Wet snow everywhere, below zero, police dogs sniffing for bombs – that’s what I returned to. Needless to say, I miss Paris already. Although it was foggy when I left, damp and cold, I fell in love with the city. It’s just so beautiful. I made new friends, met someone who means the world and now it’s back into the habit at a place that’s never allowed me to be myself. In Paris though, I felt at home. The lights, the food, the language. I flirted wherever I went and it felt so good, that’s all I say. Don’t even try to press me for details. Found new passions and rekindled old ones, saw l’Opéra at night and lost my heart to the architecture of a city that seems composed rather than built, every detail an homage to a culture of elegance and beauty. George Clooney then on a poster at Charles de Gaulle, bidding me farewell with a cup of coffee that barely touched his lips while his smile surely made mine spread. A Maracons shop right next to him, trying to seduce me into spending the last of my money on sweets as colorful as Paris itself.
Yes, I met them, too: moody Frenchmen, rude airport personnel, a cab driver who lost his way and police in full armor, machine guns included. But they couldn’t undo what had won me over in just a short few days. The sheer beauty of a city that’s seen so many changes and faced so many obstacles with grace. The myth of Paris and its reality, the welcoming face of a new-found friend whom I hope to see soon again for more of a city I was so sad to leave although my time would have allowed me to stay. For more conversation, more food and wine. More laughter, more inspiration and more culture. No museums, no exhibitions, no art – there simply was no time. And now my heart is aching for it all, my gypsy soul frustrated to be home. I always am. I love to travel and be elsewhere, but coming back breaks me every time. With every part of me I find in other countries, I lose a piece of myself when I have to return. It’s one of those bittersweet moments when I step out of that plane and face the town I’m supposed to call my own. Although this time, a chat with a flight attendant sweetened my arrival. We were both waiting for our bus to take us home. She had just flown back in from Chicago and it was fantastic to have someone to laugh with while my mind was still unwilling to adjust. When our ways parted though, I felt as lost as I knew I would, the past weekend too eventful not to leave me a little breathless.
So here I am now, processing it all, beating myself up for the things I missed, got wrong or was reluctant to invest in. That’s another pattern I am trying to break, my second-guessing. But with the experiences of the past few days I am hopeful that 2017 will bring about a lot of changes and lead me to places I love to be in, both on paper and in person. Paris is most definitely one of them and I am forever grateful for having ceased the opportunity to do something that mattered to me before I knew just how much it would. So thank you to the person who re-awakened my muse and lured me to Paris.You’ve found the key to open my soul and given it to me without your knowledge. I owe you one and Paris, too. One of you I’ll see again for sure, so à bientot!