On Winging It | Trés Americain
I went to Paris on a whim. One month earlier, a friend called me, casually asking if I’d like to join her in Santorini to shoot a wedding. Why not? I booked the cheapest flights I could find and found myself in a place I’d never been before, in a city I’d always dreamed about, for only 18 hours, before I was off to my next destination.
When the door to my Airbnb in Le Marais shut behind me, I realized that I had no plan. The last 5 months of my life had been filled with planning, pivoting and good old hard work. I graduated from college, applied to countless jobs, moved back home and ended up starting my own business. I was in a constant state of stress and dissatisfaction, keeping my head down and hustling hard until I found myself without a laptop in my lap or a phone in my hand and zero access to wifi. I finally looked up. And here I was, a girl alone in the middle of Paris with no plan, no to-do list, and nowhere to be but right where I was. I had unintentionally forced myself into being present. Once you get over the first moments of panic, it’s a freeing feeling to not have a plan. To have no expectations. Your brain is forced to pause and ponder. I took a big, deep breath for the first time in months. It was as if all of my senses were slowly coming back to me, one by one.
I walked aimlessly for hours. Window shopped. Ate a three course meal over a span of two hours at a real brasserie. I chatted with the Parisian girl at the table beside mine, exchanged laughs with my waiter and drank two glasses of the best wine I’ve ever had. I ducked into a cafe on a street corner as rain started to pour down, and slowly drank an espresso under the awning as life in Le Marais kept rushing on around me. It’s a refreshing experience, to feel so still while everyday chaos is going on around you.
Paris taught me to slow down when I am going through the motions at a thousand miles an hour. Since returning home, I find myself breathing steadily, eating slowly, and lingering longer on street corners to observe the causal wonderment around me. Sometimes all it takes is booking a ticket and escaping to appreciate home in a new light, even if there are no plans and for a mere eighteen hours. Most of us are just winging it, anyway.
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