This #MainEventMonday, Soo Jin Kim reminisces over love and loss in Paris. Our hearts are with the friends and family struck by the senseless tragedy that happened in The City of Light last week.
Like many of you, when I heard about the Paris terrorist attacks, my heart dropped. I thought deeply about what I wanted to say, but more importantly, how I could positively frame what happened in order for people to heal and move forward. So I decided to talk about my own experience.
I loved Paris. I fell in love in Paris. I didn’t want to leave Paris. It was one of the most magical experiences of my life. I was 30 years old at the time, and I saved up a lot of money in order to do this European vacation (Amsterdam, France, Spain, The French Riviera, Nice, etc).
Turning 30 (for a woman) is a life-changing event, especially when I had just gotten out of a five year relationship with someone whom everyone thought I would marry. But I knew that the relationship was not going to end with me wearing a white dress and instead of dragging it out, we both made the decision to amicably split.
While it was hard for both our families and friends to accept, we told each other to find someone that might be a better fit. Or as he said to me, “you need to be with someone you have that spark with. We have everything else, just not that spark.” I didn’t understand it at the time, but in hindsight, I knew exactly what he meant. We didn’t share that chemistry I so desperately needed. He loved me enough to let me go.
It was my first time traveling abroad without knowing anyone. I always wanted to do Europe with a boyfriend, but none of my boyfriends had the money or the time to travel that way. So instead of waiting for a guy, I went alone. And it slowly started this brave traveling bug within me. You don’t realize how codependent you are until you travel alone. And boy, I was the very definition of codependent. How could I have gone that long without traveling? By traveling I do not mean Bachelorette parties, birthday parties or family trips; I mean trips that were just about me.
Why did I always have to be in a relationship? Why did I depend on a guy to make it happen for me, especially when in every other aspect of my life, I did it on my own? I cogitated over those questions for a very long time.
Sure, I went with a tour group and met many friends through that process, but it was me, and where I was at that time in my life that makes my experiences so memorable…
To read more about Soo’s Parisian experience, visit her blog, GimmietheSkimmie.