Take care of myself
Love more and more deeply
Don’t be so hard on myself
Take care of myself
Love more and more deeply
Don’t be so hard on myself
A new year is beginning, and this year is end. It’s been an exciting one for me. I have accomplished a lot:
Moved to France
Succeeded in my first professional job:
1) in a very French company
1.1- in a huge company- previously I had only worked at organizations of about 500 people
2) working internationally from France
3) working in a new industry
4) working in a new career path in business- previously I had done politics and teaching
Found a job function I really like- marketing communications
Made my French practically perfect
Visited 3 new countries- Czech Republic, Germany, and Greece
Saw the Parthenon and Acropolis, as well as the islands of Kefalonia and Mykonos
Crossed Prague off my bucket list
Saw the Christmas markets of Cologne, Germany
Went on a cruise for the first time
Extended my contract- a sure sign of doing a good job
In Italy, visited Trieste and Venice
In France, visited Lyon, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, and Cassis
Visited countless sights of Paris
Saw “An AMerican in Paris” as a musical performed in Theatre du Chatelet
Met countless people of different origins
Successfully went to CrossFit at least once per week often more
Had a few lighthearted romp
Attended masked costume ball at Versailles
Recovered from a sprained ankle and coped with living in a 7 floor walkup, without many friends and no family able to help, no insurnace coverage nor sick pay (getting this reimbursed is a work in progress)
Went to the emergency room in France and handled everything
Got my company to pay for a training in London next month
Wrote many, many blog posts
Got articles published in professional womens’ magazine
Let go of two old love interests, one of which I thought would be the love of my life, the other I thought would at least be my boyfriend when I got back to Paris
Did a cleanse, did not stixk with it for the entire time but learned enough to realize I needed to change my ways
DRASTICALLY REDUCED INTAKE OF DIET SODA- this is huge! I still drink diet soda sometimes in some settings but nothing like I did in the past
developed a liking for sparkling mineral water and dramatically increased daily water consumption
Realized finally that all the processed shit, especially sugary things, really isn’t good for me. Gave up my standby candy bar and other destructive habits
Recognized resistance to self care and self defeating patterns and cleared the path for real change
So, what is my intention for 2015?
This doesn’t just mean geting massages ad going to the gym, this means making good financial choices, spending time with people who are good for me, and not being so hard on myself. It means reaching out for help when I need it and giving myself credit for all that I do.
But what is the conclusion really of 2015? Of all the hemming and hawing over whether I had made the right decision in this or that case? Was it a mistake to move to France? Was it a mistake to leave France during b school? Did I waste years on someone who didn’t love me back?
The truth is that moving to France was a great decision and in accordance with my true values of beauty, balance, and adventure. I love France. It has its problems but the fact that it’s not perfect and I have faced unexpected challenges does not mean I was a fool to move there.
Regarding love, I’m as entitled to make some mistakes as the next person. I didn’t willfully hurt anyone, and though I deluded myself for a long time, I eventualy let go of people who didn’t belong in my life.
ANd I’ve been able to make peace with my desire for love and for a life fulfilled in many ways. I know that when I meet this guy, he’s not going to complete me and he will be the icing on the cake of an already fulfilling life.
I’m not a horrible person for leaving my family and living in France either. I probably have spent more quality time with them and been more emotionally available.
France is nto my only dream, but it is a good dream and I’m incredibly blessed and proudof myself that I have accomplished it. I’m happy therean dFrance is teaching me a lot. It’s not always about accomplishing the most possible, sometimes it’s about stopping to enjoy life- which in trn fuels more meaningful accomplishments and makes sense of things.
So that’s the conclusion I have come to after going into uncharted territory. I made the right decision to go on an adventure, and I look forward to many new adventures in the future, not least of which is self-care, love of myself and others, and appreciating the present moment ad France.
Th reason I am having trouble in France right now has little to do with France.
here, I said it.
