I recently watched the movie Clean starring the ever so handsome Adrian Brody. In it, he has a conversation with his barber about how he's unsuccessfully struggling to rid himself of certain feelings and memories. He asks, "What do we do when they won't go away?" to which his barber replies, "You just have to learn to live with them I guess".
When you've fought so hard to defeat your demons, the last thing you want to do is pull out a seat for them. At the same time, resistance is futile. In fact, it often makes things worse. Friends and keep telling me to just sit with my feelings, be sad and allow myself to grieve. Initially, I refused, but like a persistent courter the suggestion was relentless. So I gave in and invited my feelings with me to Europe.
I had a mocha with my fear at an airport lounge. They say that even good change can be scary, but the change that follows a broken heart where hope is deferred rivals the fear Freddy Krueger ensues upon a six year old. What am I supposed to do now?
I sat next to my anger on an 8 hour flight. I gave it the cold shoulder and rolled my eyes at it anytime it glanced in my direction. I fed it lies and things it wanted to hear, so that it would help me build back up my wall brick by brick. It got so high I exhausted myself and accidentally fell asleep with my head on its shoulder.
I drank a glass of wine with my disappointment in the Latin Quarter. And if the humidity and jet lag didn't give me such a headache, I would've probably got drunk with it and sent it misspelled text messages I would regret in the morning. How could you do this to me?
I cried with my sadness over hot chocolate and a croissant at Carette. Because sometimes you just want to be sad and drink something sweet and eat all the carbs and cry until it all makes sense or at the very least until you fall asleep. You broke my heart - twice.
I took my loneliness to the Eiffel Tower. We longed and loved and envied couples taking photos and having picnics while a saxophonist played "How Deep is Your Love?" in front of the perfect backdrop. His was as deep as a puddle apparently.
I rode with my resentment on the M10 train on the way to Austerlitz. And left it on the seat closest to the exit on train 5. If there's anything I learned, it's that resentment will hurt me more than it will ever hurt the person I actually resent. I will NEVER do that to myself again.
I marveled at The Virgin of the Rocks with my gratitude inside the Louvre. The art. The architecture. The history. The vastness of it all. A reminder that everything is beautiful and fragile, everything has a past, and even ugly things can be beautiful. How lucky am I to be here? To think, I almost didn't want to go.
I dined with my bravery on the River Seine. To be the only solo guest on a romantic dinner cruise at sunset. To have the wife of the elderly couple in front of you keep turning around out of curiosity or pity. To watch a proposal, an anniversary dance, and kissing couples. To pass by the Eiffel Tower sparkling against an inky sky sprinkled with thunder. To genuinely enjoy every moment of it. Girl, you are so brave. He may have tricked you, BUT YOU ARE MOTHERFUCKING MAGIC.
I winked at my pride on the train ride to Zurich. It winked back at me in my window reflection, amidst acres of lush farmland and quaint cottages that resembled gingerbread houses. How many people would choose to do this? You didn't think you'd get here, you almost didn't want to get here. Now look at you, you did it. Again.
I loved myself to pieces on the rocky beaches of Nice. It always works out, no one said it would be in your favor, but it always works out. You always survive and you always thrive. I see the Mediterranean Sea around me and know it's healing. I lay back down in my day bed and let the sun embrace me, because it would just look weird if I hugged myself. And then - one by one, I turn those broken pieces into peace.