Bon jour from Paris!
It’s strange how familiar it all seems to me, even though the last time I was here was 15 years ago. But the buildings, the sounds, the street signs, the taste of a cafe au lait… all is just how I remembered it. And it’s bringing up memories of a younger, less anxious but more naive version of me.
Today we’re going to be seeing some landmarks I hit up on my first visit, I wonder if I’ll see the ghost of that Megan — the one who once wrote this — as I walk to the Eiffle tower, or wander the halls of the Louvre.
The last time I was here it was also post-big-breakup. Being a world away from my old life made me feel lonely and long for that companionship again. But it also showed me how much of the world I hadn’t experienced yet, and how much I longed for more freedom. I remember feeling torn between two choices — return to my old life of familiar dysfunction, or embrace a new life full of scary-but-potentially-awesome experiences. I think ultimately, because of that trip to Paris, the loneliness and the siren song of the familiar won out (I got back together with that awful boyfriend upon returning home).
This time, however, I’m enjoying Paris all the more because I’m still able to be connected to my life back at home. Such a vast difference from the last trip where I was ever looking out for internet cafes, desperate for an email from someone — and feeling sick and untethered when there was no contact from home.
Cell phones and wifi have pretty much changed that whole experience. Some part of me wonders if I’m jaded because of that. The old Megan was in awe of every site, and every non-American person, place, and thing. Today, I’m in fucking Paris, and yet I’m constantly checking my phone to see what others are up to back at home?
But I wouldn’t change for the world that Ken was able to keep me calm as I searched for my mother in the airport. I was able to comfort someone I care about as he dealt with a family emergency. And another friend filled me in on his dating life at 4am, when I was wide awake and my mother was not. I even hit that timing sweet spot so I could interact with my co-workers during my evening/their morning. I’m also sharing my sites on Instagram with lovers and strangers alike.
I guess I’m already seeing and feeling the difference in 2000 Megan in Paris and 2015 Megan in Paris. This trip is feeling less like “OMG BIG LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE!!!” and more like “Yup, change and new experiences are just part of my life now.” Which feels awesome.
Now I’m must get dressed, and venture out into the brisk morning to hunt down more delicious coffee, and introduce my mom to the Louvre… My goal: To get a better look at the Mona Lisa. Last time I was here I was too short to see anything through the crowd of people gathered around it. This time, I’m not going to let that opportunity pass me by again.