Six years ago I spent the best five months of my life (for the record I have had some great days since then, but not as many consecutive great days) in Nice, France with two of the best boys in the world Philip "Puppy" Gray and Britton "Danger" Langdon. We had the best time ever in the history of best times. The beach, the rocks, the Tuesday night specials at McMahon's, Wednesday-Saturday nights for a "quiet beer" at O'Neil's followed by another "quiet beer" at l'escalier at 5am, the corrupt landlord at the Villa St. Exupery, our little tiny apartment with a triple decker, pullout cot, bunk bed in the one bedroom we shared, our BFF Greg who spent four nights a week on that pullout, our black futon and two nasty love seats, the balcony I used to sneak out on to call Strueber in the wee hours of the morning so that I could vent about the dirty boys and tell her all about my German "friend" Klaas, our little tv that allowed us to watch "Yeah" over and over and over again before we went out on the town, and last but not least the fabled owner of the little place, Badano, whose named marked the front door and whose face I will never know. Seriously. Those. Were. THE. Days.
As I sit here in my office in Addison, I realize that I think about those days almost everyday. I would be lying if I said I didn't wish with every part of me that I lived in Nice year round. Maybe if things would have ended differently with Klaas, maybe if I had fell in love with Badano...But, I did not. And, many moons ago I made a decision to come to Dallas after graduation and to make my life here. Now, many years and a JD later, I am having that yearning to leave again. But, this time, I pay my own bills, I have a career to start, and I just can't imagine being that far away from home for too long. So, I think I will stay.
But, I do think it is time to start to concentrate on those things I used to love so much about Nice. I would really like to talk to Philip and Britton more - both of whom are getting married this summer to equally wonderful girls. Maybe a quiet beer next time I'm in Oklahoma? I would really like to practice French, eat more seafood, and spend more time at the beach...I can probably only do two of those things here in Dallas. I think I will do some Rosetta stone lessons this weekend and have dinner at Toulouse next week.
I remember once when we were in Nice, during one of many chats with Philip and Britton over many glasses of wine, a baguette, oil and vinegar, and une tranche de pâté, Philip said to us, (and I am paraphrasing) "you know I wonder sometimes if it is better to have a career doing the things you love at work, or to have a career that enables you to do the things you love outside of work." I truly think about this everyday.
I believe there are some people out there, JK Rowling to be exact, who get to do both. But most of us are lucky enough just to fall somewhere in between. I think the in between might be a few years off for me, due to something I like to call student loans, but I am starting to realize I might be on my way there.
Six years from now you won't find me sitting in Addison, Texas, dreaming of a windy, rocky, view of the "unbelievably blue" Mediterranean, sipping wine, eating mussels, kind of day, because I'll be there, on vacation, from my wonderful Texas home.
PS. Britton, congrats on passing your test, and Philip, good luck studying!