I am doing a very hard thing by living abroad, but it is not responsible for all of my problems.
I am having trouble, or feel like I am having trouble, making friends because I suffer fom a feeling of “terminal uniqueness” that no one will ever understand me, I am just so uiqque and special, and I have trouble really opening up to people.
Especially when I am not in a needy mood just trying to use them for self-validation, because I never seem to have learned how to do that for myself.
In terms of depression, sadness, etc, those are my thought patterns. yes the parisians and the French can be bleak, but the truth is tha I was coming out of a dark period when I went to France and I quickly gave in to all my habiutual negative thought patterns which I’ve been struggling with for as long as I can remember. Funny how at one point France was a huge despite because I had no expectations and impossible standards to hold myself to, whereas now that it’s become real life, and what’s more, my dream fulfilled, I feel even more pressure to excel, succeed, be happy all the time, and make sure I “win,” the competition with practicality. because I took the road nnot taken, I have to beat everyone else in order to justify my decision.
Why don’t I have a boyfriend? No, it’s not because French guys are too creepy, skinny, maigre, ad don’t appreciate my fuller figure. No, it’s not because of irreoncialble cultural differences, or even the fact that many seem gay.
The reason is that rather than let go of a relationshipthat was clearly never meant to be, see the truth about Christ, and take the chance of real rejection by engaging with a human being who was actually availale, I prefered to fantasize over someone who was in no way available and who I always, always had my doubts about. I alwaysdoubted he could be my white knight but I threw myself at him anyway, partially to confirm my feelings of lack of attractiveness, partially out of some misguided not actually feminist but parading as feminism idea that I should be able to pursue the guy and win, and partially bcause I was too chickenshit to open up to anybody else. This isn’t the fairst time I’ve made this mistake but I will do my darndest to be sure it’s the last. He wasn’t a bad guy, but he wasn’t a good guy either, regardless of what I wanted to think. Of course this relationship took a huge toll on my self esteem, as banging one’s head against the wall would tend to have a poor record of conserving brain cells. Am I soured on American men? no, but I do think they are less than I cracked them up to be and I probably would have met someone if I hadn’t been so tunnelvisioned on something I knew would never work.
Maybe I would still be single anyway because I secretly wanted to be independent and grow without someone influencing me and have toal freedom. Yeah, maybe that.
And maybe since I broke up with my hs school boyfriend and it was such a truama I never wnated to break up with anyone again, that is to say, I have only been in interested in the perfect person, and he doesn’t exist.
no, he doesn’t.
And it’s the old perfectionism again, which is making me really unsuccesffuly in many areas of my life and blinding me to the good in myself and in others. It’s all allor nothing with me, and I have prefrerred to focus on the nothing when it comes to myself and the all when it comes to everybody else, happy to self-delude o think that prince charming existed and was never too far away but would never come around and disappoint me either.
As far as France, it’s difficult to tell if this is yet another passiont hat will go thw way of the dbeate team, basket, economist, or music, when because I didn’t fully commit, and/or because I handicapped myself knowingly or psyched myself out iwth too big goals, Ifailed in my own eyes, killed whatever intrinsic joy I experienced, didn’t put any effort in at the end since I wasn’t competing anymore, and/or just walked out and found a new thing to wonder at.
France is a passion, an interest like many others. I t happens to feel like true love sometimes isnce it come into my life at a vulnerable period when I was nonetheless abe to seize upon i. We were both available at the same time. I don’t really have a wandering eye, because now I know pretty much everywhere but heaven will dispappoint, and france and i have some ties now that I am loathe to abandon.
If I stay in France I feel like I have to give up my image of myself as a harddriving, scucessful, ambitious career woman who is devoted to her family, and responsible enough to take the highest salary to pay off my debts;
If I come back home, I willhave quit France, “sold out” given it all up for an eventual boring suburban existence, given up th egrand adventure for something more practical, something seemingly worthwhile, to try and fall in love with my work and feel comfortabed by greater material things and the sense that i did the right thing and followed my familial duties, and the money, and tradition, and my conscience as the more I live in France the more I feel like we capitalistic anglo saxons know what we are doing. And yet, we are clearly missing out on somethings.
