I’ve written a lot about embracing a wanderlust spirit, taking off and not looking back. Shot these photos at the NOMO Hotel in SoHo, where I enjoyed my last few days in NYC. Now here I am in Paris where I just signed a lease to live alone, in my own little “flat”, for an entire year. I don’t speak the language (though I sure as hell better learn…fast), and I am completely out of my element. I have nowhere to run and hide, and no real fall-back plan. This is it for now! Nobody forced, or even urged, me to take this leap of faith. But I am glad I did because I feel that perhaps it brought me one step closer to becoming the person I want to be.
I feel invigorated by this foreign sense of independence, and having a place to call my very own. There are other times, like when I am lying in bed, wide awake at 6am and letting my mind wander, where I feel scared as hell. It’s a combination of a surprising and indescribable calmness mixed with overwhelming waves of fear and panic. I think this is probably normal, and best that I try and embrace all the emotions instead of hiding from the ones I don’t like.
The concept of stillness has always troubled me, but not quite as much now as I would have expected. I am confident that in time, calm will defeat the chaos, and Paris has the potential to become a place where I belong. Even if it does happen to be a location where many odds stand against me.
I am not carefree. In fact, I have horrible anxiety. And the drastic decisions I’ve made are not because “all I need is myself” or I can find my bearings anywhere and everywhere I go. It is pretty much the the exact opposite…
Many would call me co-dependent or “needy”, and I hate these labels even though they do hold validity. Others tell me I am brave, which I rarely feel. Anyone who knows me will say I’m stubborn – this one I won’t deny. Taking a closer look, I suppose I am all of these things…the bravery stems from a desire to oppose that reliance on others for happiness. This is something I have committed to finding on my own, whatever drastic measures I deem necessary to do so (enter “stubborn”).
I read an anonymous quote along the lines of “if you could go anywhere right now would it be ‘somewhere’ or ‘to someone’”. The fact that this made me think twice felt disturbing. I’m not really sure what my honest answer is to that question. But I had to decide what I want it to be, and it hasn’t been easy. I chose “somewhere”, for both myself and the for the “someone” who made me wonder if that was the right choice. I know in my heart it was, but it still does hurt.
I want to find a love that’ll last a lifetime and enrich my soul, but not a person that defines who I am. I want to find a companion whose true being is complimentary to mine. Someone who isn’t just like me, but at the same time has the ability to understand who I am and and not just accept, but love me for it. I won’t be able to find that person, though, until I can really find, and love, myself again. It’ll take time.
There is so much of the world I still want to see, and so many personal problems I must conquer in order to do so. The fact that these words regarding a “person” or “place” stopped me in my tracks, also helped justify a daunting decision. One I will likely continue to question for a while.
So here I am, slightly confused, a bit lonely, and also incredibly excited for whatever comes my way. I’ve always been adventurous but I haven’t always felt whole without constant physical love and the tremendous emotional support of others. My quaint new setting, where I can come home and plop down in my pillow-filled apartment, has given me hope that I will be able to attain this sense of autonomy. I’m on my way to experiencing a new form of peace for the first time in a while. It is frightening, empowering and exactly what I need.
EDITED: If you read this earlier, I wrote the initial post from a “girl power” POV, and was being a bit dishonest with myself in the words that I typed out. Leaving love isn’t easy, and I’m not as immediately settled here as I may have implied (though I stand by my declaration to keep on fighting until I do find peace in independence).
I wrote about the place that I want to be mentally instead of were I actually am; not with the intention of lying or making myself sound stronger to others, but perhaps because part of me thought that in doing so I might be able to get “there” faster. This is not to say I’m not making major progress, and a lot of what I wrote did hold validity. But I am still human. I pride myself on being totally real here, and hopefully someone whose feelings and life experiences can be related to, as a result. So I tell you humbly, I had to take a step back and recognize that committing to state of being and actually arriving at that mental state are two very different things. Life isn’t easy, and I don’t need to pretend that it is to make myself feel better. And so I made a few changes, out of respect for you, my readers, the man who I was writing about, and myself.