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So, for a long time despite living in France, I refused to kiss frogs. Well, out of love anyway. Fun, sure why not?

And for a long time, just between you and me, I was in love with someone who thought he was Captain America. ANd I guess it seemed pretty difficiult to let that go.  After all, fantasies usually are- it’s reality that’s tougher to stick with. When in reality said person you wated to be your one and only superhero stops returning your calls out of the blue, it hits you like a ton of bricks- it’s time to move on. And then you make up all kinds of reasons why this must be so, how you always knew it and just didn’t want to accept it. But deep down, you always did- and that’s why the chase was so appealing and so rewarding in its self deprecation- you were always chasing your own tail. It was a love that fit into every dream, a perfect match, because it wasn’t taking you anywhere.

But yeah, I’m in France. Of my own volition. And after shoveling off all the heaps of guilt and confusion, and identity crisis, I realize I actually like being here. It has its price- but so does anything worth having. And instead of trying to find greener grass elsewhere, I was advised that the grass is green where you water it. And I realized I was not watering it well with my salty tears of self doubt and self pity. Maybe self pity is too strong- rather, all the different violence we do to ourselves to feel bad about where we are and lose all faith in where we could ever go, and who we could be.

And perhaps the first frog I need to kiss is the one in the mirror. No, I havent become French,but I have become “other” to older versions of me I felt muchmore comfortable with. Even though those who love me love me perhaps quite equally, the current version of me just feels so bold, and brash. She makes me uncomfortable, she stands out a lot in comparison to the people she mostly doesn’t have the time of day to compare herself too, and sh emocks all my previous beliefs and all the rules that I thought kept me warm and safe and dry and loved. This, by contrast, is a girl who got a tattoo by herself in Kyoto just before finishing business school and trying to get a corporate job, this is more the kind of girl who dances in the rain, by herself, if need be. By herself, so as not to violate anything she believes in. ANd maybe, just a little bit, by herself because she is afraid of getting hurt again or of loving too deeply. That was a young woman, after all, who committed to going to Paris against all odds, who had stoped making cost/benefit calculations but couldn’t quite get over the guilt of not properly optimizing her life according to society’s standards- not least those of her dear ones- this is a girl incredibly afraid to disappoint others and her perfectionistic self yet too brave, too honest to do anything but what she really wants, deep in her hand, whatever guilt or self torture or obstacles which may ensue be damned.

But I am slowly but surely changing into a new person. The happy somewhat aimless English teacher, the student who surrounded herself with open minds in a city of dreams, the polished Washingtonian who confidently pushed forward regardless of the self doubt se felt from time to time, confident in her potential even if she didn’t have a clear plan. This is the girl with the open mind and open heart who’s not afraid to be beautiful, vulnerable, strong, smart- an independent but sociable woman. Whohas stopped looking for validation outside what she has finally found it in herself- true love and friendship. This is the girl who wants to be in love and doens’t fear losing herself anymore. THis is the girl who knows that love is coming, and whenever it comes or not, she is the key to her happiness more than anyone or anything else. This is the girl who choosesfreely to live a bit simpler in order to have more time to laugh and explore. This is the girl who knows what she wants, finally, and has no doubts that she deserves it,and can get it.

So

This is a princess among the frogs, who might turn into a speciies of them and choose to stay that way after finding her prince. This is the girl who has made peace with the frog within herself, and is the same whetprincess whatever form she may take.

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