Has it really been 5 years?

Today marks my 5th anniversary with my boyfriend.  I remembered.  He forgot. And up until tonight, I thought that scenario only happened on TV.  But the night that started out with tears of disappointment streaming down my face ended in smiles for both of us.

He canceled his clients and insisted that we go out for dinner.   After calling 3 places, all booked, we settled on Café la Gaffe on Baldwin.  I ordered a bottle of gewurztraminer, partly because I love it, and partly because of the way it would hasten my forgiveness of his forgetfulness. The food was fabulous, and the company proved to be just what we both had needed – time alone, together.

You would think that living together would give us ample time to just be together, but throw into the equation two mini dachshunds under the age of 2, one home business, multiple webpages, one part-time job, and 2 completely different tastes in music, and you’ve got your work cut out for you!

With our trip to Paris now 2 weeks behind us, the rush of home life suddenly slapped me in the face.  But that’s why Paris was so good for us.  It’s important to slow down once and awhile. It certainly gave me some time to think about where I’m going.  I want to slow down.  I want to try the country life once again – this time in France.  At least part time.  Maybe springtime in France?  The thought leaves me wondering where the next 5 years will take us.

Life is a story.

Everyone has a story. Some stories are wild and flavourful and some are flat and repetitive.  Most  others lie somewhere on the scale in between.  I have a friend who adopts others’ stories.  Whether it’s intentional or oblivious adoption, I have no idea.  I do think there may be a chromosomal story-stealing gene out there just waiting to be discovered. I suppose one could take the theft of a story as a compliment, but it’s something I’ve never been able to master.  It still feels like some paperless form of identity theft.  It is for this reason that I try to limit contact with story stealers, but a recent brush with one got me thinking about why they do it.

I don’t see the fun in adopting a story.  Why have someone think that you did something really cool?  Why not just go out and actually do something really cool? All told, my story probably lies somewhere along the flat and repetitive line, with some fascinating blips along the way.  Sometimes I find myself in the most peculiar situations, wondering how I came to be in a particular chapter in my life, like when I was water fasted in Panama, or the time I found myself underneath a blue minivan hoping desperately that my Vespa would be fit to ride once I’d managed to get it upright.  It wasn’t, but I was relatively unscathed.

I can’t wait to see where my story leads.

Life is crazy, and I love it.

Each sunrise brings new opportunities and obstacles.  The trick is to think of every obstacle as an opportunity.  There is no occasion to which you cannot rise. All roads lead to Rome – although you may have to cross an ocean to get to one.  These thoughts occur just moments after I accidentally deleted my entire nutrition blog.  No worries, just an opportunity to fine tune my direction in life.  And I find myself quite happy about it all.  Was it really an accident?  I suppose I’ll never really know.

A recent trip to Paris opened my eyes to the possibilities in life. It doesn’t matter where you are, what you are wearing, or if you’ve got a sizable account.  Some people have everything you could ever want, but some of those people are also the ones who have nothing.  A life that appears seamless on the outside may be riddled with bullets. My life as a holistic nutritionist was seamless to some.  But it wasn’t me.  I feel like I’m just a kid in high school, just getting started, and the possibilities are endless.

While sitting in a café in Paris, basking in the glorious architecture around me, I could see myself staying behind, wafting down to the south of France, and setting up home base in a little French chateau.  I would send for the dogs, marry my boyfriend in a nearby castle, and live my French dream.  I would take pictures, travel, and write. For that moment, I forgot about my debt and commitments back home, and fully lived in the moment where I became that little French girl I had dreamed about since grade 10.  So what am I going to do?  I’m going to take pictures, travel, write, and do anything else that feels right.

My French is far from fluent, but I can hold my own.  I speak French in cafes, order in French, and ask any questions I need to have answered.  Give me a town where no one speaks English, and I will thrive.  I always got pretty good grades in school, but as I’ve learned throughout life, grades don’t matter unless you use what you’ve learned.  A few hours a day learning verb endings in public school never got me anywhere.  The French I do know was acquired listening to French music. That’s also how I acquired my French accent.  I don’t know why I am fascinated with the French language, but I know it’s something I have to master.  I don’t need a fancy car, a diamond ring, or anything else – in fact, I’m putting my Vespa up for sale.  These days I’ve wanted less, not more.  I’m just going where the happiness is.