“Askin Ain’t Gettin’ “is a favorite line from Gone with the Wind. Scarlett tells Big Sam she is going to ask Ashely for the money to keep Tara. Big Sam mumbles, “Askin’ ain’t gettin” as Scarlett walks away.
“ASKIN’ AIN’T GETTIN”
1 mars –Just after take off. 7:30 p.m.
Like Mom said, Saying you’re going and actually going are two different things! Not even at the height of a killer argument (of which we don’t have many) would I want to experience the profound sadness and feeling of separation I had in saying goodbye to Joel this afternoon. A soul as independent as mine aches at a goodbye like that even with the promise of adventure (and phenomenal wine) on the horizon.
Could there be more than sixty people on this plane? I am sprawled out, Mac equipment everywhere and now for the first time I ask myself the question that everyone has been asking me for the last year;
Why am I doing this? I don’t know what answer the people I love or myself were looking for. Immersion? Solitude before a lifetime of motherhood? Because I can? They say that your late twenties are when you start to settle into who you really are. Well, I hadn’t felt settled at all. I felt as though I had sold my soul out for the almighty dollar. Two short, but eternal years in advertising cost me a quality of life that is the very essence of who I am. I was good at my job but the stress was so profound. I was loosing clumps of hair, breaking out and crying in a hot bath each night. I had to will myself to pick up the phone and call clients and by the time I got home calling friends and family was the last thing I wanted to do. I had very little energy for relationships. I fantasized about Parisian life all day.
Joel and I planned to move together to France for six months and then come home and start a family but plans change. Instead, I said goodbye to budgets, meetings, sales quotas and our little condo and said “hello” to the freelance life of my true callings: Designer, Artist and Domestic Goddess. With no big salary there was no way that we could pack up and fly away to France together for six months. To top it off we moved from a little townhouse to a one hundred and twenty year old farmhouse in need of a serious makeover. The gravy train had jumped off the track and there was no money tree in this new backyard. But I still pined for Paris.
These plans were made in a sort of rebellion. A longing for something that I now know only God can fill. I battle a restlessness and dissatisfaction in life that only knowing His love can satisfy. But I love Paris and He says He gives you the desires of your heart. I believe He has given me the opportunity to experience this very special time. Thankfully I am only twenty-eight and I really feel that I have learned the difficult lesson that God can give you a love and a passion for something but if you look to that thing to fulfill you will always feel empty.
The hours pass and still, with all the excitement on the horizon each mile I fly further from Joel increases the bittersweet nature of this day. Saying goodbye to him at the airport was so very difficult; it caught me off guard. Standing, stalling and stalling before going through the security gate and finally burrying my head into his number Eight coat and sobbing, “I can’t do this,” the black cordoroy absorbing my tears . It was the first and only time in my life I can recall saying those words. “Bone of my bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” No kidding. I felt like something was tearing one person in two. The ability for the soul to feel two emotions to the maximum surprised me as each step I took raised my anticipation of my next thirty days and magnified my sadness at leaving Joel behind. Our bond is so strong and while still maintaining our own interests and relationships we are more than content to spend as much time together as possible. While my grief was profound I am certain that I will never have an understanding of what it emotionally cost Joel to “let me go”.
For security reasons we finally had to separate. He could not follow me any further. I sent my carry-on’s thru the X-ray machine and longingly looked back. My heart was pounding with the reality of what I was doing and I was relieved to find him in the crowd. His eyes still locked onto me.
I unpacked my laptop and I looked back. I took off my coat and I looked back. His eyes were always there to meet me. One last visual connection and I then I decided to not to look back again. If he would not have been there I would have had to sit right down on the floor and cry. Instead I made my way down the hall, gave him a minute to get outside and we said a few more goodbyes over our cell phones.
While boarding I noticed that there were very few people getting on the plane. I kept looking around. I’m no dingbat but I even double-checked to make sure I wasn’t getting on the wrong plane. No problems. Air France flight 141 non stop from Chicago to Paris was just one empty place! WOO-HOO!!!
Somewhere over Canada. 10:30pm – I don’t know where I am because they don’t do that cool thing where they show the plane flying across the earth on this particular flight but as “The Last Samurai” entertains me I have glanced out the window to see what must be Nova Scotia or something. The blackness is accessorized by cities that resemble golden jewels dotting the ground below. It is truly stunning and I am moved by it’s simplistic beauty. I can only assume we are over Northern Canada and soon to fly over Greenland or Iceland.
I must get some sleep.