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So I haven’t been writing as much in the past couple of weeks and I think that’s for two main reasons

1) Have been trying to listen rather than speak

2) Have been trying to feel instead of think.

Instead of having long and convoluted thoughts about the universe I needed to share or honestly just things to complain and wonder about, I’ve been out there living life and most importantly, trying to get in touch with my deep self and wondering why things aren’t going in the direction I wanted.  And things have been a little stressful in general.

I also don’t have so many certainties to share. There’s no one in my life that I’m convinced is the one or am completely blown away by. I do have a friend that maybe will one day be more than a friend, and thinking of him feels me with something quiet, soft, and sweet. It’s a subtle feeling that seems private and probably more genuine, and the thing is, he’s real- and as such doesn’t meet all of my sometimes silly expectations, and perhaps even more scarily, he’s a real person in my life who is accessible and kind and seems to want to be a constant figure in my life. He’s left Paris physically, but as a presence in my life he does not seem to be going anywhere. ANd this is someone I have told some deep dark secrets too, who has seen me as I am. Regardless of what he outcome might be, he is a healing positive presence, he is not an opium dream I”vebecome addicted to, and did I mention? He’s not a dream, he’s real.

It seems as though letting go of expectations is a huge theme in my life right now. I was hoping that things would work so I could stay at my job and get a big bump in salary and that I would know by April. I am really happy with the people I work with and the content of my job has gotten more and more interesting, but as it turns out my beloved manager may be leaving.  And who knows what may happen but the big salary bump seems less and less likely, a permanent job is not entirely ruled out but does not seem like a strong possibility, and I may have to take a significant amount of time- say 4 months- between contracts for legal reasons- which woud more than negate any small bump in salary. Although when I first heard about it, it didn’t seem so bad, just a big challenge to save up for and a good opportunity to travel.  Actually it did seem bad. ANd it’s really challenging not to compare myself to others and feel I deserve better, not to mention it is increasingly painful to think of th salary I am foregoing and theadditional taxes I am paying by staying here.

ANd yet…

I walked around Paris and had a moment of clarity. FOr me clarity and really listening to myself is not always easy. I tend to process the outside world and ask everyone for advice and just do anything besides admit to my subjective well being. I want to be good, I want to be the best, I want to be successful, I odn’t want to be lacking in any area, Iwant to be outstanding, and I want to feel good enough. It’s a feling I have struggled for for a long time, and the moment where I feel like I’ve made it seems elusive. And there are so many metrics in which I am not “winning,” at this particular moment. I fel like I fucked up and everyone else is doing better than me, is more mature, more realistic, less silly and romantic, more responsible.

And then I saw the sunset.

I realized that I have made it- I have been living a childhood dream. For reasons beyond my comprehension ever since I was a child I wanted to speak French fluently, and I do.

MOre than that, though my love affair with Paris was anything but a coup de foudre “at first sight,” I do love it. WHy? Because it’s beatiful ad charming and yes, romantic. America is my country, but France is my home.

There are many good things that have happened to me, and sharing a special moment with friends and many things that could have happened anywhere, but there are those moments walking into the sunset where I know I am right where I am supposed to be, and I love it even if I don’t always understand why. I am committed, and with commitment things begin to work when you do.

And it’s a waste of my life, of my time and energy and mental health, asking why do I feel this way, why do I have to feel this way, why can’t I be an automaton just seeking the most optimal, self interested linear path to my goals. But whatever else I have not accomplished, I have followed my dream and even better, achieved it which is not given to everyone. My heart is teaching me to be happy if I’ll just listen and let go of things that don’t really matter that much in the end. Because in general, I love my life. This is it. There’s no lack of authenticity, no lack of heart. The ups and downs of life are quite real, and I am completely real here, as I am living my dream and creating a life.

I don’t know if I’ll stay in Paris forever of course, but with Paris and France in general I htink it’s a place I’ll always want to go back to. Yes, I am spending very formative years here and that is embuing everything with a certain primordial fondness, but I chose to. Despite many obstacles. And that says a lot.

So I’m asically at a point where I need to accept and be grateful for my subjective well being, my true wealth, and let the objective measures take care of themselves and be patient. There is no one to compare to when you are living your own truest life.

And to really do that with an open heart, I have to let go of my expectations, which are just a huge burden. I have to find happiness and peace and self worth within.

And I need to just face my problems, say a prayer, and do my best. NO one can ask me for anything more, and many things are really not in my control.

But I”m happy that I am doing what I think is the most important thing in life, and that is making the msot of the time that’s given to you.

I don’t have any answers or slutions or plans to make any big changes now, no grnad conclusions except to share the whispering of my heart: You are home.