All of my life I’ve wanted to live in Paris. Not forever – just for a few months.
In my imagination, I quickly develop a set of expat and French friends. I find ‘my’ arrondissement. After a morning of good writing, I make my way through cobbled streets to a small table where I sip my café crème and watch the passing parade.
Les heures stretch on indefinitely in the grey lace of my imagination, and I wander around Paris in a bubble of sweet contentment. I have found my place in the world.
For 35 years, I have nursed this dream. And in just a few days, I will find out whether it is true.
Can I trust the longings of my imagination? Or have I just been fooling myself?
On every trip I have made to this extraordinary city, I have felt myself come alive. Her chic, feminine spirit calls me forth like nothing else.
Yesterday, I dug through my closet and unearthed my ‘Paris clothes’ – the grey, black and brown dresses and skirts. The heels unworn for months and months in California. The scarves.
I’ve even decided it’s time to wear make up again. So I muster up that dormant, waiting woman – the one seldom seen. Because life usually requires blue jeans practicality, doesn’t it? At least it did when I was a hands-on Mom living in the country.
And so this is why I have longed to live in Paris for a while. In some basic way it is time to return to this part of myself. Not just for the week or two of a vacation … but all the time.
I need to feel myself first as a woman, and secondly as a ‘person who gets things done’. Paris seems to be the place to make that happen.
In the slow crawl back to balance and happiness, all the parts of me want to emerge. There is no reason to hide anymore, or pretend to be something I’m not.
I will make my way; there will be ups and downs. But none of that really matters because simply by doing this, I am reclaiming myself again.
And that is what dreams are for.
What dream have you been waiting to claim?