Saturday, May 18, 2013

Grateful

I am at the Vancouver International Airport waiting for the same British Airways flight to Heathrow, that I have taken over half a dozen times in the last 10 years.  But I am missing something.  My favourite thing.  My husband.  While I am writing this, eating airport lounge cocktail peanuts, he is at home in Victoria.  I imagine he is watching a Stanley Cup playoff game and trying not to think about the fact that I am going to Paris without him.

Paris the city of our dreams.

Last September wandering the streets of Paris together, we talked about how we needed to do something to answer the question of Paris.  Me sitting here alone is the first tentative answer to our Paris question.

I will spend the next 46 days alone in Paris.  I will research, I will write, I will meet people already living our Paris dream and I will try not to miss Chris too much.  I may succeed or I may fail but at the end of this Paris-adventure-alone-together, I believe Chris and I will be closer to finding a life that includes more Paris.

This Paris dream of ours is not an easy one to understand.  And I am lucky, incredibly lucky, to have had so much support and love from so many people in my life. 

Chris.  Meeting Chris is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  For the last ten years he encouraged me to dream big, to live big and to be brave.  Nothing I have accomplished in the last ten years would have been possible without Chris.  And he loves me enough, more than enough, to let me go chase our dream. 

My family.  I have said it to them countless times in the last week that I know it's hard to have a daughter whose dream is to live halfway across the world.  But I am so grateful that they have never made me feel that I should abandon Paris, get a 25 year mortgage and have babies.  I love them for understanding and encouraging the impossible. 

My friends.  I have a close friend who loves Paris as much as me.  She e-mailed me a few weeks ago on her last day in Paris and wrote, "Making it easier to come home is the fact that you are going to be in Paris so soon."  Everyone needs a friend like that.  My oldest, bestest friend who drove me to the airport today and said all the right things.  She didn't say anything dumb like, "Wow. You are going to miss Chris so much." My friends at work who have been excited for me and never told me to stop talking about Paris. 

My bosses.  I work for people who believe in me and didn't laugh when I told them I wanted 9 weeks off to go write a book in Paris.  Instead they said things like, "You're a good writer.", "What a fantastic dream!", and "We can make that happen." 

My "Paris People".  There is an entire community of Paris lovers that I interact with online daily.  Together we re-Tweet pictures of the Eiffel Tower, complain about missing Paris and help each other plan and dream our next trips.  There are writers, real writers who have already published books about Paris, that have answered my questions, read my blog and encouraged me to keep writing. 

I am so grateful. 

And I promise to embrace every single second of the next 9 weeks and live in the moment.  This past year, I have been guilty of not living the way I want to live.  I have felt afraid of what may come and spent too much time worrying.  I have eaten too many bags of chips and watched too much reality television.  I stopped running, using every tiny ache and pain as an excuse.  I have been angry with myself for not appreciating the life I have in Victoria.    

To everyone I love, I am sorry.  I am moving forward again starting now.  I am afraid, I am excited, I am in love and I am going to Paris.  
Chris walking towards our life in Paris.


3 comments:

Tara said...

So, so excited for you, Erin, and I will be the first in line to buy that book!

Susan Carley said...

Erin, As the parent of a daughter who has chosen to live completely on the other side of the world. (Samantha is in Australia) I can say that it is really hard to have your child so far away so I empathize with your family. I sometimes feel like I am missing a limb! That said, I am so proud of her for stepping out of her comfort zone and making such a big move. I wish I had done something like that years ago myself and while I wouldn't give up my kids for anything, I wish I'd had a few more adventures or maybe moved my whole family to another country instead of staying in our somewhat insulated (albeit lovely)city. Follow your heart and everyone who truly cares about you will be happy for you. Some of us may even live vicariously through you! Keep writing - you have a voice. Samantha and her significant other are planning a month in France in October and I am hoping to meet them there for a short part of their visit. I have recommended your blog to her for all your great packing and touring tips! Have a great 'sabbatical' in Paris!
Susan

Erin said...

Thank you to everyone who checked in and read my blog last night.

Susan, your comments mean the world to me. Thank you for your understanding and support. The apartment I am currently staying in would be perfect for Sam in October. Tell her to check out CobbleStay's website, #20. I hope you keep reading. All my best, Erin