Fluctuat Nec Mergitur

May 28, 2009

“Tossed by the waves, but does not sink”

That’s the rough translation of the motto of Paris. On a historical level, the city slogan bares a lot of meanings. Its roots go back to the Roman times when the river Seine was home to prosperous commerce and trade that took place in the heart of the French capital. On a personal level, the significance goes way deeper that I would ever be able to communicate through a blog post.

It’s been three weeks since I have translated my thoughts into digital ink to be displayed for the world wide web to access, three weeks. Losing such a vital aspect of myself is no cup of tea, and attempting to share the pain with the hope of an accurate depiction is unjust. They say you never truly appreciate something until you lose it, and in many cases that is spot on, but not this time around. They also say that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger…Well, we’ll just have to hope that this is true, because if it’s not, than the logic of this world has completely lost me.

Depression, loneliness, fear, and restlessness, are nothing but words that we human beings have invented as part of a language that is used to make others understand our situation. The idea is to be able to communicate to another human-being how you feel, and what it’s like. If you pause to think about it for second, you’d instantaneously realize that the actual thought of transporting feelings via a combination of predefined sounds is absurd. If we don’t have a clue how feelings work, how on Earth do we expect others to share them with us? We are so limited by our language, that we have given up on properly communicating, and are settling for the general categorization of situations.

When you wake up every morning with a physical pain in your chest, no one feels it with you. When you feel you have no motivation to get up and join the evolutionary chain of production, no one stays back with you. When you get sudden attacks of intensive sadness out of the blue, there’s no one to blame, nor witnesses to confirm. Whatever you do, whatever happens to you, no one will ever come close to re-living the same experience. So what do we do, as animals looking to become the fittest for survival? We use a stock of words available for free, group them together, and toss them to our closest people. And what do they do? Well, their situation isn’t an easy one. On the one hand, they clearly understand that it is something they would’nt want to experience. On the other, they realize that it’s an experience they need to share. So the easy way out, is to approach it from a personal point of view, and compare it with previous experiences that were very similar. While that sounds like the logical solution, no one has the slightest of clues as to how each person has his or her own feelings. But we are so narrow-minded and focused on moving on, that we settle for the least.

To say that the past few weeks have been the most difficult of my life would be a simple way of describing a complicated era. When you’re sick, you do everything you can to improve. When you’re REALLY sick, and there’s nothing that can be done, you sit back and closely follow the progress until you’re up and running again. In which case, the slightest of improvements works as a catalyst to elongate the patience, which in turn is required for the process to be complete.

In my current situation, none of the above apply. You think you feel better one day, only to find out a little later that you’re worthless. You start enjoying life, only to wake up with physical and mental pains enough to end the day before it starts. You witness a bit of improvement, but enough damage afterwards to take you to a worse point than when you started. There’s no pattern, and there’s no use looking for one. You don’t know how long it’ll last, nor what it is you can do to help. You know nothing, and you’re only as good as what you know.

Despite the seemingly impossible obstacle, I’ve come out a lottery-winner with a family’s solid backing, and friends to make the happiest of people seriously jealous. Very few people on this planet have what I have, and it’s times like this when you realize that even though you’re not as strong as you had previously taken for granted, you have the people to get you through it. It’s not the end of the world, not even close, and while my friends and family are around, I’m not planning on giving up anytime soon.

I came to Paris to live a dream, and I might have bitten off more than I can chew. Nevertheless, it is here, in Paris, that I have reached a record low point, but it is also here, in Paris, where I will pick myself up, and experience the bonheur. This city will be the transition, the pivotal point the swings all the way down, only to come back up again – and to a higher point than before. It’s the stage where the act will take place, and where the performance will be boosted by the crowd. In a way, I’m in a unique situation that will allow me to experience an authentic, intensive, and rewarding Paris. It is a crucial part of my life, and where else can you present such an exceptional spectacle than the second city of love?

I’m tossed, bullied and constantly threatened by the waves, that much is true. But one thing’s for sure, and it’s that my boat will not sink.

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