10.24.2007

What then?

Today was Wednesday, October 23. My friend Alex's wedding is Saturday and today was the day that I had a ticket booked to fly back from Paris to New York for the wedding.

This is the last date that was planned in my Paris life. And so as time has spun away in its quick way over the past three months, I have always had this date in mind. Because nothing beyond October 23 existed; I had not foreseen past the flight home.

I am feeling the effects of this freefall.

It's not that I'm unhappy with this life. Except that I am unhappy. I struggle with fitting back into a society and among friends; I feel foreign.

Even on my loneliest days in Paris, I was not alone because I had the city for company. I would walk the streets and take comfort from their strong facades, worn but sturdy from time. And perhaps I also allowed myself more leeway to feel lonely- I was far away from home. Loneliness abroad is explicable, almost assumed, expected. Loneliness at home, back among "all your family and friends," is less accepted, perhaps even to myself.

People pretty much expect you to be over it, four months after you move countries. I avoid talking about how much I miss Paris because the tolerance of others to listen to that sort of thing is limited; it comes across bourgeois and self-involved on my part. And yet it is so much of what is on my mind everyday. I can't help but think that this would all be easier if Paris was a man I was dating; surely it is more socially acceptable to drone on about relationship problems than it is to bemoan a city and life lost.

'Brooklyn' is the magic word, the solution that everyone offers. "Wait until Brooklyn, you'll see!" they shout. "Once you move there, everything will fall into place." And maybe they are right, maybe Brooklyn will suddenly be the answer.

But what if it is not.

2 comments:

Rebecca said...

Jen jen jen - it's no paris, but really, my favorite thing about living in brooklyn is how easy it is to hang out with my friends - at our houses, favorite bars, coffee shops, the park, etc... no fuss, you don't have to get that dressed up and you can just have a good conversation. you'll like it, i promise!

Anonymous said...

"Loneliness at home, back among "all your family and friends," is less accepted"
i understand how you're feeling darling.
that's why i will never go back to france... i am too scared to go back and be lost among family and friends in my own country.
i fell in love with dublin, ireland and the irish. even when i go on holidays i miss dublin... it is so weird to be so attached to a city, and we are lucky it happened to us.
you should try to go back once a year if you can. so you'll have something to look forward to and it might help you going on. it'll be like seeing your best friend again and remember all the good memories.

i wish you all the best and i hope you'll find a way to adapt and accept your new life.

xxx
Edith