I guess this is just the age old dillemma of you can’t have it al.
I have to stop punishing mself for hat. There are probably many third options, and most of the things I want I can have in France, except my family. Though franc eie currently giving me a solid three weeks of uninterrupted vacation with my family,a d I could potentially spend up to 7 ish weeks striaght at home.
That would never appen in america.
I don’t really tink AMericans and French are so diferent, its mre a question of responding to the incentives and situations we have. somethings the french do seem like martians, ut then, americans can see quite strange too.
for better and for worse, i’ll be an idnividual wherever I go.
Once I grow up and accept some of these harsh truths, I will ahve a better life wherever I go. And then I will get attached to the place that I am. And then I will fear, because I am afraid of getting tied down and getting too invested and losing bargaining power, loverage, wiggle room.
but i do love fance though.
I definitely far from hate america as well.
The road not taken haunts me, and if I let myself continue to live like this I will never be happy, no matter what I do.
I think I had a real, intrinsic desire to go to France. i don’t think going was a mistake. And I do think that my expectations were much too high that once I crossed the borders into fairy land everything would be wonderful.
The problem is that I am a person who thrives on spontaneity and inovationa nd curiosity, but I always want to be perfect and to succeed every time.
The proble is that I always want to do well, and be excellent, but I also want to have fun and rebel a little along the way.
These are just aspects of my personalityt ta I sometimes see personafied in different places.
And when it come s down to it, it’s not where you are it’s who ayou are with that really matters, right?
And the person you are always with is you. No matter whether you are in the bosom of your large and boisterous family or out alone under the stards in the sahara dessert.
something tells me once I begin ot e a better friend to myself, everything will be possible.
and the main obstacle in my life is resistance to self care, not anything on the outside or even these epochal seeming decisions i prefer to concentrate on as a distraction from my real issues.
whih are- getting all my finances and paperwork and figuring out french taxs and health insurance, and getting into shape.
Aldo have to go out and meet people ad stuff, but those are two pretty imporant things.
and o by the way, i finally want to be healthy an dnot just thin. I know I’ve said that efore, but it’s true that i am feeling really confident and radiant in myplus size body. however I know that a lot of my habits are unhealthy and that I would probably bot look and feel better in my normal size, still curvy body. I kind of would love to do some boudoir photographyor a plus size modeling shoot. it would be cool.
so things are overall getting better. just dont’ want to ruin my holiday ruminating about stupid things and the past and what is out of my control and ignoring what is well within my control.
yup, need to work on finding that peace within more often.
paris is not the answer to lal problems, but it is magical.
andgoodness, it is GREAT tTo be home!
Merry Chrismas and happy holidays!
“The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.” ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
So the past nine months since I have moved to Paris have been much harder than I ever imagined. My dream came true, but I had a hard time letting myself be happy.
Sure, things are still coming together and there have been difficult moments, but I’ve been hating France, and Paris, with such a passion and disagreeing with everything I could about it, playing devil’s advocate to an extreme, and complaning about everything I could find to complain about largely because I was afraid to fall in love, to be in love.
To love something that may or may not love me back.
How long do you love if the love is not reciprocal? This question has been a struggle for me.
But here, in Paris, honestly as much as Paris loves anything it has loved me back in its secret ways. Haussmanien buildings bidding me good morning, Eiffel ower twinkling at night, a job that has turned into a means of making a living into a really bright incredibly blessed part of my life, a language that becomes more a part of me everyday and makes me feel more beautiful, and a culture that never ceases to fascinate, with all its elegance and its cruelty, intentional or otherwise.
No, life isn’t perfect here, but it is good.
