When my mom and I were in Paris I must have been gushing. The buildings are so beautiful here. Everyone is so attractive. I love those shoes. I love that girl’s bike. I love the food. And the CHEESE. I LOVE FRANCE. At which point my mom finally asks,
Do you believe in reincarnation?
Me: I haven’t really thought about it much. Why?
Mom: I think you were French in a past life.
And that statement has changed my life ever since. I’ve come to think that… maybe she’s right… And it’s not just the amazing cheese. When I was little I was obssessed with everything French. I was determined to learn French and bought a few French dictionaries. I had books of French castles that I would try to draw. I checked out French movies from the library. I chose a French name: Yvonne. All of these dreams, however, died slow deaths as I got older. I became practical. I took Spanish classes.
Another thing I find unusual is that despite several years of Spanish study and two years in Spanish speaking countries, I have only fallen for one Spanish boy (he was Costa Rican and, in fact, had lived in France for a few years). I find this incredibly strange considering the high level of average attractiveness and flirting skills of Spanish men. However, out of the five French men that I have actually had conversations with I am convinced I could have happily married two of them. This cannot be a coincidence.
Nor did I ever feel quite at home in Spain or Argentina. Don’t get me wrong. I love both Madrid and La Plata dearly. The places and the people are close to my heart. But I never felt that either place could be my long term home. There was just something missing. I thought maybe I just wasn’t expat material. And now I wonder, maybe I would feel differently in France? Maybe France is my destiny.
I am only semi-serious about the whole reincarnation thing. But it certainly does make me wonder about why we are attracted to specific places or things. And there is no reason to not let the imagination bend the rules a little bit. While I won’t be going to France in the near future (they have pretty sturdy visa requirements and I have little money), I have mentally set aside a year or two in France in my unplanned future.