I took a journey to France last summer to find happiness. At the time, I knew it was important. I didn’t know what I would discover, feel, but I knew I needed to do it. It’s not until now, almost one year later, that I’m feeling the enormity of that journey and I’m still figuring out what it all means.
Much of that trip — the revelations, the emotions — I kept to myself largely, aside from some sketches and photographs on social media and letters to a few loved ones. I’m thinking about it now because last summer was the first time after that horrific day on Dec. 21, 2016, that I allowed myself to feel joy, love, happiness without fear that it would be taken away so cruelly. I was open, trusting and welcome of the unknown. But as I returned to New York nine months ago — and with that return came a new life, nephew, job, a lover — the fear of loss and pain crept in slowly again until it replaced that spontaneity and laissez-faire attitude that had been my savior in France. Now I see the ugly fear in my repeated attempts to reclaim my dad’s life that have been left unfocused, sporadic and half-assed. I see that fear in the lost connections with friends, and most recently, a lover who can no longer wait for me.
So let me try this again. First step, to open up about that journey over the next few months.