Tonight my friend Ellie and I met for a sunrise shoot at the Seine. (insert pinch) These are the sorts of things we Parisienne bloggers do. And it makes me sparkle inside.
It was an usually warm, winter day, and so I walked all the way there from my apartment. I love to walk around Paris; each step I take feels like a privilege. I get to walk here, live here, be here I say to myself. It’s surreal still that I am not counting down the days left of my trip. They are endless.
Thanks to my pre-iPhone days here as a student, I can navigate the streets without a map. I memorized them all a long time ago, and my sense of direction comes right back each time I’m here.
The amazing thing about The Seine is as you approach, so much suddenly comes into view. The bridges, the water, the towers of Notre Dame! The top of the Eiffel Tower popping out over Haussmanian rooftops, and the weeping willow on the edge of the Square du Vert-Galant brought back lovely memories of this summer. A row of bare, birch trees stretched out next to the iconic bouqanistes and for some reason, hundreds of birds were flying and swooping around the Pont des Arts.
It was all so beautiful, and it was a moment that hit me – I live here. I get to live here.
Audrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea.”⠀⠀
But I admit, right before I moved I got a little scared.
My whole life was in New York: my family, my friends, my connections, my work, and all the little comforts of home from my cardio danse class to my favorite cocktail spot. I was leaving them all, choosing to start everything over for no real reason other than my heart told me to. What if I was making a huge mistake?
As I stood there on the bank of the Seine, looking out, I was so overwhelmed with beauty that I started to cry. My eyes glazed over with giant, happy tears because of how much I love this place.
The Pont des Arts is the famous bridge where couples put locks with their names on it to symbolize their forever love. They are all gone now, aside from a few that lasted because they were attached to lamp posts. There were so many that it was actually causing the bridge to sink. The weight of the people’s love was that enormous.
I put a lock here once, right before I left after studying abroad. It said La Blonde Parisienne (my alias that year) + La Tour (as in Eiffel). I knew then that some loves don’t last, but the one I felt for Paris always would. ⠀
There’s so little we can really control about our lives, and so much of the way mine has turned out was not my choice; not the way I thought my story would go. ⠀
But I made this choice. I followed my heart over my head and made this dream come true. As I stood there, swimming in the kind of happiness I haven’t felt in years, I knew…
I knew that if none of my other dreams ever happen – if I never become a published author, if I never find someone who truly understands and loves my soul, if I never get a puppy, if I never get to become a mother, if I never get to go back to school, if I never make it to the places left on my bucket list…
If Paris is all I ever have – it’s enough.