Three years in the middle of your twenties mean a whole lot of growing up, in a bitter-sweet mix of disenchantment and empowerment. When you spend them away from home, the mixture gains new dimensions, wide and deep. There is no reality check that makes you face yourself in a more radical way, than that of cutting off the familiar. Feeling like those little birds you watched on animal shows, or young wild cats, deciding it’s time to leave the nest and take the maturity test, make your own initiation into whatever life you chose, hunt down the necessities with the four limbs and one head you were born with, making out little by little what your gut feeling is like. Perhaps, trading surviving and living more often than you expected, only now realizing how stubborn you are. Stubborn, stupid, who knows.
Paris put me through tests I could never make up in my imagination. Some I did, admittedly. The bureaucratic kind. All the rest life took care of. Teaching me step by step how strong and fragile I am. Yes, both at the same time. How resourceful and quick to learn, forced to compromise, yet rarely bending, too. How joyful my soul bottom is despite my melancholic surface. How I’m so full of feelings and emotions, the complicated and the simple, it’s sometimes hard to handle for myself, let alone others who judge me as sentimental, but I’m capable of it, or am in the process of learning at least. How it’s always easier to believe in a made-up image, yet the truth is so much more beautiful, even when it is hard, cold and cruel. That there is freedom in truth. How my deep personal roots are connected to everyone around me, how I can stand alone and still continue to reach for others, other human beings sharing my experiences, and even those who don’t.
I see all of it, now, while I’m slowly getting adjusted to the fact that some day I will probably go back. Feeling life might push me that way. Not backwards, though. I know now, too, I will come home different. I’m letting go of what I might want from life and trying to discover what life has in store for me. I’m not willing to force it anymore. If the only way for Paris to stay my home is living a life I don’t find enriching anymore, I rather go back. In someone else’s words: I love this city, but I love myself more. I love people who are my real or chosen family more. Those people who truly matter and know you for who you are. If, by some magical force, my second home is willing to accept me as I am and watch me grow further, I’ll stay.
I now wonder if I could go through such a process of opening up back home, in my comfortable cocoon, I understand fully now the urge that pushed me out of it years ago. Maybe, being more yourself means defining that self less. (It’s like biting your own teeth, a quote my best friend told me last week during one of our ”deep talks” – which one isn’t?) Letting the cage around it melt, brick by brick, and let the seed you clung to grow into a forest. Oh fuck it : I like my sentimentality. It means I feel life from the bottom up and not sleeping my way through it. I let myself fall for it entirely, even when I’m trying to deny it or think it’s not the moment for it.
I still see people dying a little because of the restrictions to their feelings, to their expressions, to their intelligence, to their creativity, to their independence, to their being, every day. Back then, it was the reason for moving to Paris, now, I’ll have to see if I didn’t step into it, enclose myself in a trap, clinging to a cycle that is finishing up. Let life itself show me if the next one can continue here or not. Hopefully, a less sentimental one. Anyway, I’m giving myself time and not apologizing for it.
Another rant post, right, life’s quite heavy this year.