Yes, I'm in Paris for a year. Yes, this is a dream come true. One I've been planning for a very long time. But just because my address now says Paris France instead of Cornwall Ontario doesn't magically make my life different. I'm still me. I still have the same anxieties, worries and issues I had before January 3. I also still have the same strengths, courage and raw sense of humour I had then. It's just that all those characteristics, and many more that make up who I am, have been transplanted to my new home. I still have to live with them. What I hope is that I can learn to let go of some of the stuff that makes me anxious and makes me worry and focus more on why I am so damn happy when I am here. Maybe I can figure out what makes me a different person when I'm here and learn to take that home with me. Because home is still home. It's where my loves are ~ my kids and my grandkids. Those who love me unconditionally.
So that is something I will reflect on. I realize that my problems don't magically disappear just because I'm in Paris. But I also know that for whatever reason, those problems seem to recede a bit when I'm here. So I'm going to try to figure out why.
In the meantime, I'm having the time of my life. It's been a non stop whirlwind of good friends, good food and wine, wonderful art, discovering new neighbourhoods and revisiting old favourites. I even actually left Paris for 4 days and spent time in the Basque Country with a treasured friend. Life is good, my friends. Very, very good. I continue to fall deeper in love with this magnificent city that wraps her arms around me every time I visit. I think my mind is finally coming to terms with the fact that I'm here for longer this time. That I don't have to keep rushing from place to place, from friend to friend, trying to fit it all into 2 weeks or even 5 weeks. Lately, I've taken to spending some nights in my cozy little Parisian apartment, making a simple dinner, having a glass of wine, listening to music, reading or watching French Netflix. It's all part of being here for a year. I am finding my groove, settling in, getting more familiar with my 'hood, my buses, my metro stations, my supermarkets and wine shops and boulangerie and fromagerie and even my local Picard!
I wouldn't have been able to even contemplate a year away from home if I didn't have the most amazing group of friends, both here in Paris and around the world, who encouraged me to take this leap of faith and dare to live my dream. I am never lonely in Paris. I have truly good people in my life, who are always there for me. When I want to eat, drink and laugh. And also when the sadness or feelings of doubt come. There is always a hug ready for me, a shoulder to lean on, a cheek to kiss, arms to hold me. Some of those people are in Paris. Some are elsewhere but always close to my heart. I am never truly alone. Except if I want to be. And sometimes I do :). I like my company. I like to wander the streets for hours by myself. I love to visit the museums and decide how long to look at a work of art. One minute, five, twenty ~ it's lovely to have the luxury of deciding that on the fly without having to explain to anyone.
So the first month has come and gone. It's been mostly good but with a little sadness. And that's ok. That's life. It's part of my moving on, part of my growing, part of figuring out who I am and who I want to be. How lucky am I to be able to experience all of it, good and bad, exciting and mundane, beauty and dog poop, blue skies and rain, and sleet and even a bit of snow. Wherever you go, there you are...........so here I am and I'm just Letting It Be :)
|Irving Penn exhibit at Le Grand Palais|
|The magnificent Pont Alexndre III|
|The rising waters of the Seine|
|My lovely friend Roniece, beautiful inside and out. She just celebrated 5 years in Paris and she inspires me to follow my dreams.|
|St Jean de Luz|
|Tapas in San Sebastian|
|Sun peeking out in San Sebastian|
|driving through the Pyrenees|
|Yes, it was as good as it looks!|
|Plane tree in Cambo Les Bains|
|riding the TGV at 315 kilometres an hour|
|snow on the rooftops of Paris|
|The Louis Vuitton Foundation museum, designed by Frank Gehry|
|A Klint at the MoMA Exhibit|
|The mythical blue sky of Paris at dusk|
|good times with great friends|
|Always there, even in the fog.|