I think part of he reason I’ve been trying to come up with reasons to run away is because things are finally staring to get good. Also I fear being one of those people here who comes and never leaves.
And what of my fmaily?
Will I find love? Make my fortune? Make friends?
I have to believe that if I open up my heart, life will open back.
My heart has been closed and afraid for a long time, for many reaosns that had nothing to do with Paris.
It feels so risky to allow yourself to really love something beautiful, to get attached to it, to let yourself be, like St Exupery’s fox, “apprivoisee”
But maybe that’s what I’ve been looking for all along.
And this is not an escape at all, certainly no escape from any part of myslf.
Recently the idea of here and there, “real life,” and this fairytale which I’m livig, have seemed to melt into one. There is just here, right, wherever I am always.
And that here, is here in Paris right now.
And I”m just about to go home for the first time in nine months, and inredibly excited about it. And I have a minimum of nine more months waiting for me here, and after that, who knows…
It’s a glorious mystery, this thing between me and Paris.
I’m so lucky!
This moment, right now,
Overweight, single, in a tiny apartment,
Bank account sometimes, slightly, negative despite having that first good job,
Not really sure how I’ve managed to screw so many small things up but get a lot of the important things right.
This is that early 90s, eurotrip, freefalling,
Don’t know where the road will take me,
Maybe I have overstayed my welcome,
Not even sure why I had to ome here anyway,
And finally just sigh, release,
Everything is perfet already, sublime.
Today i realize something incredibly liberating, which I have been resisting for a long, long time.
I don’t need love to be hapy. Love will not make me happy.
Many times it has subtracted from an already happy life, and 1+1 has been equal to negative 2.
Most of the past few years I have been mostly happy, except for wanting desperately to be in love. Beliving that if I didn’t have it, I hadn’t really arrived, I ouldn’t possibly be there yet, it was just a prelude.
Also the same for perfection of many kinds- the day I finally stop fighting with my body, the day I become “normal,” the day I become the person I always thought I should have been, the day I become disciplined and perfect and like that other girl I wanted so much to be.
I am a romantic, so I do in many ways believe in love. And I have been given a beautiful example of true love not only in my parents but in many happy couples I’m blessed to know.
The person I thought I loved, the person I thought should love me, the person I thought would give me a reason to come home and be normal and would reconcile me to my roots and wings, turned out not to be up for the job.
And even if he was, I was aksing him for something he couldn’t give me, and no one really could.
Oly an illusion, only something that was not quite, only something that would evaporate eventually and leave the dried up, muddy, poisoned puddle of my troubled self worth.
Hard to admit, but there it is.
But now, having lost one of my most precious illusions- and noting that this is part of a string of failed attempts at trying to find someone to fix me- whih might also explain why I was so keen on more than one guy who wanted me to lose weight and didn’t mine words about it-
But anyway, yeah, I thought it didn’t really count that I had “arrived,” if I wasn’t perfect in every way- most importantly, that I had a man to show for how wonderful I was, and most importantly, not to end up alone.
Because sometimes it does after all feel like the point of life is to be liked. Whether it’s for your real self or your fake self.
And this fels like the shattering of a stone idol.
It feels like seeing the emperor without clothes.
Not because I think being in a good relationship wouldn’t be a worthwhile thing-
But because no matter how magical the relationship, it couldn’t fix my life, or rather, what I let remain broken within me.
There is no substitute for self love, or loving your life and doing everything in your power to fulfill your most creative vision for yourself.
No, not even a man…
not even the best of them.
So I feel a little scared because this feels like the kind of thing that could turn me into a man, or a lesbian, or a cat lady, or the professional woman with an empty home life I am most scared of becoming.
I realized on my last trip that there was nothing wrong or suboptimal that I was traveling alone- indeed, I enjoy my company and doing whatever I want.
