It all started one lazy afternoon, sitting at the back end of my high school classroom, pondering on the possibilities of my university choices. Time felt incredibly long, the classroom walls started to close in, and the sound of my teacher’s lecture faded into thin air. In a swift second, I was lost in my own daydream.
I pulled out a ragged old filler and on the cover page wrote a quote I stumbled on from a Tumblr site: “If dreams don’t scare you, then they’re not big enough.” I started doodling mes rêves, from colleges across the globe to meeting my favorite bands or even simply owning a Chanel. But on the very first page, I drew an Eiffel tower with macaroons, baguettes, and chocolates. Written beneath “One day, Someday.”
The mystery of not knowing you lured me in. My parents have seen you in their thirties, twice. My brothers once lived in this city in their youth. But for me, I was a stranger. You were a shallow existence birth from my cinematic fascination.
For the most part, that notebook was tucked in the dark and gathered dust while life went on. Once in a while, I would pull it out and cross out the dreams that turned into reality. If I told my sixteen years old self that the same Eiffel Tower she once randomly drew would one day be at the foot of her yard, she would call it a bluff. But here we are six years later.
Dreaming was my perfect escape to the pressures of reality. After a brief downward spiral in early 2017, I decided to take a leap of faith. My chance to chase one of my million desires. To be brutally honest, you were not my first choice. But it was one of those “what if” moments I could not run away from.
Is it possible to love a stranger you have never met? Or understand each other even when you don’t speak the same language? I knew an ounce of you, but fate had it always written in the stars. And any self-obsessed le rêveur knows no limitation. This, you, us, was something I was ready to fight for.
Paname, you aged me with wisdom and knowledge of myself and the world around me. You gave me a sense of clarity and the courage to face my personal demons. You bruised my ego but healed my wounds. Scars then turned into a reminder of being broken can be okay. We’re here to live and to learn.
Although it took me three months before I fell at your feet, broke myself to pieces, surrendered my soul to uncertainty, I have proudly regained my freedom emotionally and mentally.
I found a home in you. At times you challenged my womanhood, my morale, and even my sanity, but taught me to trust in a higher power greater than my self-existence. I no longer felt chained by the impossible standards I use to create to make myself feel alive. Your artistic soul charged my curiosity, and since then I could not stop feeding on it. You encouraged me to chase my passion when it was something I used to hide from. When the winter days made me grey, you warmth me with the strangers you introduced who I now call family. And most of all I discovered the value of simplicity.
Some say my youth was robbed for choosing independence over comfort and a chance of wealth. I say I chose education, experience, travel, and self-discovery amongst others. But It doesn’t matter whatever path you decide to take. As long as it is authentically yours.
Paris you were never the end goal. You are my beginning.
Cheers, mon amour. Twenty-two set the bar so high, I can’t wait what the next 365 days have in store.