Paris is as beautiful, dirty, crowded, and wildly romantic as I remembered it. I had hoped to find myself, rediscover what I want, all the things that would stop the pain that I had gone through. But then what can you expect in less than a week? So instead, I refocused on just relaxing, enjoying my time, spending quality time with my friend, and just seeing things. I walked from one end of Paris to the other. I took a street that I didn’t know and got lost. I walked what seemed like endless miles of cobblestones in small alley ways to asphalt cement of large boulevards.
There were beautiful parks with gravel stones and manicured trees that canopied overhead and crowded busy streets bustling with shoppers and merchants. Sometimes I’d pass a boulangerie and I could smell fresh bread or I’d pass open cafes and smell dark aromatic coffee beans being brewed. Dust from the street, heat from the sun, and often time, my own weariness made the city seem to breath unto herself.
There were some streets that I’d walk on and there’d be no one except me and the sound of my red heels clicking along the same path that people used to walk hundreds and hundreds of years ago. I would walk the busy streets of Place de Concorde down the Pont Alexandre and know that Napoleon once rode his army that way. I would sit at a cafe alone and watch people go by while lost in my own thoughts, wondering how did I get to this point?
I never lost myself. I just hid myself. I had gotten so caught up with trying to live life that I forgot to actually live it. I wanted so much that I didn’t see all the stop signs to stop and actually breathe. And when I breathed, it hurt at first but it eventually cleared up. I fell in love with myself and I learnt that it was okay to be alone. I was happy to be in my own skin and accept that I’m crazy passionate romantic who wants a relationship. I want to share all my experiences with someone else but at the same time be okay that I’m not with him. But while waiting for him, I’m happy with me and my time. I’m blessed with great friends, a wonderful puppy, a thriving career and understanding boss, a crazy family, and most of all, being alive to this day. It took me 4000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to figure this out. Next time, I won’t need to travel so far as I’ll keep Paris in my pocket to remind me that I can breathe another day…that romance is never dead…just hidden.
This was me in 2005 visit.