Instead of thinking of the person that “should have” been there with me, and thinking the best was yet to come once I had roped a prize cowboy to be there at my side, I realized the point was simpl:
I was there.
Exactly where I wanted to be, seeing things I’d always dreamed of, living a life I couldn’t have even imagined.
Though loneliness is quite a real feeling, adn we shoudln’t be “independent,” just to avoid the hurt that almost inevitably comes from dealing with others and letting yourslef be vulnerable, to let fear of it drive you is not being true to yourself.
Anymore than trying to fit in with the popular crowd, or the hipster crowd, or any crowd you’d like to feel cool in. Even if it’s your own family.
How crazy is it to realize there’s no need to live your life either waiting for someone to catch up fo r you, and/or simultaneously feelingn like you need to measure up to them, because you are just not good enough?
What if you chose to stand up for yourself, even if it meant standing by yourself?
Sounds like bliss to me.
In the past few months, I have realized taht one of the best parts of my life so far was also one of the most hmble, as well as one of the hardest.
When I was an English teacher in rural France and suffering from real isolation, not having very much money, my first time really away from home and school where I had to deal with all my crap and learn to cook, I had a really simple, mostly peaceful life. It was only the drama within that marred it, and the feelings of loneliness. But because of that time period, I have become such a take no shit, no holds barred, do whatever the fuck I want kind of person? Go to Rome by myself? Why not? And how about Krakow and Madrid too…
Just before that big adventure, I got the news that I got into a good business school, which more or less meant that I could have a stable, middle class life and respectable job. How I envied the 17 year old hostellers and the gap year kids, even a little bit the long term nomads, when I was about to start a boring, predictable, stable, financially secure life. Although the school was in France, so I was really not exactly getting tamed by any means.
but the thig is, myself and so many people in my life always thought of me as pre-domesticated and “likely to succeed.” I was the conscientious student, athlete, club officer, instrument player, etc in high school. My curiousity and ambition knew no bounds. I just assumed if I could only get into the right college, life would be simple for me. I’d marry my high school boyfriend, have a great career, and a couple of kids. Probably on the young side.
Well the high school boyfriend became history- he should have gone a long time before when it turned out his happy go luckyness andbeing laid backwas more like a total lack of motivation and lifeskills, not to mention that when someone asked me how I felt about him, I really couldn’t say. The final straw, the thing that puled the trigger, was meeting a philosophizing neuroscience major who loved French movies.
I made up a French screen name to chat with him on Aim.
As it turned out, this almost relationship was built on illusions, and self delusion from the start. He wasn’t everything I cracked him up to be and way more complex of a person tthan I could really handle. He was my obsession, always wondering if he’d ever cared for me to. I was obsesed with the question, and when we finally got togethe, I still never felt scure. When the moment finally came that he was mine, the thrill wore off fast but I couldn’t imagine letting him go after all our shared history and all my precious illusions. Finally, the very first time we really went out to a restaurant together and he paid, it was quite clear we had nothing to talk about. By that time, there wasn’t even much of a physical entoxication either. But the saga still went on…
Until I told him I’d be going to Washington for the summer. And he failed to appreciate anything I did on that date, including making sure he had a little something for his birthday and a bit of brownie. He felt uncomfortable with it all. And it was clear that we should break up, and I was finally at the point where I let him do it. The triger? When I put my ice cream cone on a public restaurant in between bites, proving that I am a filthy person and a germaphobe such as him could never stand to be with me.
Loss aversion is a funny thing. I feel like our date continued after that, maybe, not sure. I remember finally telling him somethings that had finally been on my mind for a while, and ultimately letting him go. I know he sounds all bad in this description but he really wasn’t. He gave me back the birthday present, worried about me spending money on it. I let him keep it (it was like $15 from tjmaxx and thankfully it wasn’t a huge deal for me).Eventually I cut all ties with him, though it took a long time for the drama to be over.
