A beautiful house in Provence or a prison?

Life is often a matter of perception.

This is the house where I spent most of my childhood summers and where I spent most of my teenage years. A beautiful old property only 45 minutes away from Cannes in a small village called Pegomas. It was a nice place, with a pool and a huge garden and I hated it. Even today I can’t go there without feeling sad and oppressed. Each time I set a foot in this gorgeous property, I wonder why it affects me so much.

I came from Paris and this place was where my cousins were visiting once in a while to play in the pool. This is where I was helping my dad building a wall or taking care of the trees when I was a kid. This is also the place where I learned what solitude felt like. Yes, family was visiting but most of the time I spent my summers there by myself, inside this house. My parents where busy, my brothers too old to be available and then out to college. Pegomas was to far from any town where my friends were living. I had to walk in the dark to take a bus to take me to school and walk back in the dark to come back home. And yes it was scary.

As I became a teenager and wanted to go out or see my friends, this place became my prison: a beautiful one, too far, no transportation. So I sat there waiting for the days to pass. At least that was my interpretation of it. Maybe it was not exactly the way it was but it was the way I was seeing it, the way I experienced it.

Today as an adult I choose to change this message for few reasons. Countryside does not have to be synonym with darkness, gloominess and fear. Solitude doesn’t have to be sad and miserable. This was my perception as a kid and it left a trace into my subconscious. This trace I feel it in my body each time I go there or to an isolate place and I can’t breathe. Today I choose to let go of the impression it made on me. I look at that photo once more and cry over the young girl who was so sad, so scared and lonely. I am not this girl anymore. I am not a depressed, isolated, unconfident teenager anymore. I am an adult woman with more friends that I can count. I can travel over the world. I know how to see beauty in a tree or a newborn animal. I know how to appreciate the joy inside myself when I don’t have anyone around. Today I know that I am free and full of love, of life wherever I am. Today I choose to breathe.

Self reflexion

Two years. It has been two years that the man I loved announced me he didn't love me anymore. Two years. I can't believe it. It feels so far. Still one day he stepped away and our family of four was no more. That was so scary. What do you do when everything that you know as true disappear after 20 years? Nothing. You just let go.

He was a wonderful husband. One I wish to any woman even for 20 years. He was a good friend and fortunately is still in so many ways. He is an amazing dad to our boys and that he will always be. He chose a path less traveled and it was his choice and I respect him for that. He didn't do it to hurt me. I know I would never hurt me. He chose to live the life he wanted and that is his absolute right. Still, I had to let go.

 

It was not easy and then it became easier. Two years ago, I learned to walk on my own. Obviously, I started by crawling and stumbling but soon enough I was running throughout life. Faster than I ever did. Faster than I though I could.

I met new friends. Wow! So many of them. I met new men. Guys, I never thought you would be so great. So many conversations. So many sweet moments. I am so glad I met you for an hour or for months, I am so grateful for every single one of you.

I learned that I didn't need any one to be happy, that some time a walk by the ocean by yourself can be a pure moment of bliss. I discovered that I could step in a room full of strangers and still feel full knowing who I was. I would talk to those I never met before and open my heart only to see their heart opening too. I would walk up to them with a smile and always got a smile back.

And then came the days when I just stayed alone, working, writing, sculpting, doing nothing or actually doing one of the most important thing I learned: being in the present. Breathing, living, enjoying the air around me, the sounds or the smells we never pay attention to. Just being there. Just being happy. Just being...