The week leading up to leaving was a very difficult one. For everyone, i hazard a guess.
It was one of the most confusing and stressful times i have been through, both emotionally and physiologically, and it’s unlike me to get myself in such a mess. Before now, i thought that i was actually pretty good at dealing with stress.
It was probably just one of your classic meltdowns.
Making friends now, at the age of (almost!) 30, is still a relatively easy thing to do, despite what others say. The problem is, that most of these people are not wildly inappropriate choices for friends. Rather, they are people you have attracted through the very nature of being who you are. That’s what makes it so hard to say goodbye.
It’s true that the same thing happened when leaving Australia to begin with – leaving people close to you. But the difference is in the conviction that life in my home town had the ability to be re-assumed, just the way it was, whenever i chose to do so.
In Paris, that life will never be the same. Even if i choose to go back (which is seeming rather appealing right now), it’s likely friends there will have moved on, or inherited new lives, ones which don’t have much potential to involve you any more.
And it wasn’t just saying goodbye to people, that was difficult.
I ended up walking around the city saying things like, “it’s the last time i am ever going to wait in line at this boulangerie” or “i can’t believe i am never going to see the sun hit my building like that again”. One of my friends said i was being so dramatic it sounded like i was dying. I even said at one stage that it was the last time i will ever be at a market. I think i just blankly forgot that these things (like food and sunlight) exist outside France.
At the end of it, i just wanted to get my fix of the regular things i knew i would miss – like cooking (too much) dinner with friends, unbuttoning my jeans, and passing out from overeating in front of a movie. Or picnic-ing on the canal and waking up with an arse so bruised it’ll be several days until you can even sit on the couch. Going out with the intention of dancing all night at Le Memphis, yet being too drunk and tired to make it there at the end of dinner. The routine.
I didn’t want to make it any more difficult for people by needing something more than the usual. I didn’t want to put pressure on people to provide me with some kind of idealised version of my reality just for the sake of closure. (Though i will admit to having done this a little, to which i feel a little remorse. ‘No names’ mentioned.)
Anyway, it’s all seemingly gotten under my skin. I guess now it’s just about finding a way to keep it all there, happily living inside me, without having to invest in expensive topical applications and pills to prevent any unwanted side effects. Like loss, or despair.
Lol, i still sound like i’m dying.
In the end, i chose to go. I chose to say goodbye to the city, to friends and (new) family, and to people i came to love. Very much.
So i can only complain so much.