It’s been a long time since I sat down to write. I stopped writing because I started to feel like the posts I was writing were getting repetitive but also because I decided to move to New York, and I wasn’t sure how I felt about writing that down. When I realized I had to move it felt like if I wrote it I had somehow given up on Paris. So I didn’t write at all and now so many things have happened that is hard to know where to begin. So here is where I left off. During my last two months in Paris I
- finished my five weeks of pastry school.
- had a fling with a boy from LA visiting Paris. We went dancing, ate palmiers from different bakeries in the Marais for breakfast, kissed in the middle of the street late at night, and had an oyster bacchanalia.
- moved, again.
-spent a quiet, magical christmas eve with my mom.
-felt sad to be alone on New Year’s but danced until five in the morning at Rosa Boneheur with some fabulous frenchy friends.
-walked myself home in the rain from Parc Butte Chaumont to Chatelet at five in the morning on New Year’s day.
-spent afternoons in Montmarte with my friend Joey going for arepas or to the movies after buying candy from a chubby french lady who wore her hair in two braids.
-went to San Sebastian with my friend Kelly. Where I made dessert for my friends supper club and ate so much delicious food that I still think about.
-had a magical night at the Louvre watching the Marina Abramovic documentary.
-had the most perfect going away party in my friend Cleo’s insane hotel room overlooking the Tuileries with the Eiffel Tower twinkling at a distance.
I decided to move to New York as I finished my written exam for pastry school. The same voice that said I should move to Europe popped back in my head and said, what are you thinking trying to open a business in Paris there is still so much you need to learn. Grow up. Go home.
I wish I had kept up my writing because so many memories of those last month are coming back as I type this. Including how strange and comforting it felt to go to the embassy when I had to get some papers signed. How many ham and cheese galette with a bowl of cider lunches I had mourning my departure, how the sun never came out for the entire month of January and I spent 90 percent of that month completely alone walking along the seine, watching movies in my apartment, and trekking to Monoprix.
I miss Paris. I think about it almost every other day. I miss the rhythm, my friends, the supermarket. I was never a girl who dreamed of going to Paris. I was just a girl who wanted to live in Europe and in the end Paris completely stole my heart. Sometimes I can’t believe I did it. It seems like a dream. Like a movie of someone else’s life. Others I can’t believe I didn’t try harder to stay.
But as soon as I arrived in NY it felt like the right decision was made. NY welcomed me with the open arms of an old friend. She said, welcome back, pull up a chair, stay a while, stay forever perhaps. Many times in the last seven months I wanted to write something here but didn’t. Now it feels like too many details to fill in. Within a week of being back I had a job and a great apartment. What ensued since has been intense, endurance building, at times extremely lovely and rewarding, and at others sad and maddening.
There was a boy and for a brief second I thought- wow! But in the end he had many pieces but not all the right ones. It was amateur hour on my part. I got burned. I felt foolish. And all of it by my own hand. Dealing with that part and looking at myself in both an introspective and forgiving way has proven to be a hard task. Specially because I feel lonely and it vexes me.
I’m not sure how to make peace with the feeling and with how my choices have deposited me in them. I have chosen a career that gives me a weird schedule. I have moved many times leaving behind communities I loved and built. I can only be me but what am I doing right and what am I doing wrong. The only word I can think of that perfectly describe how I feel is abysmal. Not because I feel extremely bad. I feel simply bad but it carries a tunnel like feel to it.
Is it all the changes and transitions that have ocurred in the last two years that leave me feeling unstable? Is it my looming birthday? My biological clock? The simple desire to share my life with someone? This part of my life is driving me bananas in a way it never did when I was younger. And I know I have to reseign myself to it but it is incredibly hard. I felt like this around my last birthday too- a weepy, needy puddle. I have never been that girl but I feel such deep frustration at life not giving me what I think I need and it feels helpless.
One of the biggest lessons as of late has been that things are not a choice that once made just happens. Patience, discipline, commitment these are not words that once chosen one suddenly embodies. I don’t know why I always thought that and why I never believed myself capable of them. These words, these choices, along with many others occur as a constant dialogue. We don’t wake up everyday feeling these feelings but rather, often but not always, need to go looking for them within us. Sometimes they become second nature and sometimes we need to find stronger, clearer definitions of them.
I have worked harder these last months than I ever have in my life. I have never been poorer. And I have come to the realization that it makes sense (somewhat) that people in kitchens make so little. It’s a test of endurance and love.
Right now, as I write this, I feel such deep sadness and loneliness. Maybe it’s because I can’t stop thinking of my sister who is in rehab, and I feel such sorrow, confusion, anger, and despair that I can barely talk about it. Or maybe it’s because I started a new job, and like any new job, it’s not exactly how I envisioned and I hoped it would be.
Right now, and for the last few weeks, there is a darkness that I can not seem to shake. I’m tired of these moments but know there is nothing to do but live them. I think this is a test of surrender. To just have faith, to will myself to have faith, that I will fall in love again, that I will find a life and community in NY, that I won’t always be broke or feel lost. I am longing to weather these storms and feel a sense of triumph and accomplishment but all I can do right now is put my head down and work.