Sometimes I wonder what might have been.
What would my life have been like?
What could it be now if I’d been there instead of here?
What if I’d been brave enough,
or foolish enough to go to Art School.
To accept that position in journalism. Like I nearly did.
Of course I’ll never really know.
Each year for a few weeks when I’m in Paris, I walk and walk the rues of Montmartre and beyond. I’ve realised I’m walking my own unwalked rues. I’ve come here to encounter the other me. To imagine and look into my other unchosen life.
People ask. ‘What do you do, all by yourself? ‘
‘Hang out’ I say.
Truth is I’m hanging out with her. When I sit at the cafe I’m not really alone. I’m with her. I’m getting to know her. Again.
When I mooch around the Petit Palais it is me looking at the paintings, but it is her who brings the sketchbook and sits on the floor drawing amongst the students of the Sorbonne. It is her who goes back to the apartment to write feverishly into the night. It was her who imagined she would write a blog, and even a book.
I like this other one. The other me. I’ve missed her. Lost touch with her though the years of being a parent and a worker. So I like being with her. I like being her.
It might be my imagination but she is a bit cheekier, a bit more interesting and she has really great clothes that always fit. I think she never eats too much cake. She has a really regular exercise habit. She certainly didn’t settle for just enough, and she is truly deeply ok about getting older. She has no actual regrets. Not one.
She’s the one who didn’t hesitate to have that handmade white ceramic cup with the rose on it by John Derain. Because it was beautiful. It was me who left the other one with the heart on it behind. It was a ridiculous amount to pay for a simple cup.
In other ways we are similar. Like she’s Sagittarian too. Sometimes she drinks too much wine and wishes she hadn’t. She leaves dishes in the sink overnight because her book in bed is way more appealing. She doesn’t always say everything that’s in her heart. She’s quite the introvert.
I’m home again and I’ve brought memories of her back. No, it’s more than that. Much more. Now that I’ve found her, I’ve brought her home.
Every morning I drink my coffee from the beautiful cup with the rose on it. I quietly honour her.
Now when I’m feeling stuck, or uninspired. A bit too one-dimensional. I call on her.
And there she is. Thank Goodness. For that other me.
How do you stay connected to ‘the other you’?
What might you do to walk the unwalked rues of your life?
Be the Rose. ♥ Bernadette.