If you’ve been keeping up with my Parisian escapades (parts deux et trois), you’re probably wondering what became of this romantic journey. Well, unlike most fairytales, this story didn’t have the happy ending that little girls dream of (or massage parlors promise). However, it did have the life lessons that grow sweet little girls into strong wise women. In short, what some might have chocked up to be a trip from hell, I was able to extract some very, very important universal truths. I didn’t fall in love with a handsome French man. I didn’t buy the perfect vintage coat in Le Marais. I didn’t even see the top of the Eiffel Tower though it was quite literally a baguette’s distance away.
People then ask, “Well, what did you do?” and I can’t really answer that. There was no Mona Lisa at the Louvre, I never ate escargot. I didn’t lock away my love on the Pont des Arts. I did have lunch at Colette, drank champagne while chatting up a couple of artists at Cafe de Flore, and took a spin on La Grande Roue de Paris. I made new friends, I reconnected with some I had lost touch with. Most importantly, I was smacked in the face with my own little life lesson: if you don’t take the wheel, someone else most certainly will.
When you board a bullet train, keep in mind it can be derailed just as quickly as it can get you to your destination. My friend arrived on the morning of my birthday. We started the day off without sleeping and a bottle of champagne (champagne tastes better on an empty stomach). By the end of the day, we had a cute French boy singing “Happy Birthday” (Joyeux Anniversaire) with his guitar and buying me a birthday card from a pharmacie with an age on it that might not be my own. The evening included dinner at L’Avenue (which we lucked into as we hadn’t made an earlier reservation and Paris was still empty) and cocktails (read: more champagne) at Le Bar du Plaza Athénée. There was no cake, there was no singing and this was the beginning and prologue to a very long week.
To fit all that occurred into one or two more paragraphs would not do the journey justice and ironically, some parts of my personal life should probably stay private. A few notable moments did include spontaneously regaining a grasp of my French, learning that you can bring your dog just about anywhere (including the grocery store), champagne showers at couture week after parties at Hotel Costes, and actually losing weight while eating bread. By the end of the week, I was exhausted both physically and emotionally. The universe did me a solid by canceling my flight home due to Juno (sorry, New York) allowing me a few more days in Paris on my own. While the only physical souvenirs I arrived home with were some French books from the airport and sweets to share with friends at home, the real gifts were the lessons I learned about myself. (And Hemingway was right).
I didn’t go to Paris with someone I love as I’d always imagined, but there are some mornings I find myself longing to awake in the golden morning light of that magical city.
Romper: Cameo the Label Man Down Romper, Tights: Emilio Cavallini, Shoes: Sam Edelman, Bag: Malini Murjani, similar by Salvatore Ferragamo here, Lips: Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Natural in No. 50 Aubergine