This morning I was in Paris with my boyfriend. Nine hours later, I’m waiting in the Toronto airport for my connection flight back to Windsor.
Life is funny sometimes. Things have seemed so uncertain for me lately. After being in France for two and a half weeks, I’m not ready to go back to real life. I love my university and all of the opportunities that I have there, but I feel sick about going back. It’s going to be different without having my boyfriend there anymore, and even though I’m going to be busy, I know I’m going to feel lonely. Although I had a great trip and enjoyed getting to spend time with him after a long summer of Skyping and DuoLingo, I feel like no matter how much time he gives me, I always crave more. I don’t like being dependent, but I feel like I don’t have the energy to stand by myself. The same insecurities and jealousy issues that bothered me earlier this summer are going to resurface. It’s inevitable. I don’t know how to describe it except to say that some days I don’t feel like a whole person.
Because of the time change, I am living this day twice. Well, the afternoon/early evening, at least. I’m exhausted, and I still have two more hours of a layover, a short one-hour flight, then a two-hour drive home from Windsor. I know my family is going to be excited to see me and hear about my trip, but I’m just going to want to sleep. I feel like I’ve been living in a dream world for the last few weeks. A life that I could’ve had if I’d done things differently, but one that isn’t really obtainable for me.
One of the issues is that my boyfriend is second guessing his plans of moving to America after he graduates. He thinks we could be happy in France, but I know I couldn’t do it. I want to learn French, but I feel like it’s too late. If I lived there, I couldn’t even go to the movies or the library. I couldn’t have the career I want. No matter what I do, I’ll never be as good at writing in French as a French writer would be. I couldn’t even interview civilians for news stories because I don’t speak the language. I don’t want to be an immigrant who can’t speak the language. I know it’s ridiculous for me to want my boyfriend to move to America for me when I know I couldn’t return the favor by moving to France, but I know that I couldn’t handle it. He says we shouldn’t worry about it yet, but I can’t cope with being in a long-distance relationship with no end in sight. I love him, and I believe that he loves me too, but sometimes I wonder if I am strong enough person for this.
On the flight from Paris, I met another girl from Michigan who was flying into Windsor. She was returning from what was supposed to be a month-long European tour with her boyfriend, but coming back a week early because he decided two weeks into the trip to confess that he had cheated on her twice during his study abroad this summer. Makes my situation seem a little less terrible.
Airports are funny places. Before this trip, I had only flown once, and never by myself. I’ve been thinking a lot about all of the different emotions swarming around airports. They seem like such sterile places, but the people in them are not. Twice now, my boyfriend and I have said goodbye at security gates. But our sadness over our separation is balanced by another couple who is being reunited at another gate. Some people are bubbling with excitement for long-awaited vacations or new lives, while others are traveling to attend funerals or business meetings. Everyone in an airport has a purpose, maybe that’s why I like being here. Although everyone here is on a completely different track, we’re all united by the fact that we are going somewhere.
I’ve been intrigued by this short film by Willard Maas and Ben Moore since I watched it in an experimental film class last fall. It was made in 1955 and the whole thing is a metaphor for sex. There are a bunch of phallic/fertility symbols (my personal favorite being a cactus) and shots of objects entering others (letters being pushed into a mailbox, a knife slicing bread) and the pace of the music and shots is rhythmic, then speeds up (apparently for orgasm) and comes to a rest. What I really like is the dialogue that is read over the images – it’s kind of haunting in a way. I’ve been feeling off lately, but there is still something about this film that appeals to me.
Warning: You will see boobs, and a woman with armpit hair and a hint of a mustache.
“Love, in some ways, is not always simple.”
I found a handwritten note in a box in my room dated 6/24/2011. I was sixteen when I wrote it, knee deep in a high school relationship that would last for three years and end explosively during my first semester of college. As I struggle to find my place in my current relationship, it surprises me how I’m still feeling the same things I felt four years ago. Anyway, here is my sixteen year-old self’s reflection on love:
One of the worst types of pain is the pain you feel when you learn that someone you loved, trusted, and idealized isn’t as perfect as you thought they were. When we are in love, we want to believe the other person is flawless, and entirely ours. But when we learn of their imperfections, it becomes hard for us to distinguish which parts of them are real and which parts of them we have imagined to preserve our own sanity.
Being jealous feels worse than the time I had “Life is a Highway” stuck in my head for a month.