Most of us have one. A thing, something a small voice inside you often speaks to you about. It sings to you, calls you, sometimes quietly, sometimes urgently, but it’s always there. You might be doing the most mundane thing, like walking home from the dry cleaner’s, and a little bubble will float up. *Bloop* What if you moved to Paris?
All light and effervescent happy feelings surround the thought, but you don’t know how to answer the question, so you carry on walking, and the thought floats away like a cloud. But its source is persistent. And more bubbles will and do come. What do you do?
You carry on living the comfortable, safe life in a city you’ve always known. Or you move to Paris.
I moved to Paris.
At this precise moment as I write this, I am sitting on the bank of the Seine. It’s an early Sunday evening. September is almost behind me and the air is comfortably warm but tempered by a light breeze.
When I decided to move to Paris almost exactly a year ago, I could not have imagined how much this would change me.
Words. “I’m moving to Paris.” A plane ticket. Packed suitcases. Teary goodbyes. A catch in my throat. Excitement in my heart. I’m REALLY doing this. Holy shit.
If me from a year ago could see me sitting here now, content, happy, comfortably digesting the outstanding ice cream I just ate, that old me wouldn’t believe her eyes. She would think, “Why did you wait all this time to move to Paris?” But she also wouldn’t see everything that came before this moment.
If dreams were easy to realize, I’m sure more people would turn them from thoughts into action, into reality. I don’t think they are. I’ve yet to read or hear a story where someone realized their dream and it was an easy, smooth journey.
My own journey was a roller coaster. But I don’t regret a moment of it. Moving to Paris was the best decision of my life.
I think dreams are meant to be difficult to achieve. They take you out of your comfort zone, beyond what you know and understand, and force you to discover what you’re made of.
Uncomfortable, emotional, constantly pushed mentally, spiritually, and physically, you always have 2 choices. Keep going, or say fuck it. That’s it. I give up.
Maybe it’s my connection to Paris, but I never once thought of giving up while I’ve been here. Everything in my being tells me I’m meant to be here. Leaving would only mean I would have to come back and try again.
I have a photo on my phone of a piece of paper I had stuck on my wall in my apartment in Vancouver. In neat writing in blue sharpie ink, I had written a list. Titled “Dreams,” the first thing on that list was “Move to Paris.” I had no clue whether it would ever happen. It felt far away and out there. Like a star in space. Sparkling and always alluring, but so far away that I could not even fathom the distance to get slightly close.
Then I left the home I knew, people I love, everything that was comfortable and safe to me, and showed up in Paris.
Now, I live in Paris. It’s taken me 28 years to be able to write this sentence. And the truth? It’s more beautiful, fulfilling, romantic, inspiring, joyous, and moving than I ever imagined.
The journey to get here has also been the hardest, most intense, stressful, and humbling experience of my life.
It is my sincere hope that more people in this world chase their big wild dreams. You can’t believe how far you may go, physically, spiritually, and mentally, but to stand and feel that you have made a bubble, a song in your heart into reality is beyond words.