I’ve been thinking about London lately.
About how easy it was to get around the city, even with it’s hushed voices and last-calls at 1 a.m., instead of 4. I’ve been thinking about how the men were such gentleman, wishing me a good day and commenting on how ‘quite lovely, quite everything, quite was’ in their darling accents that stupidly remind me of Hugh Grant. I’ve been thinking about how even though I tried to have an afternoon delight in Kensington at lunchtime with a tall, handsome character I met in Shoreditch the night before – he refrained. I’ve been considering the echoes in my head from all the women who complained – over their cigarettes and their pimms – that the men are far too serious, that they want relationships too soon, that they just bore of them ‘quite quickly, I’m afraid.’ I’ve been thinking that maybe, a British man might be what I’ve been looking for, after all.
I’ve been thinking about Paris lately.
About how romantic and classic it was – with it’s fresh flowers at day, the freckled white lights at night. How the streets intertwined with each other so effortlessly, falling into cobblestone after cobblestone, beautiful facade after another, with it’s inhabitants swiftly riding their bikes to work. The bikes with the little brown baskets, their chic black coats fluttering behind them in the wind. I’ve been thinking about how inspiring it was to speak with the men at the coffee houses and the one who handed me a flower in Republique without saying a word, but gladly sharing his grin. I’ve been thinking about the Parisian woman who I stood next to while ordering another bottle of wine for my mom and I, who commented so sweetly that her date at the table by the window was just so charming. That they had met online. That maybe love wasn’t dead in Paris, after all.
I’ve been thinking about Rome lately.
About that guardian angel of a man who rescued my mom and I from our own sense of direction in the unmarked, wobbly roads of the ancient city. About how he turned up the music at one spot, just to hear the instrumentals, and how his wine somehow tasted sweeter than the ones that I order at the ‘authentic Italian restaurants’ at home. I’ve been thinking about the view from atop of the Villa Borghese Gardens – or better known as the heart-shaped park – and how I wished with all of my might to bring me a love in the place I called home, but had the romance of the couples I witnessed in Italy. I’ve been thinking about that young pair who picked veggies and fruits at the market near the Colosseum, he sneaking a kiss, her cheeks still rosy from sex – and how it all seemed so effortless, after all.
I’ve been thinking about Chicago lately.
About how the guidebooks and the Buzzfeeds and the lists and the whatnots tell you that if you want to meet a man, your odds are better there. That there are simply more men, and not just that they are men – but they are midwestern men. Ones with values, ones who are driven by family morals and ones who will raise your children with football, corn fields and tailgating. I’ve been thinking about the women I know who left it all behind – their jobs, their friends, their bylines and their dreams – to move somewhere else. Perhaps to a place they’ve never been, but one that says that if they just leave Manhattan, they could find love, after all.
I’ve been thinking about New York lately.
About this big place that feels so little to me now. About the me that I was nearly five years ago when I arrived, full of ambition and full of lofty ideas about some debonair man I would meet. I’ve been thinking about how many times I’ve fallen in and out of love with this city – with it’s intoxicating temptations and it’s brutal realities. About how it doesn’t stop moving for one date or for one interaction, for one setback or one opportunity. I’ve been thinking about the ones I know who have managed to figure out the confusing – infuriating – metric that predicts where the eligible, emotionally-available, attractive men are loitering. And more importantly, how to entice them to look – and stay looking – in your direction. About how I never thought I’d be one of those girls who wondered if she’d be alone forever, that somehow, magically, profoundly, simply and of course, passionately, I’d just meet that guy. My guy in my city. I’ve been thinking that more often that not, I repeat in my head, ‘I guess finding love in the city actually is hard, after all.’
I’ve been thinking about love lately.
About how I’m always wondering where in this incredible, diverse, powerful world is the person that I’ll one day share my life with. About how maybe leaving the place I love the most is the answer to all of these dating problems that I’ve spent my career, thus far, writing about.
That maybe love in New York was just a silly idea, after all.
Or… could it be that love is here, right where I am – right where you are – all along? But we just can’t see it because we’ve forgotten that one thing that’s pushed us through big moves, big changes, big experiences…
…faith. In ourselves. In this big, big world. And of course, always, with all the hope we can muster… in love.