At one point he sent me a text that let me know just how much he thought he could manipulate me, rying to make a booty call. I cursed him out and told him I wouldn’t be controlled anymore, and he responded something along the ilines of, well you must feel really proud of yourself now huh?
Funny how I don’t easily remember, partially because I have blocked it out a bit and partially because it doesn’t matter any more.
He continued to try to get in touch with me, at year long intervals, long after I had put it behind me. At one point he wanted me to go back to college and visit his old professor with him.
I should mention that this guy’s life really unraveled in the time I knew him. He eventually cut himself off/got cut off by his parents entirely. He stopped wanting to be a doctor after I asked him why- guess he did’t want to be one that muh anyway except probably to please his parents and have money- and he went from being a fine student to having to barter with a teacher in his major to give him a c so he could graduate. He became obsessed with wanting to be in media and eventually found his way in. I think he’s a freelancer/unemployed now but not sure. He had done a lot of good stuff along the way and moving frm science to something softer was a bg transition for him. Highly symbolic you might say.
I often forget about him and just brush it off as a crazy thing that happened in the wake of my breakup with ex boyfriend, who had given me diamond jewelry, split christmas between my family and his (I loved his family- they were all really well educated adn smart and open-minded. His gransparents are the first people I knew who traveled). and by the way, ex boyfriend had a bit of mental problems triggered by the break up. He was in a psych ward when I called him a few weeks later to see how things were going, since he was really my best friend, and continued to struggle with getting through college and stuff. Last I heard he has joined the navy. His family connected with me on linkedin and his grandpa wished me well on the day that happened to be my graduation from my mba.
So ifinally I got in touch again with D the french film lovign “semi-rebound” “toxic relationship” guy to make nice and kind of clear the air as well as assert that I’d been hurt.. He eventually came around and apologized. Which was huge for him, even if I didn’t think I needed it anymore. It felt good, like a chapter had ended.
So anyway the summer after the final breakup with D after a go around of about 3 years I was in DC and I met C. Who I adored up until I don’t know, a week or two ago. He was everything I thought I wanted and thought I should want, with a bit of wounde hero to him (seems to be a bit of a thing for me- the best thing about D was always his moralistic intransigence. And he always had a hard time receiving my love) he was open-minded, conservative, religious, feminist, and adorably in touch with his feminine side in a hyper masculine former Marine body. And an economist to boot. How the angels sang. And I felt this weird empathetic connection with him which I didnt’ consider remarkable really until later. At the time I was used to teacher and being around students and being able to “hear “their thoughts and emotions but I don’t think I’ve found an adult since who I felt as keenly as him. I never doubted that he had feelings for me, and I still don’t doubt it, evne though he has cut me off and purposefully not included me in his Facebook once he reactivated it, but, he did the best possible thing for me by letting me go. I deleted all our emails and google hangouts and the one picture I had of him, and it felt like the right thing to do. I do feel like we will se each other again or at least that I will hear from him again eventaully. Just today I began to feel compassion for him rather than wishing to hurt him as he hurt me. I do hope that loop closes someday as it did with D. But looking at him honestly now, he was never quite right and I knew it. It wasn’t just the timing. The version of me that could have been with him was never brought to the light, and never could have been. The thing that made the connection so real, and so longlasting, is that it could never be. Though there was always a possibility. In seeking for an absolute, believing he was “the one,” I effectively created a situation where he couldn’t be the one, because I wouldn’t take no for an answer and pursued him to the point where he had to cut himself off entirely from me. And i’m sure he still had some residual feelings, and being a romantic, probably didn’t want to entirely let it go. And we were friends and were intimate. A tangled, beautiful, futile, and deceptive mess.
