Since Friday, I’ve had so many comments and emails that start with the same question: You’re not going to Paris next year?! After all of these years of Paris photos, I realize that statement is shocking. And to be fair, I may change my mind – this isn’t the first time I have considered that it might be time to discover somewhere new, although it is the first time I’ve done so publicly. It broke my heart to leave Paris in 2013. We had been here for a year and finally, it seemed, were really get into the swing of things; we had an apartment that we loved (despite it’s flaws, which were numerous), friends we spent time with, restaurants we went back to – we had a life, and even though we knew it was ending, the ending felt abrupt. I wasn’t ready to go back to Canada, no matter what my visa and plane ticket dictated. I wasn’t finished being Parisian yet. In the years since, we have come back every year, chasing after the life we wanted to go on living. Paris feels like home, although it is always slightly changed when we come back to it, and for a visit that is a few weeks long, we get to do all of the wonderful things we loved – indulge in our favourite foods, drink too much wine, wander through le Marais with no particular destination in mind – without dealing with any of the things that make life in Paris just like life, well, anywhere else. Because the truth is, while Paris will always be the most beautiful place in the world for me, even as it changes, it remains mostly the same, which means that it is still home to the most infuriatingly officious bureaucracy I have ever dealt with, dirty streets that ruin all of my favourite shoes no matter how careful I am and a whole lot of men, from clothing store salesmen to beggars to strangers, who not only think my gender means I owe them something but are unapologetic about telling me so on a daily basis when I am just trying to get on with my life. I accept those flaws, and all the others, too, even though they are tiresome, knowing they are part of what makes Paris the place it is; the place that I adore. But Paris is more the same than I am. I am not the person I was in 2013, and wouldn’t change the ways I’ve grown since our expat days. What I’ve realized (perhaps belatedly) is that no matter how many times I come back to Paris, I will never get to relive a version of 2013 where we get to stay here. I will never know what might have been, but I know what is, and it’s simple: I have been chasing after something I will never be able to reach for four years and I’m finally ready to let it go.
#lpa #revolve #sezane #aninebing #stevemadde