Remember my friend Kelly? She was my first real friend in Paris. We met through TAPIF last year and bonded. It made such a difference to have a good girlfriend while navigating all the exciting and difficult adventures of moving to a new country.
I always thought Kelly would stay in Paris forever, but things change, and she moved back to the US today. I was surprised at how much the news caught me off guard. As an expat, one has the good fortune of always meeting new and interesting people. The flip side is that people are always leaving. I already have had to say au revoir to a few friends here, but I didn’t expect Kelly to be one of the ones who leave! If I do end up deciding to move home one day, I assumed she would remain my connection to France, a person I could visit from time to time on vacation.
The lesson I took away from this is not to not get close to people. I think I am incapable of not becoming friends with people, and it would be silly to prevent a friendship from forming just because it might become more difficult someday. The lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t really depend on anyone. I don’t mean that to sound so depressing, but it’s true: people are not in one’s life to be a crutch. People move from city to city, or they die, or have babies, or they get a promotion at work and become really busy.
Kelly leaving made me realize that this is only the beginning of friends making unexpected changes. Having a friend move away while living in a foreign country is tough, but the situation is universal. Being independent is an important way to stay sane, no matter where you are.
All of the above intellectual processing aside, I miss Kelly! I like to think of myself as not being needy, but I want to have friends, especially in my current city! However, I want what’s best for her, right now.
Needless to say, it was an emotional week. When an event occurs that causes me to feel any sort of emotion, I don’t know what to do other than bake something and write a card. So that’s what I did for Kelly on Saturday. It wasn’t the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made, but that wasn’t the point. Phoebe, Kelly, and I spent Saturday night chatting, venturing out to Le Bouillon Chartier for confit de canard, and then returning to her apartment for cake, wine, and girl talk. We could have been eating twinkies; what mattered was that we could enjoy a girl’s night in Paris
one last yet another time!
We had some great days of walking around Paris in the rain last week. Check out this song, introduced to me by Kelly, that is the perfect rainy day soundtrack.