But looking at this newly discovered facebook, no he doesn’t have to be the one, and the fact that I was looking for someone like him probably says a lot more about the person I thought I should be and should want to be with and the idea that I should at some point come home, that without coming home I couldn’t find love or money or stabilityy or grow up and be real, than it does about the kind of peson I absolutely have to be with . And as much as I do at some point enjoy the dark and mysterious and he was really for the most part a well-adjusted person, even under the best circumstances a relationship between us would have been tough. But it was tough to let him go, and the innocent, pre-France, still perfectionistic and ambitious Megan go with him. It can be hard to admit how much you’ve changed. Despite beig a somewhat well traveled guy, and having a good job, I have certainly outtraveled him and have more of a worldly perspective. Doesn’t mean i’m better or worse, just that we are different. And what it takes to connect with me now, I’m not even sure.
And then now there’s a guy I don’t even want to write about because I don’t want to create another drama. But I do desire him and have a little crush even on him, at least lust, and I enjoy talking with him and having fun with him. He’s on his own dark and mysterious path as a yoga doing spiritual seeking enlightenment kind of guy. He’s not effeminate, but he’s not a Marine either, and he pronably wears about half what I do. But we can be masculine and feminine together, and I’ve got a lot in common with him. He’s French and speaks English well, and also has lived abroad, so it is not hard to express myself with him, and he’s blunt as well. At the moment, travel and adventure is a main prioirity for him and he plans to move to Brazil, maybe forever, though he loved Australia.
I’m a little shocked that someone who is so not my type and so the opposite in some ways (though inwardly the same) as the guy I was obsessed with for years could get the slightest rise out of me.
It’s interesting to watch my mind try to concoct some sort of a story around this guy, if only because it would be an interesting twist in the plot line, and it would be nice to think that something I’ve long logned for could be within my grasp. I am tired of waiting, and yet, less sure than ever of what I seek. Also, I’m trying hard to come to grips with the parts of myself I haven’t really accepted yet, that I have long tried to deny, that I tried to hide from in my obsession with C.
The truth is, I don’t know when or if or how I want to go home. I don’t kno whow long I will accept the many disadvantages of living in Frane, especially when it come to finances and being away from my family. But I do know that what I want to do now is travel. Sometimes it seems perfectly nromal and good enough to stay her and ocntinue to grow with my current company- that’s what I want now anyway. But it also feels like an enormous risk- because by doing that I am letting a part of myself go that was always looking for higher faster stronger more, better optimal.
And by stayin gin France I am renouncing one of the easiest, surest paths for ambition, in order to travel, remain immersed in another country and culture that are far from strategic, and have greater work life balane.
The truth is I feel incredibly attached to France, and live it very much. Sometimes I hate the French but love France. And above all, I love the French language. I haven’t even read all the greats of French literature.
I am here and I don’t know why.
I though the quest would be over at the end of my contract, but it’s only just begun.
And I am breathing a sigh of relief, because I don’t want to go back to real life. Even though this is becoming my “real life,” and there’s no escaping my flaws or pecadillos or the anxietty of the human ondition. I want my real life to be travel, or expatriation, and vacation has become “going home.”
I thought at the end of this year or two of living in Paris, I’d be cured of wanderlust and ready to embrace hard working, comfortable, stable suburban or city life. That I’d want to give all this up.
That I would be forced to, for love, for money, for family, for career. most likely, by ambition or nostalgia. Or sheer loneliness.
But Praise God, I haven’t.
This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, beause I have had to though so many things off my boat just to keep afloat. That’s probably a big reason of why I came here.
And yet I feel like the quest isn’t over, and may not ever be. Maybe I will go back to the US and be completely happy to do so, or at least excited about it, or mayb e I will jet off somewhere else, be it Belgium or Brazil. Who can tell?
Personally, I don’t want to know, I want to keep improvising and letting life surprise me. I dono’t want a five day plan, let alone a five year plan.
I don’t want to go on Match.com and order my perfect man and meet him for happy hour at Friday’s.
Sometimes the control freak in me does though..
I want to meet him on the top of a mountain, and find he is everything I ever wanted yet nothing like I ever expected.
