" Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all "
Ain’t it the truth. Be all in or all out.
Ain’t it the truth. Be all in or all out.
Being a Hermit until the sun comes out
Tuesday May 20th, 2014
I need to stop being a hermit. HELLO, Jacqueline, you are in Paris. I know this is the hardest part, because I am naturally shy and would rather stay home and read than go out on my own and talk to strangers. Ok, I know that. That is one of the reasons I am doing this, so I can force myself to be more social. But I’ll be damned, the anxiety gets to me. So I had one day inside, that’s not a crime right? It was gloomy today anyway. I did laundry. I had two work calls. I got shit done so no big deal. You can’t beat yourself up over one day, plus I had shitty sleep last night.
(later that evening):
“It was a dark and stormy night,” As Snoopy said. It is currently pouring rain in Paris. Rain is my nemesis. It makes me sad and moody, like a flower that is beaten profusely by every drop. I blossom and open up in the sun, with its warmth and color. But rain? Rain is for the emos, and god knows that I am much too emotional already to enjoy it and bask in it. What is it about being an introvert? About being ok with being home, reading a book. About being drained by the energies of others? I’m trying to get into the reasons why I have this internal part of me. Unless I drink too much, I’m almost too mellow. I prefer to listen than to be in the spotlight (most times). Maybe its what makes me a better writer, to always be in my head….
My new neighborhood, Montmartre
- I am a walking cliché. At least, that’s what many of my fellow Americans thought of me when I said I was moving to Paris to write.
“Oh let me guess, you want to follow in Hemingway’s footsteps. You want to sit in a café and get inspired by the afternoon bouts of rain spilling softly on the cobblestone streets.”
Yes, and so what, hater?
I of course had friends and family who were very supportive, but I did have quite a few skeptics who obviously forgot what they learned in kindergarten, that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t open your trap. Why put negative energy into the universe, I say. So off I journeyed, feeling very blasé about the whole thing, and I sort of settled in my new neighborhood, Montmartre, fairly quickly. It was nice having an old friend around during the first few days (hi Jess!) , which eased the transition of being a total stranger in a new land. And, finding the absolute best coffee shop that reminds me of Zinque back on AK: KB Café, in the 9th, with its awesome music and a good blend of expats and locals. As soon as I started to meet local Parisians, I started feeling better about my move. Being a writer, or any form of artist, is highly respected here. As I timidly declared I had moved here to write, I was prepared for a lofty scoff (the French can be very haughty), but was always met with a welcome praise. I don’t know if I would consider myself an artist, but if I ever wanted to explore that option, France is the perfect place. Artists are embraced, encouraged, and supported. The café culture is real, sitting at a café for hours writing is actually a thing. You meet people, you talk, you share, you learn. And for me, all this in hopes of creating.
working from my new cafe with with a view
See, I have two competing needs in me, the need to be free and the need to be rooted. To keep my head in the clouds and my feet on the ground. Basically, I want to have my cake and eat it too. I want it all.
While I absolutely abhor the term “biological clock” I can’t help but feel that my biological clock is ticking. I’m not getting any younger, and I know I want children and a family. I want to teach my kids all that I’ve learned in the world, I want to raise them to be even more open than I was. I’m having strong maternal instincts, and yet, I packed up and moved to the other side of the world. I don’t understand myself sometimes (most times) and I don’t think I ever will. I wish someone did, and sometimes I wish life had some sort of guide or reference. See, I have this thing with anxiety. If I watch a movie, I will google it before I see it because I have to know who dies, who gets hurt, who falls in love etc, before it happens, and before I invest myself completely in the characters and storyline. I guess you can say it comes down to a fear of being hurt. That is my biggest flaw. I have the word courage tattooed on my body but I don’t really practice it. Sure, I have courage in that I am not afraid to move to a new country, with the money in my pocket, a laptop, and a dream. Yeah that all sounds so boho and romantic, but that’s nothing. What’s scary to me is opening up to people and being one of the most beautiful things one can be: vulnerable. To be vulnerable is to stand naked in the middle of times square: fucking scary.
