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Yesterday I went to a sort of block party/garage sale type event in my neighborhood. During the day there were all kinds of sidewalk sales, candy, and used things to buy, and at night they had a DJ and people of all ages were dancing, children and babies and pregnant ladies everywhere like perhaps they had come out of hiding for the nice weather.

And the music, which is all modialise, globalized, mostly American pop with a smattering of Latin American and Caribbean dance songs, could have been playing anywhere. The families all dancing and having a good time, could have been my neighborhood block party.

I had been reading a book that took place in Japan, a Haruki Murakami sort of surreal book, which had ancient Japanese gods and myths and an Oedipal complex and references to Prince music and told the eternal tale of finding one’s higher self by going into a dark forest. I read it in French, which I know read like many people read English-there’s a word here or there I don’t know but I enter smoothly into another world.

I’ve thought a lot about my coming to France. I applied to another job, which ironically, is in Philadelphia, where I languished after the last time I left Paris. I knew even when I was dying to come back that it probably wouldn’t be for forever, but I couldn’t live without trying it. And now I’ve tried it, and I do love it-sometimes- I do love and always will love this city. France has played a huge part in my growing up, and it’s no cliche to say I’ve found myself here.

What next? I wonder. Will I meet someone special and never leave here, or have such a rich life I can’t bear to part from this city? While my life here is getting richer and more interesting by the day, I don’t think that will be the case. Will my job send me to Asia, or London, or to some other old world that would be a new adventure to me? Could be. I try to stay open to where fate might take me, and realize that not all who wander are lost.

And not everyone wants the same thing.

I have the wisdom to realize that meeting someone special, getting married, and having a family wouldn’t necessarily make me happy. I am larger than worlds- no man could complete me. And the person I think I could love- he’s not perfect, he hasn’t rescued me from every dragon or crossed an ocean to be with me. At least not yet.

He’s lived his life, and I’ve lived mine. He’s never encouraged me to be less to see less or do less than all I can be.

And how could I leave the bright blue ocean of infinite, the unknown, the infinite possibilities? It tantalizes me even as I am in France, in the heart of magic, in what was once and mostly still in my otherworld, the Narnia beyond the looking glass. I love it here but it’s almost fantastical, and sometimes it feels like it’s not real. Maybe it’s just the sense of discovery.

So what do I actually want? Or maybe the question is, who do I want to be?

I have crossed an ocean in search of my dream. I have seen a good chunk of the world. I’ve been a sunglass seller, a teacher, a businesswoman. A blogger. I’ve faced my fears at crossfit, I’ve been a great friend. I’ve loved with all the passion and impracticality I have to my name. I have striven for perfection and achievement and adventure.

With all the world open to me, where do I want to be? Should I just go home- where is home?

I have more than a sneaking suspicion to these questions. I don’t think I will necessarily be happier than here, I know that happiness isn’t in a city, it’s in the people around you and how well your morals match up with how you are living your life.

Happiness is knowing that you are on your way, rather than berating yourself for not being there yet.
Happiness is making the choice that feels right to you, regarldess of what other people might say.
happiness is when you don’t hide from yourself, and despite all your flaws, love yourself.
Happiness is being happy where you are and waiting for the right moment.
Happiness is knowing that it really is all ok.

Happiness isn’t striving for perfection, it’s knowing that you’re already there.

So I’ve learned a lot. And to a certain extent, though I’ve had greater adventures than I ever could have imagined, life is the adventure, it doesn’t matter where you are. As long as you are living fully and honestly. Facing yourself is true courage.

I’m not sure whether I’m right or wrong about possibly leaving France and looking for a new job. I know that just having the doors open makes me feel better.
But even if it’s a ltitle less glamorous, even if I go home and don’t find love there like I thought I might, it could be a worthwhile journey, if that’s where my heart leads me after I find my center. And I have to believe that love is waiting for me, somewhere not too far off. Just out of sight.

That’s the next adventure I would like to try, even though I’m afraid i would clip my wings for other adventures, just like choosing a job or profession takes away all other choices.
I have trouble making choices sometimes.

I have to wait for the right moment.

Well good luck and Happy Sunday to all!
MJ

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