I want to through away the maps, the measurements, even the compass. The needle has already started spinning out of control, and “true North,” seems to have switched directions. Sometimes I can’t tell “where” home is anymore, only who.
I”ve stopped lamenting for the roots and the routines and the certainties I’m not growing in the ground, and realized that they are the invisible lines that hold me up when I fly. My roots are somewhere in the heavens.
Anchors away my friends! Let’s mix some metaphors! Shatter those stone idols! Stop worshipping the golden calf…
And give up self improvement in favor of self liberation, self realization, self actualizaion…ahh what a luxurious and joyful and healthy thought! All change comes through acceptance!
I don’t know who I am, I barely know who I have been, but knowing that I know nothing and life is a mystery, that is everything!
I know, not a very typical tile for me. Typically I came to the keyboard with all kinds of hurt and resentment and aching that the empty page and your listening eyes provide a refuge for, the idea that I am not alone and that I matter.
I still have reasons to complain, I do live in France afer all where complaining is a national sport, and I’ve recently been incredibly hur and disappointed and angry. Basically the guy I thought could be it, not only randomly stopped responding to me, but I also realized he had reactivated his facebook for months and did not see fit to ask me to be his friend. it might sound petty but i use facebook very often to post things i think are interesting and maybe i flood the airwaves a bit but i was sad and angry to s he was consciously creating more separation and hiding something from me. Perhaps it wasn’t conscious, but it probably was. I’ve been feeling really mad and hurt about it all, but seing that he had done that just confirmed my intuition, and that of my friend, that he’s not really a straightforward guy. In the past I always gave him the benfit of the doubt when he did things I would consider almost as lies of omission. In any case, I still hope he’s well but I”m happy he’s out of my life. It definitely feels like a weight has been lifted and I”m finally free. I realize that at some level I had never fully trusted him, and now I don’t trust or respect him so I see no reason now or in the future to pursue any kind of relationship. And that’s a huge blessing. I don’t feel anymore that I have to divert my own path to find love, or that I have missed out on what ould have been the greatest thing in my life with him. I feel more an more accepting of the fact that France is not a detour, it is the path.
And it’s so light and easy to not be wishing to be somewhere I’m not, to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with me, to want something that on some deeper level I know is incredibly flawed and impossible but feeling guilty at even the thought of letting him go. I loved my image of him, but that’s the greatest trap of all.
And now I’m free- and happy.
This has also helped me to realize that as long as I’m happy with where I am and what I’m doing, for the most part at least, all good things will find their way to me. But if I leave a life I really love for the promise of meeting someone or simply more money, or becaue IS feel guilty about being so far from my family, I am going to be royally screwed up. I know that I am going to eventually find peace with wherever I am and whatever mistakes I make, yet at the same time, it would be a pretty grievous sin to go against my heart. I already know how that turns out. And I know the benefits of letting go too, knowing that I will find my way back if it’s meant to be.
I also disabled my ddating sites, because I wasn’t finding what I was looking for and maybe I was looking too hard. I’m also, fially, realizing I don’t have to go out and look for love as it is surely going to find me, even if not in the way I expect. I choose trust over fear.
Do I want to stay in France for the rest of my life?
Don’t know, but I don’t think it should make a difference in how I conduct myself most of the time. Right now I don’t see any compelling reason not to stay, but that could of course change.
I often feel that things are moving alone almost without my help, or even my conscious desire. Does the path choose the walker or does the walker choose the path? These days I feel like the path chose me.
I don’t know what I am here for, or why I am here, besides a love that makes no sense I really can’t understand, and maybe the fact that the moment I let myself be happy and wise was here, and for that reason I have no desire to leave.
Does the environment dictate the person’s life and feelings or does the person make use fo their environment and change it to suit them? I don’t know.
But what I do know is that I’m happy, and I’m grateful for that.
And the fact that I will be home in one week for Christmas!
Love you all,