Whenever life presents options to you, and you must make a choice on how to move forward, a common theme always emerges. Basically, your biggest and hardest decisions always come down to determining what you can’t do, versus what you can do. The realization of the former renders the evaluation of the latter moot. Once you know what you can no longer live with, any doubt or fear about the alternative simply becomes something you need to learn to control and triumph over.
Case in point : I was miles above eastern Ontario, around two hours into my flight that would move me to Paris, when I literally froze still in my seat looking out the window – the weight of what I was doing finally hit me all at once. Lost in the blur of goodbyes and planning was any opportunity to clear my mind and think about just what this would all feel like when it actually came time to leave.
Suddenly, “What the fuck are you doing?” crossed my mind more times than I could keep track of. The images of my parents waving goodbye from their driveway as my car drove away like I was going to my first day at school, the memories of all the friends I got to see in these last few weeks… and now I’m on a plane going 4,000 miles away from all of that. For what? A job? Some photo ops to post on Facebook and better cheese? The doubt went from a few sprinkles to a torrential downpour in an instant.
After a few minutes, a few deep breaths, and one fine cognac [thank you Air France!], I reminded myself of what I knew deep, deep inside, and what started all of this – I couldn’t stay. It’s not that I thought that would be better than this, I just knew I couldn’t do this any more. I had gotten a taste of what was “out there”, and I couldn’t un-ring that bell. The curiosity was too great, the potential too high… even though I was [and still am] aware of the complete clusterfuck it could turn out to be, I had to try. In the end, it wasn’t whether I can make it work in Paris, it was that I can’t not try it.
So I guess that’s another way of saying what I didn’t really say to anyone before I left – this is hard, and it hurts. Some times more than others, and I have faith that it will be more good than bad by the time it’s over, but it wasn’t easy to leave everyone behind. Not. At. All.
Maybe I’m overthinking it – which would clearly be the first time I’ve ever done that – but I think some of this translates, in one way or another, to all of you. Don’t worry so much about your doubts of what you won’t be able to handle, or the fear of the unknown. That’s just life. You already know everything you need to know – and that’s what you can no longer live with. All you can do is start moving away from that, and have some patience and faith. Your only choice is that you don’t really have a choice.
And, at the end of the day, if the new path doesn’t work out, you can always come to Paris and get drunk with me.