six months in paris

paris, france

 
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the sun is currently setting over a rosy pink manhattan skyline, and as i look out my window from my apartment, i can’t help but sink into soft mushy feelings about how this summer has been nothing short of perfect. i’ve always found it important to take in as much of these special moments in as possible while they’re here. it all feels fuller, and i can say that i have a greater sense of appreciating life in brooklyn having fulfilled a dream to live in paris.

*deep grateful sighs*. life as i’ve lived it has had so many wonderful plot twists, but this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity kind of blows my mind but then, it doesn’t. as much as i wish i could say that paris fell onto my lap, it actually came up after years of obsessive planning and investing energy into anything that could spin me closer into paris’ orbit. there were so many decisions along the way such as turning down opportunities and putting in late nights for unsexy projects that could materialize into becoming the most appropriate person on my team to be sent to paris. i feel so fortunate that my manager never opposed my crazy dream and was patient with me every time i sought out advice for what more i could do to make it all happen. he was never short on throwing out new ideas, thinking of people i should have conversations with, and supporting me through the entire journey. he seriously was a godsend and i’m

- how it was living in paris -

paris was through and through beautiful. it created a picturesque environment to allow my mind to wander freely, which allowed me to dig a bit deeper to find the little and big things that lit my soul on fire. my senses and nerve endings were peeled wide open. is there even a need to say this? the beauty in paris seems to be limitless; the walks through jardin du luxembourg to work while the fall leaves were changing and the air was crisp, the frigid walks back home on pont neuf and feeling the fuzziest of feelings catching the eiffel tower sparkle in a distance, casually strolling through alleyways and smelling the sweet buttery air wafting out of pâtisserie windows, sitting in solitude out on a terrace with a good book and a glass of wine whilst being distracted by all of the interesting people walking by, taking a significant part of the weekend to ogle at the goods at the plein air marchés…

despite being surrounded by so much beauty, it did become lonely and isolating at times.

but! thank goodness for friends and family who visited and kept me company throughout my time there. i’m grateful that my mom, sister, hudson, and taylor made their way over to help me settle into my first apartment. i love that my mom used this opportunity to invite her closest friends over. her friend, agatha, even prepared home-cooked korean dinners that i craved immensely. aside from having them so close, i love that through their visits, i was able to experience the city once again through their fresh sets of eyes.

most of my girlfriends from near and far also took very long flights over, and we did a lot of eating, exploring, and building memories that we’ll cherish when we’re old and responsible for adulty things. we’ll look back on these times and revel in how carefree we lived and how we thoroughly enjoyed these prime years.

- what aspects were there to love -

learning how to enjoy paris as a “local” and developing a keener sense for the details and tastes of french cuisine was probably the most exciting part for me. my chic colleagues who eventually became my closest friends made no exceptions to making sure that i only experienced the best of the best. i remember my friend emilie jumping right in and suggesting the campari spritz right after i asked for an aperol spritz because aperol is a drink of yesteryear. the group would sit together for about an hour at lunchtime and share opinions on hot restaurants, the dreamiest weekend trips they had just taken around the country, and even debate about how the quality of maje’s clothing has or hasn’t deteriorated. if you were wondering, the majority opinion is…yes, it has.

i also appreciate that they were open to enlightening me on their points of view on topics like what life is like in france, politics, the gilet jaune riots, parenting, ethics, and environmentalism. through these friendships, i understood that my friends deeply hold onto a sense of grounded idealism, preserve and celebrate natural beauty in their lives/homes/world, and make no compromises when it comes to thinking about how to create the best standard of living for the next generations to come.

i miss them dearly, but thank goodness for instagram to keep us connected.

i probably won’t return to paris until i accomplish something more meaningful (i’ve really been spoiled rotten), but until then - if you have dreamt of visiting or living there in the near or distant future, i have faith in you and can confidently say that it is possible!

xo, christine

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