October 05, 2009
Self-imposed chaos in a time of crisis
So I'm quitting my job in Paris and moving to northern California. This would be a carefully planned move for some people, thought out and discussed with friends and family over many months. Me? I just said "fuck it", and bought the tickets. This is as a result of the less-than-fairytale outcome of the love affair that brought me to the City of Light. Maybe it's disproportionate (people fall in and out of love all the time without generally feeling the need to leave the country, right?) but my reason for being in Paris is not here any more, and, with such thin threads binding me to my situation, when they were cut, I was adrift. Avid readers of this blog, I am sure, will be aware of the mental turmoil I was in at the beginning of the year, and the hopes I had for improvement, and how that was quickly dashed. I thought that the latter part of the year would be different. I had hoped to find stability, built on the foundation of a life with the woman I loved. Because of her, I came to Paris. Because I came to Paris, I got a job.
So when she ended it, I could feel the darkness closing in again. What I am left with after our relationship is a friendship with her, which is what we were before we were together. But it will never be the same friendship. When someone lets you down like that, with such an apparent coldness, and lack of concern and empathy and understanding, when they disappoint you so badly, it is impossible to feel the same openness towards them afterwards. I would, at one point, have trusted her with my life - and in one sense, I did. But not now. So it has taken a couple of months for my life to return to an approximation of normality, and even now I am not entirely sure what's really normal.
The problem is that I came to Paris for her. If I had been here already and had made a life here, I would probably not be leaving. But I am living in our ex-shared apartment, and it seems strange to me to feel that I have now actually spent more time there on my own than together with her. Her presence still haunts me in the apartment. There, and in Paris itself - the places we ate at together, the walks we took in Parc Monceau, the museums we visited. So, to exorcise the ghost, I have to leave Paris.
Which means leaving the apartment and the job, of course. The irony is that I'm starting to enjoy Paris. I found a good writers' group, and one or two nice pubs. And of course the food and wine and culture is wonderful. But I am looking forward to seeing my family, and spending more than just a few weeks with them.
I do wonder what the next three months will bring. 2007 was unsettled, 2008 was strange, and this year has been like living in a Hieronymous Bosch painting sometimes. I am tired of the weirdness. I crave ... not routine, exactly, but I want control back over my life again.
So I choose to leave Paris. I will be living with my father and stepmother, who I know will not do anything weird to me and will let me live my life unimpeded.
What worries me now is the question of trust. I would like to meet someone, eventually, that I can settle down with. But right now, it seems like so much effort, and the question of whether I can trust someone not to hurt me again is one I can't answer right now. I never, ever expected Elise to do what she did. I guess I didn't know her as well as I thought I did.
Am I willing to take that risk ever again?
Posted by daen at October 5, 2009 10:57 AM
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