I lived in France for a long time. Paris was my favorite place to live ever, my second backyard, my second home. I moved back to the U.S. 2 ½ years ago and have slowly been settling into a new business teaching French and writing. I haven’t been back to France for a visit, but wanted to go this year. I wanted to see friends, and had some research I wanted to do for books.
I started planning many months ago. Okay, I wasn’t financially solid enough, but thought I might be, by the time the trip arrived. And I was going on the cheap, so it should be okay, I said to myself against the doubtful voices in my head.
I planned everything, but didn’t anticipate some of the financial setbacks, unexpected bills and general sluggishness of my settling-in process. When it all fell apart, the disappointment flowed deep. I missed seeing friends face-to-face, walking the streets I loved, and being immersed in the French culture. But I had to give it up. For now. It felt like the right thing to do.
So I undid all my reservations, feelings something similar to grief. In fact, it was grief, on a small scale. Grief is about losing someone or something. It may just be a postponement of something I want, but it still hurts.
But they say that grieving is healthy, even if it hurts. Doesn’t feel healthy, but there may be some benefits, once the pain starts to ebb. First, I had a reality check on my life. I’d let myself run ahead of financial sense. I now have to regroup. I also have to decide how I’ll feel. I was grumpy for a few days, but I had to pull out and face the days ahead. Second, it forces me to look at new opportunities I might have overlooked otherwise. Plan A didn’t work. Is there a Plan B that will be even better?
I guess we can grow and deepen too through disappointments. We may as well, there will be more coming, if we’re human. If we stay on for the ride, we’ll have a few.
Yet it hurts. For now. And it heals too. And there’s hope.