friends in paris and traveling with me to Philadelphia, and those random friends I’ve meet along the way that I’ll see from time to time but talk with regularly. My real friends are not really people I share tastes or even interests with- they are people I get along with because I believe in their principles, je crois. I hope this guy is the same, because those kind of relationships are rewarding. Not because they are what you pictured, they tickle your fancy, or ignite your deep and dark feelings towards yourself in an unhealthy external passion.  Or friends that do, a la base, want to change you because they are not the same, they don’t understanding, and they can’t really relate.

Traveling can be really different because the bartender won’t remember your name and you may not have a Friends like crew in your backyard to fall back on. But it will teach you who your real friends are, and teach you to be a friend to yourself.

So here’s to a new and better world. Neither Paris nor NJ, but a little bit of both.’  And more importantly 100% of me. fully human, fully loveable, and fully loved for a life fully lived.  A world that is better, that is nothing like the life i thought I would live but is not so any longer not just because of the paths I took but because it was a different me who took them. A different me? Can there be such a thing? Einstein and other scientists have puzzled for ages over the mysteries of time and space, and brain scientists and psychologists over memory, but I think the Buddha had it right: Live in the present moment. [and make it a good one for it has never come before and never will again.] And pay attention, who knows what happens next?

A friend in Arles told me the secret of life was to realize that though something has happened before, it will never happen in the same way again.

Right now is our only possibility. The past is gone and the future hasn’t gotten here yet. But I have.

And with that I leave. Good night! bonsoir!

MJ

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