I am in Berlin with a friend and I could not be happier right now. I’ve had space and time to reflect back on the French Open and my time in Paris. I now see that I was very depressed and lonely in Paris. Those feelings were difficult for me to admit, because I was living a dream I had fashioned for myself. How many people have the good fortune to pick up and watch tennis for four days straight in a beautiful city like Paris? Sometimes in the midst of what looks like a grand adventure, your feelings and emotions can be out of step with what you imagined.
Yesterday, after a great Chinese dinner, my fortune cookie said to “enjoy life’s little pleasures”; I’ve had the opportunity to do that in Berlin and it’s been a God sent. For all my grand plans, there are few things I enjoy more than sitting in a cafe, shooting the breeze with friends I love. Like me, my friend suffers from the same wanderlust. Yet, we are often plagued by a sense of loneliness as we seek to fulfill some fantastical new dream. I know that I wouldn’t want any other kind of life, but sometimes the road gets a bit bumpy.
In Paris, I was very isolated. It was a shattering experience to be surrounded by a mass of people and feel so disconnected to many of them. And mind you it’s not because I speak limited French; I spoke limited Mandarin in Shanghai in 2007 and I had a ball trying to cobble together a conversation with curious and interested travelers in broken English and sign language. Paris turned out to be a closed and inaccessible place for someone suffering from jet lag and the culmination of several months of stressful planning. Yet, I don’t regret the trip; it would have continued to be a “what if” in my mind.
Plus, I went to the freaking French Open!
Too bad I was in Berlin when the unthinkable happened. I could have said I saw Rafa lose at the French!