Hard is trying to rebuild yourself, piece by piece, with no instruction book,
and no clue as to where all the important bits are supposed to go.
- Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down
My husband and I are certainly no strangers to starting over. I walked away from one university and headed to another even before I had received the letter announcing that I had been accepted to the second. No turning back. I had to start over, wherever I ended up, be it in Philadelphia attending classes or in Boston working, knee deep in snow. I left one job in Philadelphia, saying a quick, breathless yes to a job offer in New York, the exchange taking place quietly while the three of us were crouched over a lithograph in my (soon-to-be-former) place of employ. I packed my things and headed to my new city, my new job, my new life before I could even consider what I was doing. And Paris? I would be starting over from scratch, my dizzyingly impetuous decision one of hazy necessity, but, again, the urge to start over.