Dreaming of Paris
I used to only think Paris would be beautiful if I had someone lovely to share it with…
I once went to New York City with my best friend, a person with whom the most mundane things were an adventure. When we found ourselves somewhere that felt romantic (basically everywhere), whether eating dinner together at Max Brenner: the chocolate restaurant or taking a carriage ride through Central Park, no matter how much we were enjoying the blissful moment, we would both be thinking the same thing and turn to each other and say, “You know I love you, but I wish I was here with a man right now.”
Even then, I thought, “What a shame that I have the opportunity to experience this beautiful city and share in great friendship, but I can’t be happy with that as enough. I still find my soul yearning for a romantic love to fill what should be, a full moment.” Periodically, I would think of my desire to roam the streets of Paris and I imagined who I might take, say I were able to take the next flight out. I would go through the list of all the people I love in my life and think of how wonderful it might be. But I still feared that I would be sitting in what I imagine as the most beautiful city in the world, with someone I love, feeling a hole. One which cannot be forced to be filled.
Even without a trip to Paris in the near future, the very potential of this occurrence frustrated me. To think that I could not enjoy beauty for the lack of something that I cannot control, gives defeat to the lie that my life is lacking for missing this person. It also opens the gate to the truth that if moments in Paris or NY would be empty without this person than I am letting my life be empty in everything without said person.
Lately, as I dream again of mornings at cafes immersed in a great novel, days strolling through picturesque gardens, and nights in Paris listening to jazz, I realize that somehow I know I would be able to fully enjoy each moment, whether there alone, with a friend, or with a lover. In fact, I began to wonder if I were to enjoy romance there, would I be trading love of another person for love of a great city, filled with countless moments that one could only experience taking in the sights, sounds, and smells in singularly.
Well, I don’t have a ticket bought for Paris and I can’t tell you for certain if I’ll be returning to New York this fall, but what I do know is that now that my life is completed by the Great Love— the only one who can fill all those empty, lonely places in my heart— I know that I can now receive and give love so much more fully than when I was just looking for the love of friendship or romance to quiet my restless soul. Wherever I go, be it the grocery store or Paris, I can more clearly see beauty all around me and feel compelled to love others often. Not because of my need to receive it back, but because when I let the Creator of the universe love me, I can’t help but want to show that same love to others.