Paris seems like another life ago, and I really don’t have anything but memories tying me there now. I’m back to really nothing tying me down, anywhere, except my family. And the set of opportunities and limitations that came with my birth as an American citizen and previous work and other experiences. I’m thankful to say, that’s pretty much nothing.
I’m not really ready to settle down. Sometimes I feel like I should be, but for whatever reason, I’m not. I have the rest of the program yet, and then the rest of my life. I’m pretty sad it would be unlikely and difficult to find a lasting relationship under these circumstances, it would really have to transcend all borders of time and space and uncertainty. And since I can’t see a future for myself, I don’t know if it’s possible to see a future together with someone. It’s all kind of mysterious and ethereal and full of possibility, and I like it that way. I guess I could meet someone who would make me want to do everything possible to live near him, be it in Paris or Washington, and thus narrow my range of possibilities in a way, but I don’t know if I’m actually capable of doing that. Given my experiences with my first boyfriend and seeing things, however solid, crumble, and knowing how much less opportunity to develop being myself I sort of had as a result of that kind of clingy, sometimes co-dependent relationship, I don’t know if I could do that. I don’t know if someone who really loved me and knew me would let me make my life plans around them. I think not.
I felt mad at Y, the dude in Paris, for just letting me go without shedding a tear or trying to bargain with fate. But now I realize, I knew almost from the moment I met him and the way that he met that he was in no hurry to settle down anytime soon and I wouldn’t be able to disappoint him in that way. Plus, he’s so mentally healthy and in the moment, I didn’t feel like I could hurt him. I thought he set me free because he didn’t love me enough and I’m just not that lovable, but the truth is that he set me free because he cared for me and because there were no chains to untie. I’m a free thing, a wild thing, a woman who knows she doesn’t need a man, who walked away from a dedicated, well-off guy at 19 who would have taken care of me for the rest of my life. Or not, as the events in his life that followed our breakup would have it, but it was a pretty sure thing and his wonderful family also had the dough.
Thank you, Y. Not for setting me free, but for making me accept and love my freedom.
I had a dream about New York last night. Probably from watching too much How I Met Your Mother, and how excited Y was over it, and yeah, how impressive it was to go there for New Year’s when I’d gotten used to the dimensions of Paris.
Long story short, I want to go to Paris, and I do think its true that the window may not exactly close on living there in a few years, but I don’t think it will ever be more open, nor life any more wide open, than it is now. But if it doesn’t work out, I will be happy somewhere else. The life I could have lived if I stayed there was a fine one, but this one I’m actually living is better, and I’m just not ready to settle down. No amount of love for a city or man will change that, not even giving my little cousin a bath and knowing I want a family of my own so much. Now is not the time (which I already knew) and which I already created this situation by enrolling in grad school.
I am listening to my heart. My heart loved Paris and my situation there, but my heart also knows life is ephemeral and things change. My heart says, it’s not my feelings that change but what your mind wants to make of them and cling to that changes. My heart says, be free, and don’t be ashamed. My heart says, you’ll be happy here.
Y’s favorite song is, “We are young…