I’m leaving Paris.
In two short, short days I’m leaving Paris to set down roots in Charlotte, North Carolina. Why Charlotte, a lot of my friends ask? You don’t know anyone in Charlotte.
True. But I didn’t know anyone in Paris, either. But then I met my Parisian and I discovered a totally new Paris. A Paris seen from the inside, as though I was able to hold up a mirror and see myself there. Knowing my Parisian let me, little me, see myself in Paris from the inside out.
I ache with my decision to leave him. He’s become one of my closest friends and I will miss him terribly. But it’s unfair to stay anywhere for anyone. It’s too great a burden for them to bear. It’s smothering. It’s too weighty. It’s like shovels full of dank dirt thrown onto wilting hearts. There’s no joy in burdens. And more than anything I want my Parisian to be as happy as I am.
“You’ve got set down roots someplace,” he offered over a beer, “You’ve got to have a place to escape to, to run to when the world wants too much from you.”
Which is the most painfully honest thing anyone has said to me in years? Yet in my heart of hearts, I know that I must step into my future. And it is my future which beckons me.
I have met so, so many men. So many handsome men. I routinely navigate to the dating site I frequent and in less than twelve hours I find strikingly handsome men in Palm Springs, Ghana, Belgrade, Pretoria, New York that vie for my attention. And they’re all beautiful, and witty, and good texters, and lovers of literature. But none of them are flesh and bone like my Parisian.
One day I know I will find the next true love of my life. But in the interim, I must take heed of what my Parisian said this morning, “Be comfortable with yourself and let the expectations of the world pass you by. Someone will recognize you. You’re too beautiful to be alone for the rest of your life.”