I was reading my bloglist tonight, curled up in bed against the freezing cold, still in my work clothes because I got home too late, when I came across one post that made my chest constrict. It was a photo a friend had posted of himself and his girlfriend in rainbows, framed perfectly and lovingly. It was the ideal couple portrait, and I was so wistful for the joyfulness of it, of that exuberant, passionate, effusive love, caught in a moment in rainbows. It was so lovely that it took my breath away and spiked a tiny barb of envy, straight through my tired, work frazzled brain.
If there are fewer rainbows here, there are compensations too, though on the squelchy days it can be harder to remember. Working long hours is hard right now, but it is for a purpose, even though that can be hard to find sometimes when I want to cry with tiredness and frustration. Sometimes I am crabby and unlovable as I lie in bed with smudged eyeliner and messy hair and a sulky bottom lip, but he tells me he loves me anyway.
I am not sure why he loves me, but I am so glad that he does. Sometimes he even loves me enough that it doesn't matter that I don't love myself enough... It patches up all the holes in the wall and keeps me warm.
And unlike a year ago, I have begun to believe that our little muddled up story will have a happy ending. That we will find again the dreams that we hoped for a long time ago, before it mattered whose turn it was to empty the dishwasher and I never came home at 9pm. And I have started to laugh again, and there is colour in my face and my hair has stopped falling out. All because I've allowed myself to dream again. And wish. And hope.
Bingley and I are going to Paris in October. I will leave Australia as a 29 year old and return some time later as a 30 year old who has been to Paris. My planning and anticipation for this event keep my feet moving on the days when they feel like dragging, and makes the moon seem that much brighter on the days when I can fly. I have planned almost every day of our short trip, excited beyond measure to click on links to museums to check their opening hours and not feel fraudulent. To have printed out pages of the beautiful apartment we have rented and to have pasted them into my little scrapbook. My humble book of dreams.
I am going to see the Tour Eiffel sparkle in the cold night sky and even writing that made me shiver. It doesn't feel quite real, as if I am still playing some incredible game of make believe. But then I click on the "book now" button to hire a car so minisclue that only people as tiny as Bingley and I could ever fit, and I picture arguing about directions as we meander through the Loire Valley and my heart does tiny backflips just because I get to use the phrase "Loire Valley" in a sentence pertaining to me.
I am going to take beautiful photographs that will make me homesick for years to come, and I am going to see artwork that will make me cry. And I will get there on a cold and noisy plane, curled up with Bingley in our already booked seats at the back of the plane, just the two of us, holding hands in our own rainbow. Sometime in October.