I wrote this little gem during my travels abroad in 2015. I wrote this almost exactly 24 hours before the Paris bombing. It is a reminder just how quickly our realities can change, for the better and sometimes not. This event had a profound impact on my life for quite some time. I won’t ever be the same, though different in wonderfully surprising ways. I still don’t live in fear and usually I am all about embracing life. As we move into 2017, we can all stand a little reminder of just how impetuous and fickle life can be. Welcome 2017 we are ready for all you have to offer us.
Walking in Paris at the end of a long day, the lights dancing on the canal water, I smile to myself. Laughter and the soft sounds of French paraded around in my ears. Groups gather at the water’s edge, families, friends and lovers. A smile permanently etched on my face. Oh how this city has surprised me, it just isn’t the same city I experienced 15 years ago. Or is it? Is it I who is not the same?
Getting carried away by the sights and sounds of Paris at night I suddenly found myself lost. To avoid getting even more lost than I already was I made a stop into a little brasserie, a Parisian brewery, mostly to steal their wifi. While sipping a glass of white wine, soft candle light flickering to the music, downloading my latest photos, I’m gifted a beautiful reminder of home. A reminder that home is always where you are at, never more than a memory away. I began singing along with Van Morrison’s, “Brown Eyed Girl” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfmkgQRmmeE). If I had a glass or two more of wine I might have even danced alone in the middle of this little brasserie. Though, I settle for smiling to myself. Others smile back, likely wondering what secret I might be holding.
Traveling alone has always taught me so much about myself. I have learned that nothing is more scary than the thoughts I have erroneously held as truths; half-truths and downright lies, about being alone. I’ve learned that I can sit alone in a restaurant and I am ok. I’ve learned that I can walk in a strange city, get lost and suddenly realize I was never lost. For wherever I go I carry home, the memories of family, friends, and of all that is familiar. I have learned never to be afraid to explore, for in those explorations one finds parts of ourselves that we never knew existed. In those explorations lie opportunities to make new friends, reveal hidden treasures and discover that home is so much larger than we could have ever imagined. My world has grown, my connections beyond home stretched, and I have my time in Paris to thank and the good people I now call friends. Merci Paris!
Remember this life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Take it slow and steady, be gentle with yourself and stay hydrated.
Your Delightfully Urban Blogger~