For now I guess I’m just living a dream. I can’t say the dream because I think I’ve been lucky to do a lot of cool shit. And I don’t even really chalk it up to luck, I attribute it to hard work. Working 14 hour days is no joke. I swallowed my pride and disregarded all the creds I built up in this world, of graduating from a top school, of starting my own company, of being published in the number one blog in the world, and made drinks and waited on people at a restaurant, just so I can move here and take a stab at opening up and writing. This is me being vulnerable. This is how I am getting naked in the world. I arrived in Paris, where no one knows who I am, and playing on the charm of my terrible French accent (the French love it if you at least try to speak their language) and my decent looks (I was once told I was a 9, and I believe it) I hope to really rid myself of this stubborn, closed off heart. Be less in my head and more in my body. Less in clouds, more on the ground, and writing all about the come down.
At a gallery in the Marais:
Doorknob: “Sorry, you’re much to big. Simply impassable.”
Alice: “you mean impossible.”
Doorknob: “no, impassable. Nothing’s impossible”
I feel like I’ve lived here forever. Is that weird? Am I supposed to feel some sense of surreal-ness at having moved to one of the most beautiful cities in the world? I feel very at ease in my new place – but I’ve only been here a total of two whole days, of which half I’ve spent hanging out with an old friend who just happened to be here for a few days. So the fact that I’ve been seeing a familiar face has been very comforting. But it soon wont be long before I’m really on my own, and what then? The language barrier has been a little rough, but more so I am embarrassed that I didn’t try harder to learn some basics.
It just seems so natural to be here, like I was supposed to move all along. The idea of moving to Paris came as a sudden thought that I sat on for about a month, and then really decided on and then just totally went for it. As if I was moving two blocks down the street. It could also be that the weather in Paris has been super sunny and gorgeous and being outside has been the norm. But I guess I just feel at peace here (in two weeks I’ll probably be crying my eyes out of homesickeness, but lets just embrace the confidence I feel now, ok?). I probabaly need a few more days for things to marinade so I can wake up and be like “omg. I’m in fucking Paris!”
Maybe I lived here in a past life. That has to be it. I bet I was a Princess and I lived in one of the castles of Paris, which would definitely explain a lot. My great grandmother emigrated to Mexico from France, so this is a very plausible theory. If I had to guess, I would say that I lived in Paris and partied with Marie Antoinette. It seems like we would get along, with her flair for partying and living life to the fullest. Or maybe I am a descendant of Diego Rivera, who came to Paris from Mexico to paint. You never know, one thing life has taught me is that the world is incredibly small, and everything happens for a reason. Paris, I am here! Lets do something.
Its funny how life sometimes doesn’t work the way you’d like, but you have to be totally prepared for that. I definitely thought I was. I was about to put my heart out on the line until I heard the words “I’ve been dating someone”. craaaaaack. That was a little bit of my heart, my ego, and my illusions of love kind of cracking at the moment. I wasn’t like in love with this guy or anything, but I really, really liked being around him, talking to him, and I thought we had pretty amazing chemistry. Nothing was ever forced between us, except for today when I had to force myself to keep my mouth shut. I never do that. I always say whats on my mind, but when you like someone enough that you get nervous around them, thats got to mean something.
Plus, I’m moving to Paris for fucking crying out loud! I already have dates set up for me while I’m out there, thats the beauty of being a single, awesome, hott girl, everyone wants to set you up with everyone and I know I won’t have a problem in that regard. But I’ve been SO SO good. I haven’t been with anyone in like 4 months which is cool, whatever. Ive turned down quite a few guys, including the guy i like (or now that I think about it, he most likely turned me down because he likes someone else) whatever, I’ve been an angel. Maybe I’m growing up, maybe I’m realizing the worthless value of cheap sex, and realizing how its fucking 10X better with someone that you really care about. It really is. Its like comparing a 10 second sparkler to a full blown firework finale with accompanying Christmas music. Thats how awesome it is to get it on with someone you like.
But you know, I can hardly remember what that is like, since the last time that happened for me was a couple years ago. And back to Paris, shouldn’t I be going with an open mind anyway? yes, i should. But I can’t deny what i feel right now. And not only that, I want to fully embrace it and feel it and take deep breaths in it because its so rare. Its a beautiful feeling and although it seems as of now that nothing will ever come of it, at least i know that in this moment, I feel vulnerable, I feel fire, and no matter how rejected or butt hurt I am, I feel alive.