Thursday, April 3, 2014

recueil de bêtises

"I'm so tired of good stories though. I just wish something of great tangible and lasting significance would happen, for once," I said, standing on the metro, tears in my eyes, many, many moons ago.
That particular night, of course, was never mentioned here. I've made the conscious decision not to share my weakest moments nor those memories I'd rather not hold onto. You may get the real story--I promise you do--but you also don't get the whole one. It feels better that way. More comfortable. And yet I need to say so, to provide some explanation for my safe distance from blogging these past few months. It aligns with my concerns about online social networks; the many way in which, as Lou and I recently discussed, we can actively curate our life's photogeneity, and as Mary Beth eloquently articulated, speculate on the portrayed lives of others.
It's why I deleted the Facebook page for this blog. It's why I resisted Instagram (until now), too. And maybe that is what's meant by Ian Maclaren's "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Seems plausible for us and our good but not too-good-to-be-true lives. That said, there are also quite a few dear-to-my-heart details I forget to mention here by chance. These in particular:
  • the hardcopy of A Moveable Feast thoughtfully gifted to me a few days before I left for Paris.
  • the impressively lovely meeting with a friend of a friend of a friend in Reykjavik.
  • the ride from CDG airport that paved the way for my first-in-France friendship with Amy.
  • the kindness of my former neighbor who helped me carry suitcases up into my chambre de bonne.
  • the afternoon tea with Marie and her family, "the first time" we reunited.
  • the cab driver who taught me the word for stoplight is the same as that for fire (le feu).
  • the email from Edna that led to a coffee date and my first blog friend in Paris.
  • the many times I efficiently gave directions around mon quartier (neighborhood).
  • the market visit with a classmate and her adorable family of three.
  • the snail mail from Laura, and Katie, and Anna, and Debra, and Elizabeth and my little sister.
  • the election night conversation and fun that inspired Lara and I's trip to Prague.
  • the support of then-new friends Rachael and Lorelei when I received especially upsetting news.
  • the first date with a globetrotting Northern Irish doctor that I didn't want to ever end.
  • the ongoing WhatsApp conversations we had for almost a year after we'd met in London.
  • the most thoughtful email chain with Karen during a tough time.
  • the hysterical Franglish game night in Bretagne with Amy and Marie.
  • the sweetest reunion with the German guy that would soon after become my boyfriend.
  • the sight of the first snowfall on Parc Monceau.
  • the unexpected flowers from Anna and Leslie at the end of their visit.
  • the romantic weekend sunshine in Rome during Paris' endless winter.
  • the special seafood lunch with my old neighbors in Portugal, complete with vinho verde.
  • the reiteration that Lara and Lorelei make perfect travel partners as we reunited in Lisbon.
  • the "I missed you" note he left on groceries he'd stocked my fridge with after spring break.
  • the so-French dinner with my Mom's cousins on their way back to the States.
  • the generosity of his parents as they introduced me to Berlin.
  • the moving out apéro with my former landlord as he told me to keep his number in case I ever needed anything.
  • the first sight of Laura and Matt at their rehearsal dinner.
  • the extended (and often, emotional) happy hours with friends as I came to accept he and I would break up.
  • the Bastille Day picnic that reminded me how very real the friendships I've formed here are.
  • the post-yoga peace as I walked home from Parc de la Vilette.
  • the breath of fresh air Sweden, its Swedes, and its Media Evolution conference sent me off with. 
  • the non-stop happy high of Catherine's impromptu weekend visit.
  • the bookshelves at my professor's apartment that reminded me how much I miss living in a house with young children.
  • the introductory note a secret admirer (new neighbor) left for me one morning.
  • the thrill of exchanging numbers with a new French crush.
  • the bus ride with my coworker that lay the foundation for our out-of-the-office friendship.
  • the "finally!" meeting with Gillian and our adventures that followed.
  • the continuous and generous invitations to all kinds of wonderful expat events.
  • the friendly banter between the flight attendants on my way home for the holidays.
  • the visual proof of my brother thriving at work.
  • the dinner conversations with my mom, dad, grandpa, and eventually, siblings during their winter breaks.
  • the optimism-infused acknowledgement that I won't be an expat forever.
  • the endless night of French housewarming and birthday party-hopping with Leslie.
  • the joy of listening to Irish accents on Saint Patrick's Day.
  • the welcome breaks with friends during otherwise solitary and productive "thesis days", in New York and Paris.
  • the Bonpoint photobooth pictures my Mom, sister, and I took post-Thanksgiving avec moi. See above :)

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