I’ve been going through some photos of my last few weeks living in Paris. And you know what’s interesting? I miss it a little.
In part I’m sure this feeling stems from nostalgia, but I also think that there were aspects of my life there that I didn’t really appreciate. The Notre Dame was always a spectacle, but it was also just a building in the city where I lived. The Sacre Coeur was part of my daily scenery.
It’s only now, with lots of distance and time away and with a different state of mind that I can look at these photos and think, just for a second, “God, why did I leave?”
But I do now recognize that there were aspects of living there that I didn’t really appreciate or see at the time. Sitting in cafés drinking wine and writing in the middle of the afternoon. The way the Notre Dame looks completely different depending on the light it stands in. Walking around discovering new places with Elly, my au pair friend. And dare I mention the pastries and bread. These were flashes of delight in what was otherwise regular big city life, with dirty metros and cramped apartments and cigarette butts in the street. These simple and grand pleasures offered reason to look up from the pavement and smile. Paris has its own flavor of life, and I wasn’t paying enough attention to learn how to appreciate it as often as I could have.
And that’s okay. It happens. I don’t regret leaving, and I don’t regret going.