Saturday, January 17, 2015

On being alone in Paris.

Today a lady at a gallery stopped me so she could do a survey. She asked me a serious of questions about the exhibition I saw, where I came from and who I was traveling with. When I told her I was traveling alone, she sort of laughed like she thought it was odd. I felt confused by her reaction and wanted to stop her and tell her that everyone is alone. No matter if we are married, with children and surrounded by friends we are still alone. At the end of the day the only person we really 'have' is ourselves. I have just been actively participating in this whole 'being alone thing' by going to another country by myself. I think it is important to make peace with our singularity in the world and enjoy it.

Being alone I have learned is very different from being lonely. Over the past few days I have been in a tiny apartment in the city all by my self. I have slept alone, eating alone, drunk wine in restaurants alone, gone to bars alone, explored the streets alone, shopped alone, and danced alone. Being here may have been one of the most isolated experiences I have ever had, but at no point have I felt lonely. I felt empowered, because I became acutely aware that I was enough.

I also made a couple of friends in my week of being alone. There were not the usual sort, but I liked them all the same. A man in a patisserie taught me french each morning when I bought pastries, a girl in a cafe chatted with me as I ate, I sat with a guy at a show I went to and he gave me his Champagne, I even formed a strange relationship with the homeless man who hangs out on my street, wishing each other good morning and good night everyday.

Tomorrow I leave my little apartment, and soon the rest of my tip will be filled with people. The change will be lovely, but I will miss my time in Paris of being alone, but never lonely.

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