Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils… -You’ve Got Mail
It is officially autumn here in Paris (i.e. my favorite season because sweaters, boots and coffee). After a blistering, hot September it is nice to finally enter the routine of school and work (and dear god, I need to find an extra curricular activity). The more I am here, the more I fall in love with the city of love.
What is it about this city in which I can absolutely be having the worst possible day ever and keep treading on? It is like Paris is full of some magic, in which each corner you turn there is some new, undiscovered area you never knew existed, even about yourself. I walk these streets lost in my thoughts, contemplative. In the mere 7 weeks that I have been here, I have laughed, been happy, had my heart broken, cried, been homesick and loved.
If I have fallen in love with anything, it is Paris. If I have fallen in love with anyone, it would be myself. I am a passive person. I like to make people happy and hate when people despise me. In the weeks I have been here, I have started to have to stick up for myself, say no to things I know I do not deserve, call people out on their actions and move on with my life. A large amount of my life I spent thinking about others and what their needs were. This is my time to figure out what I want, what I deserve.
I live at the base of the hill from Sacre Coeur. Literally, you turn right after stepping out of my apartment building and you start walking up the hill and within 10 to 15 minutes, Sacre Coeur stands looming over you. The other night, it was a fellow au pair’s birthday and we planned on meeting there to drink some wine and look out at the beautiful view over Paris. I arrived a few minutes early and sat at the steps, watching the scene around me. Obviously, we were not the first people to have the idea to drink at Sacre Coeur. Many people were drinking, talking loudly and laughing. Many couples were there… but what caught my eye were the amount of single women. The younger ones were with their girlfriends, older ones had grabbed a bottle of wine and decided to spend a night out by themselves. One was sitting next to me and her face was glowing. She held her face in her hands and was just smiling, looking at Paris. It reminded me of a scene from Paris, Je T’aime, in which an older American woman decides to go to France on vacation (watch the scene here). Her depiction of walking through Paris alone, the random thoughts that go through your head, the feeling of joy and sadness at the same time all while feeling alive are on point.
The other day I was with a friend and we saw a couple walk past us being all cute and such like couples do. Her remark went something like, “don’t you wish you had something like that in Paris? It reminds you how lonely you are when you see such things”. I smiled and nodded, but I kept thinking about the remark for the rest of the day. Sure, it would be cute but I am enjoying being by myself in this city. I can be selfish for a while because I deserve it. I do things because I want to. I am paying extra attention to myself, and sure, probably spoiling myself every once in a while with chocolate and croissants because dammit, I am living in Paris. My lovely cousin posted a quote that went something like this;
Some women chase men, others chase dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will not wake up early and tell you it doesn’t love you anymore.
That is what Paris is to me, a step towards my career… and as far as I know, it has treated me better than any man I have ever dated.