Since I was young I knew I wanted to go to Paris. I dreamt of strolling along the Seine, cafe au lait in hand, taking in the scenery and speaking fluent French to all the locals. I knew deep down that someday I would either get an opportunity to go or make one, aut viam inveniam aut faciam and all that jazz. Thanks to my generous, wonderful, and beautiful mother, that opportunity came the summer before college.
It was even better in person than I imagined and Paris totally lives up to the hype. We got to
do almost everything we wanted to do while we were there, including seeing the Chanel flagship store, while making life long memories with my mother and my aunt, who unfortunately passed away about two weeks upon our return from France.
My Aunt Martha was an incredible woman. She was so much like me my family makes jokes about whether or not I am biologically her child. I spent every summer with her in Colorado lounging by the pool, shopping, sewing, and babysitting my younger cousins while she took a nap because I was just young enough to have the energy to keep up with them. She was like another mom to me. She always held,and will always hold, a special place in my heart, and I am so blessed to be able to have gone to France with her, as I will always have the memory of going to an opera in Paris with my Aunt Martha.
I may have lost my aunt, my friend, and a huge part of my life, but I didn’t lose all the wisdom she imparted to me. Regarding college she always told me to get up early and dress well for class, sit in the very front row, ask a lot of questions, and get to know my professors, as all of those things would help me in the long run. Regarding makeup she reminded me that less is more. Regarding friends she always told me that I shouldn’t have anyone in my life that doesn’t want me in theirs and isn’t willing to exert the same amount of energy into the friendship or have the decency to be a considerate human being, advice that I constantly keep in the back of my mind.
Most importantly, she always encouraged me to do what I want to do. To make my life the life that I want it to be. To shoot for the moon, for even if you miss you’ll land among the stars. Okay that last one may be a misattributed quote and she definitely never said that, but the general idea was there. She gave me that extra push I needed to get shit done and work hard to create the life for myself that I always dreamed of having. When in Paris, I decided I would move there one day and potentially go to graduate school there, enhancing my understanding of the French language and enriching my life with more culture. She told me that was a wonderful idea and reminded me that while I would have to work hard in order to end up there, it was an attainable goal.
Since then I have known I will live in Paris and even get a little homesick for that enchanting place. It’s the place I belong. Which brings me to my main point:
Find your Paris.
I mean it. Find your Paris. Find the one place in the world where you feel you are the best version of yourself. It may not even be a place. But find something that makes you feel that way (disclaimer: do not do hard drugs in order to feel that way, that is not advised) It’s an amazing feeling knowing that Paris is out there, and on days when you’re feeling down, you miss someone, or it’s just a little il fait mauvais instead of il fait beau, it’s reassuring to know that this is not the end point and that your Paris is waiting. So go out and find it. It won’t let you down.