A lot can happen in 560 days. Chance encounters, finding new passions and letting go of old ones, memories that will be recounted for a lifetime, surviving perilously dangerous situations… on more than one occasion, and many many lessons learnt along the way.
Although, has anything really changed since I left my beloved Paris? Am I the same? Is she the same?
Have we grown apart? Or are we still familiar friends?
Time will tell as I embark on the return journey back to where my life changed forever.
I promised that I would be back, sooner rather than later. I was never going to be able to stay away. That’s what happens when something captures your heart and then your imagination.
Am I romantising her memory? Have I forgotten how incredibly challenging she can be? Or is lure of vin et fromage simply too powerful and I’m no longer objective?
I left Paris reluctantly to return ‘home’, but home was not where I landed. Sydney and I started our relationship off on rocky ground. Stand-offish, aloof, cold even despite her gorgeous sunny outward appearance.
I took solitude in Newtown, my little bit of Melbourne and Paris where the ‘different’ people seek shelter in the endless cafes, eateries and bars to while away weekends.
|Most definitely a diverse community|
She has warmed to me now; it took some time. Like me, she too has changed. Sydney has opened herself up to new experiences and new ideas and it’s reflecting in the growth of her culture. She might still be a little brash and not quite chic, but it’s where I proudly call home.
I am returning not as a triathlete, but a cyclist. A chance encounter outside the local swimming pool led me to SU Velo Club, my cycling club. Where I was told that I would find ‘life long friends’ and I believe I have. It’s where a continual source of wonderful memories are formed.
I also return having just left the job that began this sequence of events some nine years ago to lead to this point.
I am turning the page, I have smoothed down the centre spine and I stare at the blank page…what story will be written….