A few weeks back I was on my way to run some errands and I stumbled upon a farm in the middle of Paris. République was transformed from a bustling square into a piece of the French countryside. And it was in that moment that I realised how much I missed home.
As you know, I recently lost my grandfather — the pillar of my family. It’s been a rough few months, to say the least. But I’ve been pushing on and keeping my focus. I’ve made Paris even more my home since I came back from the funeral, but the moment I stepped into the square, saw the cows napping in between the Haussmann architecture and smelled the manure and transplanted trees, I was transported back to Connecticut.
The biggest smile grazed my face as I watched calfs graze in the middle of the streets of Paris. Something sent me back to summertime at home, sitting around the table on the patio, feasting on Sunday dinner with my entire family and closest friends talking to (or, honestly, yelling at) one another, and listening to my nonno talk about the old country.
Moments with my nonno are the first to come to mind lately, but I’ve also been focused on just the general thought of home and the past.
I’ve realized recently that the next time I return to Connecticut, I won’t be going to the same place. For the first time in my life, I have to reconcile with the fact that the home I’m going to no longer have the things I’ve grown accustomed to.
2018 has been a rough one for my memory. January came roaring in stealing a part of me. May tornados changed the landscape of my home. And as I write this, my family is saying goodbye to the house my nonno built as the new owners get the keys in the morning.
The events that have transpired since I’ve moved to Paris have forced me to reconcile with life. I’ve been overcome in a state of nostalgia that both drains and feeds my soul. I know that the next time I step foot in Connecticut, it will be a foreign place, but that’s okay.
What these events have done, albeit how sad they’ve been for me, they’ve taught me to keep moving forward and to use the power of the memories to built a more concrete future.
My nonno built a house that will never leave my memory. Parisian cows and their manure unintentionally evoke the thought of my Connecticut farm. And I know to use the moments of nostalgia as a way to built a solid future wherever in the world I am.
I could be in Paris, Milan, Shanghai or even Madagascar — it doesn’t matter — the memories will fuel the future.
Until next time,