It was a week of break ins. This week someone broke in to the upstairs of the house while we were sleeping.
Later in the week another one of my homes was broken into, the bloodshed all over social media.
Paris, the city that has loved and housed me over the years, was attacked.
All I could do was check in with everyone I knew, messaging my whole Turkish family with my heart racing, seeing if all my friends were ok. Constantly checking to see who had marked themselves as safe and who still hadn't.
Meanwhile my life has been filled with broken hearts. My poor mother is staying with me. She has lost her father and is trying as gently as she can to pick up the pieces.
My dear friend is staying with me. She realized, very much like myself years ago, that she was fighting for a relationship that had too many cracks in it.
Now they both sleep in my little basement apartment with me. There has been a lot of heartache in this small space.
I try to focus on the good. I try to make hearts feel better. I try not to cry when I think about how much feels broken.
I understand that there is hurt and turmoil in the world beyond Paris. I hurt for that too. Why does Paris hurt so much for me? Because it was my home for many years. Because it was the one place I felt like I could be myself. Like I could fall in love. Like I could find a bit of magic. Like I could embrace all that is beautiful and romantic in the world without being judged.
Paris has always been a feast for the senses. A reprieve from the realities of the world. A place where lovers fall a little more in love, where lust has a stronger pull, where even the music in the metro station has a way of seducing you.
It has all its ugly sides too. Its hurt. Its poverty. Its racism and segregation. But its good side and its joie de vivre have always been great.
With recent attacks I hurt for everyone affected, and I hurt for all the hearts who find that escape in the mere idea of Paris.
My guide book to Paris is finished and yet I hesitate to release it. I want to celebrate what is good about the city but I know the wound is still too raw.
Through all this recent brokenness I search for the lesson.
I think that when everything breaks, you have to come together. You can't let your grief, your pain, or your sadness pull you away from the world and those around you. You need to do just the opposite.
So I share my bed with my friend, I hug my mother, I tell those who matter to me that I love them. I try to be kind. To find the light.
If only there was a way to love the world back together again.