I am currently sitting in the Philly airport (and will continue to be sitting here for the next few hours), listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and reflecting on my last 2 weeks. The lovely view of gray skies, airplanes resting before their next voyage, and people hard at work on the runways only provides entertainment for so long. However, I finally have time to write. I notice when I don’t write for a while I get antsy. So finally here is my few hours of freedom to get the jumble of thoughts in my head on paper.
In a few hours I will be leaving the states for another few months. Before coming back for this visit, I had been gone for over 10 months. I never thought I would be the type of person who would say that. I have always loved my home and even more so the people that surrounded me. Even now, I still miss the people I love that live stateside everyday. However, I have also grown to love something else that keeps pulling me away from them. Going home made me realize how much I truly love Paris and the life I have created here. Part of me believes its the tremendous struggle that it took to get me here today, however, I cant help but fall in love every day with my city. This way of life is much more normal to me now and I found myself overwhelmed and questioning things that once were routine when I returned back to my sunny home of 22 years.
I loved every minute I was home. I got to see almost everyone I wanted to despite my jam-packed schedule during the 2 weeks. I was able to cross all the American things I have been craving of my list. I also, (and this is of extreme importance of course,) got to put my bare feet in the cool sand on shores of PB and listen to the waves crash. I enjoyed spending every waking moment with the people I love and getting the chance to reconnect with people I haven’t seen in a long time.
This time was different from the last time I was home. When I came back for Christmas, I was scared to return to France. I didn’t want to face the coldest winter Paris had seen in last quarter of a century or the uncomfortable and less than appealing living situation I was in. I was terrified to leave the sunshine, warmth, family, friends, and most importantly comfort. However this time, although sad to leave family and friends, I was excited to return and found myself missing the life I have in Paris. Of course, I would have loved to stay on holiday rather than return to the 9 to 6 grind but a part of me wanted to be back here. Getting on the plane was like saying goodbye to return home. A strange comfort that was new to me but so satisfying.
I will always look at southern California as my true home. I was born and raised there and will never forget or discredit the life I had there. I know I will return. My heart will always belong to two places and that does not make one of those places any less important than the other. I did not “abandon” southern California and I don’t think Paris is better. Paris isn’t forever but it for now. And no, I don’t know how long that now will last for and I am ok with it. I am going to stay until I don’t want to anymore. Plain and simple. But for now, my little 15 meter squared flat with no kitchen and view of Sacre Coeur will remain my home. Not only am I happy about that, I am proud. This is my life and I have done it all on my own.