Monday, 1 January 2018

new beginnings.............and goodbyes...............

The bags are packed.  The goodbyes have mostly been made. There have been hugs, tears, kisses, love, and promises given and received. My mind is ready to go  ~ I've checked my lists and my luggage over and over again.  I've made sure I have my passport, my euros, the keys to my apartment in Paris, my paperwork, etc, etc, etc.  It's what happens when you are an anal over planner ~ the what ifs and maybes take over your head and taunt you with everything that can go wrong,  that last minute item you forgot to pack, the coffee pot you forgot to turn off.

So my mind is ready to go.  But my heart is sad.  Yes I'm excited beyond belief.  I've been planning this move for two years and dreaming about it for much longer.  But the process of saying goodbye to people you love is heart wrenching.  Saturday night, I cuddled Abby as she slept peacefully in my arms.  I snuggled with Charlie on the couch.  Seb and I watched an old episode of The Office and I told him how proud I was of the man he is becoming and how much I would miss him.  14 year olds are not much into hugging and kissing their grandmas but I snuck some in anyways.

The thought of not seeing these three children who are part of every fibre of my being for almost a year tears my heart.  I know I will talk to them on Skype and FaceTime and we will text on Facebook and WhatsApp.  But I won't be able to feel Abby softly breathing as she gently slumbers in my arms. I won't be able to lay down with Charlie and whisper with him as he drifts off to sleep.  I won't be able to hear Seb's sarcastic witty comments and see the same half smile he has made since he was a baby whenever he is happy or excited.  I know I will be missing moments, birthdays, vacations and more.  That is the price I pay for forging ahead with my dream.  It's ok to feel like this and still go.  It's ok to love my kids and my grandkids with my every breath, but also love myself enough to go see what is out there and live my life.  It's ok, but I can't say it's not hard.  So today I am allowing that sadness to mix with the pure joy and excitement that awaits me on January 3rd.  Life is like that.  It's possible to feel sadness and happiness at the same time. And to open yourself to both those feelings.  It is what it is.

I've spent the last few weeks having drinks and meals with friends.  It astounds me how much love and support and kindness has been shown to me.  It touches me tremendously to know that my friends are really happy for me, that they are excited that I am embarking on this adventure.  They have told me that I'm brave and courageous and strong.  Maybe I am.  But I couldn't have gotten to this point without all the people in my life.  Those who listened to me cry and rant over and over again.  Those who held me in their arms and told me I could remake my life.  Those that believed  there was a better life for me out there and encouraged me to keep moving forward. You all shared in the making of this dream.  I hold you all in my heart and I am bringing you all to Paris with me.

I'm spending the last few days before I leave with my family in Montreal.  I'm basking in their embrace, drinking in the moments together, laughing and reminiscing.  We are making plans for some of them to come visit me in Paris and I am excited to show them the city I love and see it through their eyes.  My family has been there for me relentlessly in the last 4 years and they are there for me now.  I know they will miss me as I will miss them, but they are still letting me go because they know what this year means to me.  That is true, selfless love and that is what I have always had from my sister and brothers, their spouses and my mom.  Family is everything and we have shown this to each other over a lifetime of joys, sorrows, laughter, pain, illnesses, and celebrations.

And then there are the two people I've given life to.  My daughter Danielle and my son Derek.  They are two very different people but they are both strong, courageous, compassionate, intelligent, kind, witty, generous and sweet.  They have both overcome tremendous challenges and come out stronger on the other side.  I'm so proud of the people they have become and of their strengths as parents who are raising their own children.  They are part of my soul and their unconditional love and support have sustained me and helped ensured I am able to take this voyage into the great unknown.  They are the best thing I've ever done in my life.   They are a part of me and I know I am a part of them.

Tomorrow is a new beginning. 2018 will be a year of new possibilities and discoveries, mostly of who I really am and what I really want.  I'm just going to let it be and see what happens..........


  1. Oh Johanne What I like about this post is that it's so heart-felt- so real! I wish you every happiness during the next year in your dream city. Also I wish to congratulate you! Bringing on change in your own life is not easy. Firstly change was brought upon you but then you took control and started driving your own life and for this I congratulate you.

    Your year will be awesome, a further journey of self-discovery...

    Judy MacMahon
    Fondatrice magazine

    1. Thank you so much Judy. That means a lot to me. Hope to see you in Paris at some point. Happy 2018 :)

  2. I wrote a long comment yesterday but somehow I must not have published it correctly. Oh, well, I will be brief now but was saying how I understand as I have felt such feelings as well...knowing that someone is not understanding your need to do what you must do and having that tinge your enjoyment to a degree. One must simply move on and in time, the other may come to understand or at least reluctantly accept such. Enjoy the sunshine, adventures and others so that the tinge of sadness dissipates. It is a wonderful adventure.

    1. Thanks Sue. It is indeed a wonderful adventure and I want to bask in this gift I've been given. :)