After rumanaging through some discount designer clothes at a Confessions of a Shopaholic like yardsale-thing. I wound up where one normally does when fatigued by elbowing through masses of impeccably dressed women: Chipotle; munching on a burrito that I wished had French fries and carne asada chunks.
Two things occurred to me, one, I was alone and two, this was an advent in my life.
Back in L.A. I hardly ever ate alone. It wasn't actually until recently that I realized I had a slight fear of eating alone. But here in Paris I seem the ratio of me eating alone versus me eating with friends is highly tipped in the favor of the former.
And I got to thinking about this, its not that I don't have friends here it's just that friendships seem to be different in the adult world versus in the world of an undergraduate student. In college your first couple of years are spent in the dorms where you bond over silly things like playing cards of humanity drunk/high/sometimes both. And you go to the cafeteria to eat together, or you venture into town to grab coffee, tea, or pastry things.
This was my experience as well, I lived in the dorm my first year at UCLA and attended all those first year student traditions, going on a scavenger hunt in Westwood, getting Diddy Reese, racing down the hallways in the lounge chairs that had rollers on them, playing cards against humanity and building secret insider jokes with everyone on my floor. Rieber Hall, Floor 5, North Side will forever be my hall. This experience, I realized shaped my understanding of what friendship means.
Everything was convient, my friends lived mere steps away from me, someone was always available at any given time to be around and I hadn't realized just how much I'd taken advantage of that. Because now here I am alone and sitting on the steps of the Opera Garnier listening to this man play Sam Smith songs and I realize that this is a foreign experience to me. Don't misunderstand me, I have friends here, I've meet beautiful, wild, and insanely intelligent people here. It's just that we're all scattered around Paris and we all have separate lives and separate obligations. We don't hang out everyday and that's okay. That's adult-ing, that is living autonomously. And I'm pretty sure that's a good thing.
I don't want to be dramatic here, but I'm pretty sure I'm going through an exesential life crisis here. For the first time in my I'm not sure who I am, Im spending so much time by myself that I'm actually discovering that I don't really know who I am.
The guitarist in front of me, in between songs, told the crowd that 2,000 years ago a man once said "Carpe Diem"; which he translated in a way that I haven't heard yet "Catch the day." I think I like this translate better than the standard "Seize the day." Because sometimes the days just seem to go by with you knowing it and soon enough it's the end of October and you've been living in Paris for 2 months. So I like the idea of taking action against the day and catching it.
Another gem he told the crowd is "Don't hide from you emotions, be in them. It's all about love. We are connected on the wifi of love. So let's share love. Let's delete all bad picture of Paris and only keep the good ones." He was quite a poetic speaker.
So if I can give y'all some parting words: Don't run away from who you are individually by running towards people. Being alone isn't a bad thing, it's liberating and shocking and magical.